Finance minister Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2017-18 in Parliament on Wednesday. For first time in the history of India, both the Union Budget and the Rail budget have been merged with the General Budget. There will be no separate Rail budget, this time! This decision to present the budget together was taken with the aim to complete the whole process before the end of this financial year.
The union budget 2017 is considered to be the most historic and unique budget in the history of Independent India, considering that fact that it would be presented on February 1, doing way with the former date of presentation on the last working day of the month. The budget also holds significance due to its close proximity to the announcement of the demonetization drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016.
Before the session starts, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, “We are saddened” by the death of sitting Parliamentarian and former Union Minister E. Ahamed’s demise, but 2017-18 Budget will be presented in Parliament as planned. “Our member E. Ahamedji was very active person. I just came here after paying him tribute. But we will have to think about both things simultaneously,” Mahajan added.
Highlights of the Union Budget are as follows:
- The Budget has specifically been focused on the weaker section of the country. My approach in preparing the #Budget is to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure & poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence.
- Pace of remonetization has picked up and will soon be normal. Impact will not be visible next year.
- International Monetary Fund estimates that the world GDP will grow by 3.1% in 2016 and 3.4% in 2017.
- Inflation has been controlled, sluggish growth has been taken up, and a massive war has been launched against black money by our government.
- As per current indications, macroeconomic policy is expected to be more expansionist.
- The current monetary policy stance of US may lead to lower inflows, prices of crude oil are also a challenge.
- Amidst all global developments, India stands out as a bright spot in the Word Economic scenario.
- According to International Monetary Fund, India is expected to be one of the fastest growing economies in 2017.
- Demonetization was a bold and decisive measure. Tax evasion had become normal. Demonetization seeks to create a GDP that will be real.
- The World Bank is more optimistic and has projected a GDP of 7.6 per cent in 2017-2018.
- Surcharge on 10% on people whose income between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore
- Propose to reduce existing rate of taxation of those with income between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh from 10% to 5%.
- Defence expenditure, excluding pension, Rs 2 lakh 74 thousand crore.
- Total Budget expenditure – Rs 21 lakh 47 thousand crore.