Philosophy behind budget was to support sectors where it was actually required: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley on February 1, announced the Union Budget 2018. This was his fifth budget and the last full budget of the BJP. With forthcoming General Elections 2019, the budget was made keeping in mind the interests of the common man.
Though the tax slabs were not reduced, the government has come up with various other positive sources for senior citizens, women employees and farmers.
Talking about the budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is development-friendly and will strengthen the vision of a 'New India' by 2022. He also said that the budget is farmer friendly, common citizen friendly, business environment-friendly and will add to ease of living and ease of doing business.
So, how about, we see what's in the Union Budget 2018 for us:
The number of women employees are increasing with time. Keeping the same fact in mind, the government has reduced the Employees Provident Fund contribution of women employees to 8% from existing 12%. It has also announced to contribute 8% to their fund for upcoming three years. This means women will get a higher take-home pay. Some eight crore women living below poverty line will be given free gas connection. Plus, loans for women self-help groups will be increased to Rs. 75,000 crore.
Earlier, women were given maternity leave for 12 weeks. But now it has been extended to 26 weeks. Also, the Union budget has claimed to construct around 2 crore toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
Though the excise on unbranded diesel and petrol is cut by Rs. 2, it won't affect the price of both the amenities for middle class.
The inflation of farm products will be kept under control. This will be done by enhancing the production and income of the farmers.
Did you know about the Flagship National Healthcare protection scheme which is world's largest government-funded healthcare programme? Under this, the government will cover Rs 5 lakh per family per year for both secondary and tertiary care hospitalisations. This will be done for approximately 50 crore recipients.
In Union Budget 2018, Arun Jaitley declared that this year the estimated budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection is Rs. 1.38 lakh Crore.
The target of forming around 1.5 lakh healthcare and wellness centers under the National Healthcare Policy 2017 is supposed to be reached with this year's corpus of Rs. 1200 crore.
Nutritional support of additional Rs. 600 crore to TB patients is announced. This will be given to them at the rate of Rs. 500 per month for 10 months.
The existing district hospitals of the country will be upgraded to new government medical colleges and hospitals. The number of these are expected to be around 24.
Earlier, the limit for investment in interest-bearing LIC scheme was Rs. 7.5 lakh for the senior citizens. But no it has been doubled to Rs 15 Lakh.
Apart from this, an exemption of Rs. 50,000 per annum will be allowed for medical insurance of senior citizens. This is under Section 80D of Income Tax Deduction For Medical Insurance.
Earlier, exemption of Rs. 10,000 was allowed on interest income in deposits with bank and post offices. But now the privilege has been increased to Rs. 50,000.
Further, for senior citizens, tax deduction at source (TDS) will not be applied.
The current exemption on transport allowance and reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses have been replaced by deduction of Rs. 40,000.
The Union Budget has declared that government will pay the 12% of wages of the new employees in all sections for the next three years without changing the contribution made by the employer. As I mentioned earlier, women have been given more priority in this.
Operation Greens have been launched in Union Budget 2018. Under this, the price fluctuations on potato, tomato and onion will be addressed. This is to benefit the income of farmers and then the consumers.
Facts Source: Twitter
No tax relief, no significant advantages. Does the government remember middle class only when it needs votes? #IndiaKaPulse
This is what India has to say:
Facts Source: Twitter
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According to the calculations under #IndiaKaPulse, 79.4% of Indians are disappointed by the Union Budget 2018.