Sector Books/Booklets

Union Budget, 2018

| Jan 2018

On behalf of ELP I am delighted to present our analysis of the Union Budget 2018-19, delivered by the Honourable
Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley. In what is the last full-fledged budget prior the General Elections in 2019, the
Finance Minister has sought to provide an impetuous with targeted measures designed to keep the growth momentum
going.

Most noteworthy are:

  • On the Direct tax front, the Budget has benefitted the rural sector, senior citizens and
    micro, small and medium enterprises, by:

    • providing a tax incentive to the rural population for promoting post-harvest activities of agriculture through
      Farmer Producer Companies which have been set up along the lines of co-operative societies;
    • providing a tax incentive to the rural population for promoting post-harvest activities of agriculture through
      Farmer Producer Companies which have been set up along the lines of co-operative societies;
    • for the small and medium sectors only the Finance Minister has prescribed lower corporate tax rate targeted
      for companies which have reported turnover up to INR 250 crore (in the financial year 2016-17). (This is a
      disappointment as the Finance Minister has deviated from his commitment in earlier Budget Speech
      where the tax rate for all corporates was promised to be of 25%).
  • On the Customs duty front, India has after many years changed its peak customs duty rates. This is apparently
    done with the view to boost the ‘Make in India’ campaign of the Government.
  • The fact that GST leading to robust tax collection is very welcome given that the former Indirect tax regime in India was in dire need of simplification and modernisation.

India has always been an agrarian economy, and the Budget has set out programmes to benefit this sector. In this
direction, the allocation of INR 500 crores for “Operation Green” would go a long way raising the technology as well as production and at the same time ensuring output to feed the population.

On the social welfare front, the highlight is the allocation to establish one of the largest healthcare insurance
programmes in the world. The rising cost of healthcare and vulnerability of all those at the lowest end of the population has been a long-standing concern. This Budget proposes to provide coverage up to INR Five lakhs per
family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to more than ten crore (i.e. 100 million) poor and
vulnerable families (approximately 500 million beneficiaries) by allocating adequate finds.

The Rural Infrastructure Development and the Swatch Bharat Abhiyan continue to receive major allocations; along
with the government’s flagship programmes on affordable housing. Even issues like pollution in Delhi NCR have
received an allocation under this budget.

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  • Union Budget, 2018
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