Highlights of Union Budget for 2017-18

Agenda for 2017-18 is : “Transform, Energise and Clean India” – TEC India

  • TEC India seeks to transform the quality of governance and quality of life of our people
  •  Energise various sections of society, especially the youth and the vulnerable, and enable them to unleash their true potential
  • Clean the country from the evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent political funding

FARMERS

  • To ensure flow of credit to small farmers, Government to support NABARD for computerisation and integration of all 63,000 functional Primary Agriculture Credit Societies with the Core Banking System of District Central Cooperative Banks. This will be done in 3 years at an estimated cost of Rs 1,900 crores. 
  • Coverage under Fasal Bima Yojana scheme will be increased from 30% of cropped area in 2016-17 to 40% in 2017-18 and 50% in 2018-19 for which a budget provision of Rs 9000 crore has been made.
  • New mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and ensure 100% coverage of all 648 KVKs in the country for soil sample testing.
  • Dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund in NABARD to achieve ‘per drop more crop’ with an initial corpus of Rs 5,000 crores.
  • A model law on contract farming to be prepared and circulated among the States for adoption

RURAL POPULATION

  • Aim to bring one crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 Gram Panchayats poverty free by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji
  • Mahatma Gadhi National Rural Employmeny Guarantee Act (MNREGA) allocation to be the highest ever at Rs 48,000 crores in 2017-18.
  • Government has taken up the task of connecting habitations with more than 100 persons in left wing extremism affected Blocks under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). All such habitations are expected to be covered by 2019 and the allocation for PMGSY.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin to have a target of completing 1 crore houses by 2019 for the houseless and those living in kutcha houses.
  • Achieving 100% village electrification by 1st May 2018.
  • As part of a sub mission of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), it is proposed to provide safe drinking water to over 28,000 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations in the next four years.
  • A programme of “human resource reforms for results” will be launched during 2017-18 for human resources development in Panchayati Raj Institutions

YOUTH

  • To introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in our schools
  • Innovation Fund for Secondary Education proposed to encourage local innovation for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement to be introduced in 3479 educationally backward districts.
  • Incredible India 2.0 Campaign will be launched across the world to promote tourism and employment.

THE POOR AND THE UNDERPRIVILEGED

  • Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set up with an allocation of Rs 500 crores in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres. It will provide one stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health and nutrition.
  • Under Maternity Benefit Scheme Rs 6,000 each will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND RAILWAYS

  • No service charge on tickets booked through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
  • Raksha coach with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore for five years (for passenger safety).
  • Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020.
  • By 2019 all trains will have bio-toilets.
  • High speed Internet to be allocated to 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
  • New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing.

ENERGY SECTOR

  • A strategic policy for crude reserves will be set up.
  • Trade infra export scheme will be launched 2017-18.

FINANCIAL SECTOR

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy reforms – more than 90% of FDI inflows are now automated. Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will be abolished. Shares of Railway PSE like IRCTC will be listed on stock exchanges. 
  • Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed.
  • Under Digital India, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) App will referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.
  • Head post office will act as the central office for rendering passport service.

FISCAL SITUATION

  • Total expenditure for which provision has been made in the budget is Rs. 21, 47,000 crore.
  • Revenue deficit is 1.9 %
  • Fiscal deficit for 2017-18 pegged at 3.2% of the GDP. 

FUNDING POLITICAL PARTIES

  • The maximum amount of cash donation for a political party in cash will be Rs. 2,000. Any amount above this can only be transferred by cheque or digital mode only.
  • An amendment in the RBI Act to enable issuance of electoral bonds is in the pipeline. A donor can purchase these bonds from banks or post offices through cheque or digital transactions. They can be redeemed only by registered political parties. 

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