Arun Jaitley presents the Union Budget 2017- 18

Story By: Rajesh Sharma
Wednesday, February, 01 2017 - 17:21

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday presented the Union Budget 2017-18 together with Rail Budget.

The budget focuses on the farming sector, the rural population, the youth, the poor and underprivileged health care, infrastructure, the financial sector for stronger institutions, speedy accountability, public services, prudent fiscal management and tax administration for the honest.

Jaitley said, that Post demonetisation, India is moving towards a formal economy. The Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 note ban has only a transient impact on economy, Minister said.

The Finance Minister on Wednesday proposed to ban all cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh beginning April 1, 2017.

Jaitley said the decision is based on the recommendation of the Special Investigation Team on black money that was set up by the Supreme Court.

Jaitley said “India stands out as a bright spot amid world economic gloom”.

Agriculture sector is expected to grow at 4.6%, agriculture expenditure targeted at Rs 10 lakh crore. Rs. 10 lakh crore is allocated as credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver. NABARD fund will be increased to Rs. 40,000 crore. Irrigation corpus increased from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore. Dairy processing infrastructure fund wlll be initially created with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore.

The government targets to bring 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019. During 2017-18, five lakh farm ponds will be taken up under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act) which increased to 48,000 crore from Rs 38,500 crore. This is highest ever allocation.

Total allocation for rural, agricultural and allied sectors for 2017-18 is Rs 187223 crore, which is 24% higher than last year.

Jaitley said the focus is also on energising youth to reap benefits of growth and employment.

The government will introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes and come out with an innovation fund for secondary education.

Focus will be on 3,479 educationally-backward blocks.

Our approach in preparing the Budget is to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence, Jaitley said.

Government’s target is one crore houses for poor by 2019. Safe drinking water to cover 28,000 arsenic and Fluoride-affected habitations in the next four years. 

Government has allocated Rs 500 crore for Mahila Shakthi Kendras. Rs 6000 will be transferred to each person under a nationwide scheme for pregnant women. Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat. Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 targeted. Aadhaar-based smartcards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.

A total allocation of Rs. 39,61,354 crore has been made for infrastructure, 1,31,000 crore for Railways and Rs 64,000 crore allocated for highways.

Minister said, 3,500 km of railway lines to be commissioned this year up from 2,800 km last year. New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing.

Shares of Railway PSE like IRCTC will be listed on stock exchanges.

Bill on resolution of financial firms will be introduced in this session of Parliament.

Presenting the Union Budget,  Jaitley said, that total expenditure is Rs. 21, 47,000 crore. Total resources transferred to States and Union Territories is Rs 4.11 lakh crore.

Meanwhile, the defence sector gets an allocation of Rs. 2.74,114 crore.


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