Live updates on Union Budget 2017-18: Here is what Arun Jaitley is saying

Arun Jaitley, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister of India  presented the Union Budget 2017-2018 at the parliament today. It’s the first time in Indian history, after 92 years that the Rail Budget has been merged with the Union Budget 2017-2018. The minister announced the 10 themes of Budget 2017. This correspondent from  PaGaLGuY is bringing some more updates from the speech about infrastructure, financial sector, digital economy, public sector, prudent fiscal management and taxes.

Click here for the first part of the speech

Updated at 12:35 pm 

Infrastructure

  • The total expenditure for Railways  is estimated to be Rs 1,31,000 crore. Rs 55,000 crore out if this provided by the Government from the budget.
  • Four major focus areas are: Passenger safety Capital and development works, cleanliness and Finance and accounting reforms.
  • For passengers’ safety, a Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh will be created with a corpus of Rs 1,00,000 crore over a period of five years.
  • Apart from the seed capital, the railways will produce their capital from their own resources. 
  • Unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020.
  • Railway lines of 3,500 km will be commissioned in 2017-18, as against 2,800 km in 2016-17.
  • Railways have set up joint ventures with 9 State Governments. 70 projects have been identified for construction and development.
  • 25 stations are expected to be worked on during 2017-18 for station redevelopment. 500 stations will be made differently abled friendly by providing lifts and escalators.
  • 7,000 stations will have solar power, out of which 300 stations are already covered. Work will be taken up for 2,000 railway stations as part of 1000 MW solar mission.
  • Swachh Rail project will involve SMS based ‘Clean My Coach Service’ that has already been started.
  • It is now proposed to introduce ‘Coach Mitra’ facility, a single window interface, to register all coach related complaints and requirements.
  • Bio-toilets will be fitted in all Indian Railway Coaches by 2019
  • Plants for environment friendly disposal of solid waste and conversion of biodegradable waste to energy are being set up at New Delhi and Jaipur railway stations. Five more such solid waste management plants are now being taken up.
  • Railways will implement end to end integrated transport solutions for select commodities through partnership with 18 logistics players, who would provide both front and back end connectivity. Rolling stocks and practices will be customized to transport perishable goods, especially agricultural products.
  • Railways will offer competitive ticket booking facility to the public at large. Service charge on e-tickets booked through IRCTC has been withdrawn. Cashless reservations have gone up from 58% to 68%.
  • As part of accounting reforms, accrual based financial statements will be rolled out by March 2019.
  • Budget allocation for highways has been increased from 57,676 crore in 2016-17 to 64,000 crore in 2017-18.
  • 2,000 km of coastal connectivity roads have been identified for construction and development to facilitate connectivity with ports and rural areas.
  • Airports in Tier Two cities will be taken up for monetization and up-gradation
  • A total of 2,41,387 crore is allocated to the transportation sector

Updated at 12:45 pm

Telecom

  • Broadband and digital connectivity to be improved under the Bharat Net Project and it has a budget of Rs 10,000 crore.
  • High speed broadband connectivity is expected to reach more than 1,50,000 Gram Panchayats in 2017-2018

12:46 pm

The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana has contributed to funding the unfunded and the underfunded. Last year, the target of 1,22,000 crores was exceeded. For 2017-18, double the lending target of 2015-16 and is set at 2,44,000 crores. Priority will be given to Dalits, Tribals, Backward Classes, Minorities and Women

12:48 pm 

Focus on a shift to making digital payments primary form of transactions

The BHIM app has already been launched for digital transactions and over 1,25,00,000 people have already opted for it

Aadhar Pay, a merchant version of Aadhar Enabled Payment System, will be launched soon and will be beneficial for those who do not have debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones. A target of 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards is set. Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh new PoS terminals by March 2017. They will be encouraged to introduce 20 lakh Aadhar based PoS by September 2017.

12:50 pm

With a great beginning with regard to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to LPG and kerosene consumers, Chandigarh and eight districts of Haryana have become kerosene free. 

12:52 pm

A comprehensive web based interactive Pension Disbursement System for Defense Pensioners will be established. This system will receive pension proposals and make payments centrally. This will reduce the grievances of defense pensioners.

1:00 pm

The centenary year of Champaran Satyagrah this year. Government of India will support Government of Gujarat to commemorate 100 years of Sabarmati Ashram in 2017, 200 years ago in 1817, a valiant uprising of soldiers led by Buxi Jagabandhu took place in Khordha of Odisha, these aspects will be commemorated as well

1:05 pm

  • The total expenditure in Budget for 2017-18 21,47,000 crore. With the abolition of Plan-Non Plan classification of expenditure, the focus is now on Revenue and Capital expenditure.
  • Allocation for Capital expenditure is increased by 25.4% over the previous year.
  • Total resources being transferred to the States and the Union Territories with Legislatures is 4,11,000 crore, against ` 3,60,000 crores in 2016- 17.
  • For Defense expenditure excluding pensions, a sum of 2,74,114 crore including 86,488 crore for Defense capital.
  • Allocation for Scientific Ministries is 37,435 crore in 2017-18.

1:09 pm

3.7 crore individuals filed tax returns in 2015-16. Out of these, 99 lakh show income below the exemption limit of 2.5 lakh per annum, 1.95 crore show income between 2.5 to 5 lakh, 52 lakh show income between 5 to 10 lakhs and only 24 lakh people show income above 10 lakhs. Of the 76 lakh individuals who declare income above 5 lakh, 56 lakh are in the salaried class. The number of people showing income more than 50 lakh in the entire country is only 1.72 lakh.

1.11 pm

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