Union Budget 2017: Budget Highlights Part-II

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presenting Budget 2017 in Lok Sabha.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presenting Budget 2017 in Lok Sabha.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union budget 2017-2018 in Lok Sabha today. This is the fourth budget by the Narendra Modi government. Jaitley said the demonetisation move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016 will not have a lasting impact on the economy. Jaitley also announced that the budget allocation for welfare of women and children under various ministries will be increased to Rs 1,84,632 cr.

Jaitley also said he took immense pride in presenting a joint budget including the Railway Budget. Railways will focus on passenger safety, capital works and cleanliness, among other issues, Jaitley said. Following the presentation of the Union budget, both Houses of Parliament will adjourn for the day.

Here are the highlights:

Personal Income Tax:

  • There will be no scrutiny of first time tax payers: Arun Jaitley
  • A simple 1 page form will be introduced to file IT returns: FM
  • Of 3.7 crore individuals who filed tax returns in 2015-16, 99 lakh showed income below exemption limit: Arun Jaitley
  • 15 per cent surcharge on incomes above Rs 1 crore to continue: Arun Jaitley
  • Surcharge of 10 per cent for those whose annual income is between Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore: FM
  • No tax for those who use tax rebates on Rs 4.5 lakh income: FM
  • Combined effect of new tax structure will be that people with income below Rs 3 lakh will not have to pay tax, and those between Rs 3 and 3.5 lakh will pay a maximum of Rs 2,500: FM
  • Between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, income tax rate reduced to 5 per cent from 10 per cent: Jaitley
  • Main burden of taxes is on honest taxpayer and salaried employees who show their income correctly: FM

Political funding:

  • Parties can receive donations in cheque or digitally from their donors: Arun Jaitley
  • In according with EC suggestion, maximum donation a political party can receive in cash from a single source will Rs 2000: FM
  • Even after 70 years, country has no transparent system of political funding: FM

Companies Tax:

  • Government not to remove Minimum Alternative Tax in 2017-18. I propose to allow a carry forward of MAT for a period of 15 years as against 10 years now: Arun Jaitley
  • Companies which have turnover upto Rs 50 crore will get 5 per cent tax rebate. Their income tax rate thus reduces to 25 per cent. 96 per cent of Indian companies will thus get this benefit. It will boost our MSME sector: FM


  • Plan to extend basket of financial instruments to which the capital gains can be invested sans payment of tax
  • Capital gains tax exempt for persons under land pooling mechanism for creation of new Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati: FM
  • Draft bill placed in public domain for law against chit fund scams, to protect the poor: Arun Jaitley
  • Advance tax on income tax increased by 34.8 per cent due to demonetisation: FM
  • Main priority of government to eliminate black money component from the economy, says Arun Jaitley
  • Thrust of tax proposal is to stimulate growth, promote digital economy, and combat black money: FM
  • Tax collection has increased by 17 per cent per year over the last 2 years: FM
  • When too many people evade taxes burden falls on those who are honest. We are mainly a tax non-compliant society: Arun Jaitley
  • RBI review committee recommended 3 per cent fiscal deficit for next 3 years: Arun Jaitley
  • Revenue deficit has come down to 2.1 per cent.
  • Our Direct Tax collection is not commensurate with income. Only 1.8 crore Indians have filed IT returns: Arun Jaitley
  • Out of 3.7 crore who filed tax returns in 2015-16, only 24 lakh persons showed income above Rs 10 lakh, says Arun Jaitley

Total expenditure:

  • Total resources being transferred to the states & union territories with legislature is Rs 4.11 lakh crore: FM
  • Rs 21.47 lakh crore to be allocated as total expenditure in the Budget: FM


  • Defence forces to get centralised, hassle-free rail ticket booking system. They do not have to stand in queues any more: FM
  • 2,74,114 crores allocated to defence expenditure, including pensions: FM


  • Government will consider early implementation of recommendations of committee of Chief Ministers on digital transactions: Arun Jaitley
  • Digital payment infrastructure and grievance handling system will be strengthened: Arun Jaitley
  • Aadhar pay facility will be launched soon to help those without mobile wallets: FM
  • Digital transaction has witnessed an increase, 1,25,000 people have adopted BHIM app already: Arun Jaitley


  • Fiscal deficit at 3.2 % of GDP; remain committed to achieving 3% in 2017-18: FM
  • Rs 10,000 crore provided for recapitalisation of banks: FM
  • Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has been abolished: FM
  • A computer emergency response team will be established to ensure cyber security in financial sector: Arun Jaitley
  • Expert committee to be created to integrate spot and derivative market for commodity trading: FM
  • Total allocation for infrastructure will be Rs 3,96,135 crores: Arun Jaitley
  • Want to make India a global hub of electronic infrastructure: FM

Roadways and Airways:

  • Under Bharat Net project, Optical Fibre Cable has been laid for a length of 1,55,000 kms: FM
  • Selected airports in Tier 2 cities will be taken for Public-Private Partnership: FM
  • Rs 64,000 crore allocated for National Highways: FM


  • Service charges on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn: FM
  • By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets, and Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnership: Arun Jaitley
  • A new metro rail policy will be announced. This will also open up new jobs for our youth: Arun Jaitley
  • 500 stations to be made differently abled-friendly: FM
  • Dedicated trains will be launched for tourism and pilgrimage
  • Rail Raksha Fund to be created with corpus of 1 lakh crore over 5 years, said the Finance Minister
  • Total capital for rail budget has been pegged at 1,37,000 crores, said Arun Jaitley


  • Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat: Arun Jaitley
  • Action plan to eliminate Kala Azar, filariasis by 2017, leprosy by 2018, measles by 2020 & TB by 2025: FM

Social welfare:

  • For senior citizens, Aadhaar based health cards will be issued: FM
  • Allocation for welfare of Scheduled Castes increased to Rs 52,393 crore: Arun Jaitley


  • Open defecation free villages are now being given priority for pipe to water supply: FM
  • 100% village electrification will be achieved by May 1, 2018: Arun Jaitley
  • Under various schemes, allocation stepped up to 1,84,632 crores to facilitate affordable housing and infrastructure to poor: Arun Jaitley
  • Mission Antyodaya to bring 1 crore houses out of poverty, make 50,000 Gram Panchayats poverty-free: Arun Jaitley
  • Government to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for homeless and those living in kaccha houses: FM


  • In higher education, we will undertake reforms in UGC,
    give autonomy to colleges and institutions: Arun Jaitley
  • Special schemes will be annouced to create employment in textile sector: Arun Jaitley
  • National Testing Agency to conduct all entrance exams for higher education: FM
  • PM Kaushal Kendras will be set up in more than 600 districts across the country to offer advanced training and foreign languages: FM
  • Will leverage ICT by Swayam course, where students can learn course work online: FM
  • Innovation fund for secondary education to encourage local innovation, gender parity and ICT transformation: Arun Jaitley


  • Total allocation for rural, agricultural and allied sectors for 2017-18 is Rs 187223 crore, which is 24% higher than last year: FM
  • Target of agricultural loans to farmers set at record Rs 10 lakh crore in 2017-18: FM
  • Arun Jaitley said the highest ever amount of Rs 48,000 crore has been allocated for MNREGA scheme.
  • Dairy processing infrastructure fund will be set up under NABARD, with fund of 8,000 crore: FM
  • A model law on contract farming and a dairy processing fund will be set up in 3 years: Arun Jaitley
  • Dedicated micro irrigation fund to be set up. For post harvest, farmers will get better prices in market: FM
  • Issuance of soil health cards have gathered momentum. We will setup a mini lab in krishi vigyan kendras: Arun Jaitley
  • We will take special efforts to ensure adequate flow of credit to under served areas, Northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir: FM
  • Government to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence.
  • Arun Jaitley said agricultural growth has risen to 4.1 per cent for 2016-17.
  • Government committed to double farmer income: Arun Jaitley
  • We have taken more steps to help farmers to increase production and deal with post harvest problems: FM

On Tuesday, the government presented the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament, which projected that the GDP growth rate will decline to 6.5 per cent for the current financial year, due to the impact of demonetisation. However, the growth rate will rebound to 6.75-7.5 per cent in the coming fiscal, the report said.

It also projected agricultural growth rate to rise and industrial growth rate to fall to 5.2 per cent from 7.4 per cent during the current financial year.

The Economic Survey also recommended a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all citizens, to replace several social security schemes. The report said that UBI is an idea ‘whose time as come’. However, there is no immediate effort on the part of the government to implement this measure.

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