Srinagar: Following are the highlights of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2018 presented before the Parliament on Thursday.
* Arun Jaitley announces capital expenditure of Rs 1,48,528 crore for Indian Railways in 2018-19.
* National Heritage City Development Augmentation Scheme has been undertaken to preserve and protect heritage cities in the country, announces the Finance Minister.
* Government to contribute 12 per cent of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors: FM
* Infrastructure is the growth driver of economy: Jaitley
* Target of 3 lakh crore for lending under PM Mudra Yojana: FM
* MSME enterprises are a major element for growth, says Jaitley. He also added that mass formalisation of MSME sector is happening after demonetisation and GST.
* Govt will launch health scheme to cover 10 crore poor families, Arun Jaitley says.
* The Government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage: FM
* Government aims to bring 60 crore bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
* Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe populations: Finance Minister
* Rs 600 crore allocated to Tuberculosis patients undergoing treatment.
* Govt will set up two new Schools of Planning and Architecture, says Finance Minister Jaitley.
* To tackle brain drain, Jaitley announces scheme to identify bright students pursuing B Tech in premiere engineering institutes, and providing them higher-education opportunities in the IITs and IISc. These students will receive handsome fellowships, and will be expected to dedicate a few hours to teach in higher education institutions weekly.
* Specialised railway university to be set up at Vadodara.
* Jaitley proposed integrated BEd programme for teachers: “training of teachers during service is essential.” Technology will be the biggest driver in improving the quality of education.
* Budget allocates money for social security and protection programme for all widows and orphaned children.
* We have a target to provide all Indians with their own homes by 2022, says Jaitley.
* Ujjwala scheme to amplify targets, will now provide 8 crore rural women free LPG connections.
* Air pollution in Delhi-NCR has been a cause of concern, govt has proposed subsidised machinery for in-situ management of crop residue in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT Delhi.
* Govt of India will take necessary measures to put in place measures for the state government to purchase surplus solar power produced by local farmers at sutiable prices.
* Arun Jaitley proposes a sum of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation Green’ on the lines of ‘Operation Flood’.
* Food processing sector is going at an average of 8 per cent per annum.
* We have been saying it for years that India is primarily an agricultural country: Jaitley
* Arun Jaitley on Minimum Support Price of agricultural products: Only increasing the MSP is not enough, the government will fix the MSP of agricultural products at 1.5 times the market rate.
* Our emphasis is on generating higher benefits and productive employment for the farmers: Jaitley while addressing the agricultural sector in his Budget speech 2018.
* Our government has worked sincerely, and without weighing the political costs, hoping that benefits are delivered to people at their doorsteps. The Direct Benefit Transfer system of India is a success story that is reiterated across the world: Jaitley.
* This year’s Budget will particularly focus on agriculture, says Jaitley.
* The finance minister also pointed out that India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
* Indian economy has performed very well since our government took over in May 2014, says Arun Jaitley. (Courtesy: The Times of India)