Union Budget 2017-18 Key Highlights

Highlights of the Union budget for 2017-18 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in parliament on Wednesday:

* Income Tax rate cut to 5 pc for individuals having income between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

* 10 pc surcharge on individual income above Rs 50 lakh and upto Rs 1 cr to make up for Rs 15,000 cr loss of due to cut in personal I-T rate.

* 15 pc surcharge on income above Rs 1 cr to continue

* Of 3.7 cr individuals who filed tax returns in 2015-16, 99 lakh showed income below exemption limit

* We have moved from a discretionary administration to a policy-based administration

* Expectations included burning issues like inflation and price rise, issue of corruption & crony capitalism

* Our government was elected amidst huge expectations of people, the underlying theme of expectations being good governance

* Hope to resolve all issues regarding GST via consultations

* We are moving from informal to formal economy & the Government is now seen as a trusted custodian of public money

* Agricultural sector is expected to grow at 4.1 per cent this fiscal

* Tax administration honouring the honest is one of the 10 pillars of Budget 2017-18

* Target of agriculture credit fixed at Rs 10 lakh cr in 2017-18

* Rs 9,000 cr higher allocation for payment of sugarcane arrear

* Allocation under MNREGA increased to 48,000 crore from Rs 38,500 crore. This is highest ever allocation

* Space technology to be used for monitoring MNREGA implementation

* National Testing agency to conduct all examinations in higher education, freeing CBSE and other agencies

* 133-km road per day constructred under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana as against 73-km in 2011-14

* Govt to set up dairy processing fund of Rs 8,000 crore over three years with initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore

* 1 cr households to be brought out of poverty under Antodya Scheme

* Participation of women in MNREGA increased to 55 pc from 45 pc in past

* Modern law on contract farming will be drafted and circulated to states

* Dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be created with a corpus of Rs 5000 crore.

* To construct one crore houses by 2019 for homeless. PM Awas Yojana allocation raised from Rs 15,000 cr to Rs 23,000 cr

* A system of annual learning outcome in schools to be introduced; innovation fund for secondary education to be set up

* The allocation for rural agri and allied sector in 2017-18 is record Rs 1,81,223 crore

* PM Kaushal Kendras will be extended to 600 districts; 100 international skill centres to be opened to help people get jobs abroad.

* Two new AIIMS for Jharkhand and Gujarat

* Rs 500 cr allocated to set up Mahila Shakti Kendras; Allocation raised from Rs 1.56 lakh cr to Rs 1.84 lakh cr for women & child welfare.

* Allocation for SCs increased from Rs 38,833 cr to Rs 52,393 cr, a rise of 35 per cent

* For senior citizens, Aadhaar based health cards will be issued

* Model Shops and Establishment Bill to open up additional opportunities for employment of women

* Capital and development expenditure pegged at Rs 1.31 lakh cr for railways in 2017-18 from Budget

* A scheme for senior citizens to ensure 8 per cent guaranteed returns

* Rs 1 lakh cr corpus for railway safety fund over five years

* Railway line of 3,500 km will be commissioned in 2017-18 as against 2,800 km in 2016-17

* Unmanned railway level crossings to be eliminated by 2020

* Government proposes Coach Mitra facility to redress grievances related to rail coaches

* Delhi and Jaipur to have solid waste management plants and five more to be set up later.

* Railway tariffs to be fixed on the basis of cost, social obligation and competition.

* Service charge on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn

* New metro rail policy to be unveiled

* Select airports in tier-II cities to be taken up for operations, development on PPP mode

* Budget allocation for highways stepped up to Rs 64,000 crore in FY18 from Rs 57,676 crore

* Allocation of Rs 10,000 cr for Bharat Net project for providing high-speed broadband in FY1

* For transport sector, including railways, road and shipping, government provides Rs 2.41 lakh crore.

* Coverage of Fasal Bima Yojana to go up from 30 pc of cropped area to 40 pc in 2017-18 and 50 per cent next year

* Crude oil strategic reserves to be set up in Odisha and Rajasthan apart from 3 already constructed

* Digi Gaon will be launched to promote tele-medicine and education

* Dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be set up by NABARD to achieve mission of Per Drop, More Crop

* Second phase of solar power development to be taken up with an aim of generating 20,000 MW

* Trade Infrastructure Export Scheme to be launched in 2017-18; total allocation for infra at record Rs 3.96 lakh cr

* Over 90 per cent of FDI proposls are now processed through automatic route

* Rs 2,74,114 crore allocated for defence expenditure, excluding pension; This includes Rs 86,000 crore for defence capital

* Urgent need to protect poor from chit fund schemes, draft bill placed in public domain

* Govt will amend the Multi-state Cooperative Act to protect the poor and gullible investors

* Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried

* We are largely a tax non-compliant society

* The shares of railway CPSCs like IRCTC and IRFC to be listed on various stock exchanges

* After demonetisation on Nov 8 last year, deposit of between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 80 lakh made in 1.09 cr bank accounts at an average of Rs 5.03 lakh till Dec 30

* Over Rs 80 lakh deposits in 1.48 lakh cr at an average of Rs 3.31 cr per account

* Govt to introduce two new schemes to promote BHIM App – referal bonus for users and cash back for traders

* Govt to double lending target under PM Mudra Yojana to Rs 2,44,000 crore for 2017-18

* 3 yr period for long-term capital gains tax on immovalble property reduced to 2 years; base year indexation shifted from 1.4.1981 to 1.4.2001

* A proposal to receive all government receipts beyond a certain threshold through e-modes under consideration

* Govt considering option to amend Negotiable Instruments Act to ensure that holders of dishonoured cheques get payment

* Head post offices to issue passports

* Political parties can receive donations in cheque, electronic mode; electoral bonds to be issued by RBI

* Maximum amount of cash donation a political party can receive will be Rs 2000 from any one source as part of effort to clean political funding

* Customs duty on LNG halved to 2.5 pc.