Highlights Of The Union Budget 2018 And Defence Allocation

The Government’s fifth and last budget was presented by the finance minister Arun Jaitley. The upcoming general elections and elections in eight states made the budget tough on the finance minister.

Budget is the hot topic and will remain the same for some days. The topic of the budget will be spread over all the SSB discussions and interviews for about a month or so. So, you need to strong-arm yourself in learning and remembering the budget, statistics and figures.

Highlights:

  1. Higher MSP for farmers:

Minimum Support Price was fixed at 1.5 times the cost of inputs. Earlier, the MSP used to be based on 6 different parameters including market prices and demands. But now, it will solely be based on the input prices.

  1. Electricity, Gas and Toilet promise for the poor:

The Ujjwala Scheme promised free LPG connections to 8 crore poor women while the Saubahagya Yojna promised electricity to 4 crore households costing 16000 cr. 1 crore houses for poor to be built by 2019 as a part of “Housing for All” scheme to target Smart City Mission with a cost of 6000 cr with a promise of 2 cr more toilets under Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.

  1. Revamping the National Healthcare Protection Scheme:

Earlier with the regulation on the prices of stents for angioplasty to Rs.30,000, the cost of angioplasty will be affordable with the new National Healthcare Protection Scheme. This scheme will provide a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh to a family per annum. It will cover 10 crore, vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.

  1. Focus on Rural Economy:

The budget also focuses on improving the rural economy and the rural people by implementing the following:

  • 22,000 rural haats to upgraded into Gramin Agricultural Markets. This will benefit 86% small and marginal farmers.
  • National Bamboo Mission is restructured and was allotted Rs 1,290 crore.
  • Loans to Women Self-Help Groups got an increase of 32,500 making it Rs 75,000 crore in 2019 as against Rs 42,500 crore last year.
  • Fisheries and Animal Husbandry sectors were also taken care of as Rs 10,000 crore was announced in two funds.
  1. 12% overall increase in SC, ST funds:

Rs 95,000 crore has been allocated to SC & ST schemes. Rs 56,619 crore was allocated to SC while Rs 39,195 was allocated to ST funds. This shows a 20% hike in ST funds allocation.

  1. Salary Hiked for Prez, VP, Governors and MPs:

President’s salary is proposed to be hiked from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh while Vice President’s salary will get a hike from Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh. The Governors will see an increase from Rs 1.10 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh and MPs will have an automatic revision of salary every 5 years indexed to inflation.

  1. Quality Education for Tribal Children:

Ekalavya Model Residential Schools are proposed to provide quality education to tribal children in their own environment by 2022 in every block with over 50% population.

  1. RISE in research investments:

Rs 1 lac crore is proposed to be invested in next 4 years under “Revitalising Infrastructure & Systems in Education” (RISE) scheme. This will increase investments in research and related infrastructure in educational institutions.

  1. Rs 2,600 crore for boosting groundwater irrigation:

The government has allocated Rs 2,600 crore under Prime Minister Krishi Sinchai Yojna. This will provide assured irrigation in 96 irrigation deprived districts where less than 30% of the land holdings get water. The scope of the Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD would be expanded to cover specified command area development projects.

  1. Operation Greens on lines of Operation Flood:

Operation Greens is essentially a price fixation scheme that aims to ensure farmers are given the right price for their produce. It would be launched with an allocation of Rs 500 crore. It will help control and limit the erratic fluctuations in the prices of onions, potatoes and tomatoes.

  1. Controlling NCR pollution:

A special scheme will be implemented to support the efforts of the government of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to address air pollution and subsidise machinery required for in-situ management of the crop residue

  1. Gobar Dhan – or Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan:

This scheme helps rid villages of open defecation and will improve the life in villages. This scheme will help farmers learn to manage cattle dung and solid waste in their farms and reuse them as compost, fertiliser, biogas and bio-CNG.

  1. Income Tax:

No personal income tax changes proposed in budget while the corporate tax of 25% extended to companies with turnover up to Rs 250 cr in the financial year 2016-17.

  1. Miscellaneous:

  • Rs 5.35 lac crore allotted to develop 35,000 km under Bharatmala Project for roads and highways.
  • Railway budget has been pegged at Rs 1.48 lakh cr, up from Rs 1.31 lakh crore last year. Airport Authority of India (AAI) has 124 airports. Propose to increase the number by at least 5 times 1 billion trips a year, Rs 60 cr has been allocated to kickstart the initiative.
  • Allocation to Digital India scheme doubled to Rs 3073 cr.
  • Govt to take additional measures to strengthen the environment for venture capitalists and angel investors.

Defence Budget:

Out of the total Rs. 24,42,213 cr, Rs 2,95,511.41 cr has been allotted for Defence.  This makes 12.1% of total Union Government expenditure for 2018-19.

Out of the allocated funds, Rs. 1,95,947.55 cr has been allocated for Revenue (Net) expenditure and Rs. 99,563.86 crore for Capital expenditure for the Defence Services and the Organizations/ Departments under Ministry of Defence. The Capital expenditure includes modernization related expenditure making it 33.1% of the total Central Government Expenditure on Capital Account.

For Defence Pension, which is over and above the outlay mentioned above, an amount of Rs. 1,08,853.30 crore has been earmarked.

Conclusion:

The defence allocations for 2018-19 are Rs 2,95,511.41 cr, 12.1% of the total union budget. Budget is the hot and burning topic in SSB these days, so, prepare well and try to remember the facts and figures.

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