Budget 2017: Key points Explained
10 key focus areas: Farmers, Rural economy, Energising youth, Poor and underprivileged, Infrastructure, Financial sector, Digital economy, Public service, Prudent Fiscal management, Tax administration.
1. Personal income tax: Tax rate halved to 5 per cent from 10 per cent for those earning between Rs 2.5-5 lakh; All other income brackets to get uniform benefit of Rs 12,500 per assessee; 10% additional surcharge on Rs 50 lakh-1 crore income levels; Long-term capital gains tax holding period for housing reduced to two years from three years.
2. Black money/NPA: No cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh; Govt to seize assets of defaulters fleeing country.
3. Political funding: Cash donations capped at Rs 2,000; anything above that to be in cheque/via digital mode; amendment to RBI Act for issuance of electoral bonds; all parties required to file returns within specified time.
4. Corporation Tax: MAT to stay, but carry-forward period extended to 15 years from 10 years; Tax rate for companies with sub-Rs 50 crore revenue reduced to 25 per cent from 30 per cent.
5. Digital economy: 2 new schemes to promote BHIM app including cashback scheme for merchants; Aadhar payment option for those who don’t have mobile phones; Focus on rural and semi-urban areas; govt plans to expand financial inclusion fund.
6. Rural economy: Irrigation fund hiked to Rs 40,000 crore; Well on our way to achieving 100 per cent rural electrification by May 1, 2018, says FM; Target for farm credit fixed at Rs 10 lakh crore; To bring 10 million households out of poverty and and make 50,000 gram panchayats poverty-free; Dedicated micro irrigation fund set up by Nabard to have initial corpus of Rs 5,000 crore; Ten million pucca homes for the poor during next financial year; Total allocation for Rural, Agricultural & Allied sectors for 2017-18 is a record 1,87,223 crore up 24 per cent from last year; MGNREGA allocation hiked to Rs 48,000 crore from Rs 38,500 crore;
7. Financial sector: FIPB to be scrapped; Panel to study legal framework for spot and derivative market in commodities; creation of integrated public sector oil major; Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana: Lending target at Rs 2.44 lakh crore.
8. Railways: Capex and development expenditure of railways at Rs 1,31,000 crore; 3,500 km rail lines to be commissioned; dedicated pilgrimage trains to be launched; 500 stations to be made differently-abled friendly; Bio-toilets in all coaches by 2019; no more service charge for IRCTC bookings; new metro rail policy on the cards; Railways to implement end-to-end connectivity for some commodities with the help of logistics firms.
9. Infrastructure: Rs 64,000 crore allocated for national highways; amendments to AAI Act to enable monetisation of land resources; Rs 2 lakh crore for transport sector; Bharat Net allocation set at Rs 10,000 crore; total infra allocation at Rs 3.96 lakh crore.
10. Poor and underprivileged classes: Affordable housing to get infra status; Allocation hiked to Rs 1,84,000 crore for schemes women and children; plan to eradicate leprosy by 2018, TB by 2025; Allocation to scheduled castes hiked to Rs 52,393 crore, scheduled tribes to Rs 31,920 crore.
11. Youth energisation: Innovation fund for secondary education; UGC reforms — Colleges to be identified based on ranking and given autonomy; Rs 4,000 cr set aside for skill acquisition.