Live Updates : Railway Budget 2018

Finance Minister
Finance Minister

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Live Updates : Budget 2018 – 2019

Railway Budget 2018 - 2019
Budget 2018 – 2019

Today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Railway Budget along with the Union  Budget 2018 – 2019 at 11 am.

This is the Modi government’s first post-GST and last pre-poll Budget, and taxpayers are hoping for raise in Income Tax exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. Here are the live updates of Budget 2018 , we are focused on Railway related budget announcement.

1:07 pm : Lok Sabha has been adjourned after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2018 speech. The urban middle-class citizen is not happy with the budget as the Income Tax slabs have remained the same and mobile phones are set to increase in prices.
12.59 pm : HEALTH/POLLUTION: To provide 500,000 rupees per family annually for medical reimbursement under National Health Protection Scheme. Finance minister says the plan will protect 50 crore poor people and will be world’s largest health protection scheme. To implement special schemes for governments around Delhi to address air pollution. Removal of crop residue to be subsidized in order to tackle the problem of pollution due to burning of crop residue. FINANCE MINISTER COMMENTS: “We are now a $2.5 trillion economy, and we are firmly on path to achieve 8 percent plus growth soon”. “We are not only focussing on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ but also ‘Ease of Living'”. “Government to take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are being used to fund illegitimate transactions”. (3/3)
12:57 pm : INFRASTRUCTURE: To spend 14.34 trillion Indian rupees ($225.50 billion) on rural infrastructure. BANKING/LENDING: To soon announce measures to address bad loans of small and medium enterprises. Proposes setting up 3 trillion rupees plan for lending for small enterprises. AGRICULTURE: Finance minister says will focus on strengthening rural, agriculture economy. Sets 10 trillion rupees to 11 trillion rupees credit for “agricultural activities”. Minimum support price of all crops to be increased to at least 1.5 times of production cost. Export of agriculture commodities to be liberalised. (2/3)
12:53 pm : FISCAL DEFICIT: Targets 2018/19 fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP, estimates current year at 3.5 percent. GROWTH: Estimates 7.2 to 7.5 percent GDP growth in second half of current fiscal year. Finance minister says “firmly on path to achieve 8 percent plus growth soon”. EXPENDITURE: Estimates 1.38 trillion rupees expenditure on health, education and social security. Railway capital expenditure set at 1.49 trillion rupees for 2018/19. (1/3)
12:53 pm : “Custom duties on import of mobile phone parts to be increased to 20% from existing 15%. This will boost jobs in the sector in India,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12:47 pm : “Long-term capital gains taxed from listed equities exceeding one lakh at 10 percent. Short-term capital gains taxed at 15 percent to continue for a one-year hold period,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12.43 pm : Relief on tax for senior citizens from income coming from bank interest increased from 10,000 to 30,000. Fixed Deposit/Post office interest to be exempt till Rs 50,000 80D benefit enhanced to Rs 50,000 (from 30,000).

12:36 pm : Government dashes middle-class hopes and salaried taxpayers as there have been no changes in personal Income Tax slabs. Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 with respect to transport reimbursements. For senior citizens, there will be no tax on income earned through interest in tax deposits.
12:33 pm : “100% tax deduction for the first five years to companies registered as farmer producer companies with a turnover of Rs 100 crore and above. 12.6% growth in direct taxes in 2017-18; 18.7% growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18. Employment-based tax incentives will be extended to footwear and leather industry. Be incentivising MSMEs, we propose to extend the benefits of corporate tax by bringing down the tax rate to 25% for firms that reported turnover up to Rs 250 crore,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12:29 pm : HIGHLIGHTS FOR DEFENCE SECTOR – Finance Minister places on record the government’s appreciation of the service provided by the Armed Forces. The government will set up two industrial defence industrial development corridors in 2018-19. It will bring out an industry-friendly defence production policy. The FM did not give details of the Budget allocations for the armed forces
12:28 pm : “Revised fiscal deficit estimate for 2017-18 is 3.5% of GDP, fiscal deficit of 3.3% expected for 2018-19. GST revenue for only 11 months, instead of the usual 12 months, is 21.5 lakh crore. Tax buoyancy for 2017-18 is at 2.11%. Number of tax payers has increased from 6.47 lakh crores to 8.27 lakh crores,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12:25 pm : “The salaries of President, vice president and Governors will be increased. RS 5 lakh for President, Rs 4.5 lakh for VP and Rs 3.5 lakh for governors. Salaries of Members of Parliament will also be raised. A new law will be introduced that will automatically revise MPs’ emoluments every five years, indexed to inflation,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
12.24 pm : “National Logistics Portal as a single online window will link all stakeholders, to be developed by Department of Commerce. Government insurance companies to be merged into a single entity, and subsequently listed in the stock exchange, as part of the disinvestment programme. Rs 80,000 crore disinvestment target for 2018-19, target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12:20 pm : “Aadhaar has provided identity to Indians. The government will involve a scheme to assign every enterprise a unique ID just like Aadhaar. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management will come up with debt Exchange Traded Fund. Gold monetisation scheme being revamped so that people can open gold deposit accounts in a hassle-free manner,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
12:19 pm : “Cash payment at toll plaza is being done away with. The government will introduce a toll system based on Pay as You Use module. We will also bring out an industry-friendly defence production policy. Two industrial defence industrial development corridors to be constructed,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
12:15 pm : “Niti Aayog will establish a national program to direct efforts in artificial intelligence. The Department of Science will launch a national program for cyberspace. The allocation of Digital India has been doubled and the government proposes to set up 5 lakh WiFi hotspots. The government does not consider cryptocurrency as legal tender and will work towards eliminating illicit transactions going on through crypto assets,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12:11 pm : “The Airport Authority of India has 124 airports. We propose to expand this capacity by five times to handle close to 1 Billion trips each year. UDAN will connect 56 unserved airports and 36 unserved heliports. We are ensuring that even those citizens who wear Hawaii chappal can fly in a hawai jahaj (aeroplane),” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
12:08 pm : “We are eliminating over 4,267 unmanned level crossings in the next two years. All railway stations and trains will have WiFi and 150 kilometres of additional suburban corridors in being planned. RS 17,000 crore is being set aside for Bengaluru Metro. UDAN will connect 56 unserved airports and 36 unserved heliports. Rs 11,000 crore is being allocated for Mumbai Suburban Railways,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12:04 pm : HIGHLIGHTS FROM MSMEs AND EMPLOYMENT | Rs 3,794 crore given to MSMEs last year for mass formalisation. The government will soon announce measures to address non-performing assets of MSMEs. Tax burden on MSMEs will also be reduced. Rs. 3 lakh crore for lending under Mudra to be allocated in FY 19. Govt will fund 12% of wages for new employees of EPF. Women to contribute only 8% to PF in first three years.
12:03 pm : HIGHLIGHTS FROM HEALTH SECTOR | National Health Protection Scheme, the world’s largest government-funded universal healthcare programme, announced. Health and wellness centres to bring healthcare closer and more accessible to people. National Health Policy to have Rs 1,200 crore allocation. Rs 600 crore corpus set up to help TB patients.
12:02 pm : “The Bharatmala project has been approved and we are confident of completing 9000 km of highway construction. Large part of capex (capital expenditure) is designated to capacity creation. In Railways, 18,000 kms of doubling of tracks would eliminate capacity constraints. We are moving towards optimum electrification of railway. Over 3,600 km of track renewal is being targeted in 2018-19,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
11:58 am : HIGHLIGHTS FOR EDUCATION SECTOR | Integrated BEd program to start soon, with teachers training as the main focus. Rs 1 lakh crore to be invested over the next 4 years for a new drive to boost Research and Development. Tech to be the biggest driver in education sector with increased digital intensity and a mission to move from blackboard to digital boards. Government to set up special Railway University at Vadodara, Gujarat.
11:58 am : “Creation of job opportunities has been at the core of policy-making. The government will fund 12% of wages for new employees of Employees’ Provident Fund in all sectors. Take home salary of new women employees to go up in the formal sector. Only 8% PF to be cut in first three years. There is no change in EPF,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11:52 am : “Mass formalization of MSME sector is happening after demonetisation and GST. Rs 3,794 crore is was set aside for MSME last year for mass formalisation. The government will soon announce measures to address non-performing assets of MSMEs. Tax burden on MSME will also be reduced. Rs 3 lakh crore for lending under is being allocated in FY 19 for PM’s MUDRA Yojana,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11:49 am : “PM Jeevan Beema Yojana has benefitted more than 2 crore families. The Jan Dhan Yojana will be extended to all 60 crore bank accounts. Our government has increased allocation for SC-ST earmarked programmes: Rs 56,000 crore for SCs and Rs 39,000 crore for STs. By 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have ‘Ekalavya’ school at par with Navodaya Vidyalas,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11:47 am : “We are allocating Rs 1 Lakh crore in the next four years to boost Research and Development. We are also coming up with a specialised railway university at Vadodara. Demographic dividend realisation is impossible without proper healthcare. Health and wellness centres to bring healthcare closer and more accessible to people. Rs 1200 crores earmarked for this flagship program under the National Health Policy 2017. Healthcare protection is at a new aspirational level. We are now launching a new national health protection scheme – Rashtriya Samaj Beema Yojana. This will have 50 crore beneficiaries and 10 crore families will get 5 lakh per year for their families to cover secondary and tertiary hospital expenses. This is the world’s largest government-funded healthcare program. A Rs 600 crore corpus is being set up to help Tuberculosis patients. This will build a new India in 2022 and enhance productivity and will also generate lakhs of jobs for women. We are progressing towards Universal Health Coverage,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
11.43 am : “Rs 14.34 lakh crore rupees to be spent for rural infrastructure. The allocation for National Livelihood Mission is being increased to Rs 5000 crore. Loans to women self-help groups of women to be increased to 75,000 cr by March 19. Focus of the govt next year will be to provide better livelihood in the rural areas. We now propose to treat education holistically with integration from Class 2 to Class 12. Digital intensity in education will be increased. We will take education from blackboards to digital boards. There will be integrated BEd program to start soon. With teachers training as the main focus,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11.38 am : “In order to tackle the problem of pollution due to burning of crop residue, the subsidy is being removed.  On the other hand, Ujjawala Yojana target is being extended to 8 crore women living below the poverty line. It was earlier at 5 crore. The women will receive a free gas connection. Swachh Bharat has constructed more than 6 crore toilets. 2 crore more toilets is the target in the next two years,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11.33 am : The government will extend a favorable tax arrangement for farmer organisations. The details will be provided later,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He has ended his section on agriculture, it was about 20 minutes-long.

11.27 am: A fund for fishery, aquaculture development and animal husbandry will be set up with a total corpus to be Rs 10,000 crore. We will also allocate Rs 1290 crore for a bamboo mission, as it is green gold. Rs 500 crore is being set aside for Operation Green,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is switching between both English and Hindi during his speech.

11:24 am :The govt will aid the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab to curb air pollution, says Jaitley. The government allocates Rs 10,000 crore to set up a fund for Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure.Operation green has been launched on the lines of operation flood. Sum of Rs 500 crore has been allocated for this purpose. This operation will help farmers generate produce. We also propose to extend kisaan credit cards to live stock farmers,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has now sat down after standing up and delivering the speech for 10 minutes.

11:22 am : “Agricultural corpus worth Rs 2000 crore will be set up. 470 APMCs have been connected to eNAM network, the rest to be connected by March 2018. Allocation for food processing has been doubled from Rs 700 crore to Rs 1400 crore. Allocation is being doubled to boost food processing; specialized agro-processing and financial institutions to be promoted by the Government. Cluster-model approach to be adopted for agricultural production,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11:18 am : “We have placed the emphasis on higher income for farmers. Farm and non-farm employment for farmers’ remain the focus. Agriculture produce is on a record high. The government is working on farmers getting 50% more price than cost price. This will go forth to double farmer’s income by 2022. We don’t work in bits and pieces. We intend to promote MSP so that farmers get complete MSP. The govt will fix a structure in consultation with Niti Aayog and state governments to ensure farmers get MSP even when market prices are lower. MSP for Kharif cost will be 1.5 times the cost of produce,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11:16 am : “Ujjawala yojana has provided crores of free LPG, Saubhagya Yojana has provided power to 4 crore families. Awas Yojana has worked towards providing interest rate relief to mid-level sections. We have worked sincerely without political costs. Direct Benefit Transfer is a global success story. We have controlled stent prices and there has been a production-centric thrust by the government. We have also provided free dialysis facilities for the poor,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11:10 am : “When our government took over, our nation was considered a part of the fragile five. We have transformed the nation into the fastest growing economy in the world. We are a $2.5 Trillion economy. As a result of measures taken by the government, there is a premium on honesty. India achieved an average growth of 7.5% growth in the last 3 years. We are the third-largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity and seventh largest economy in the world in terms of growth. Manufacturing sector is back on track and services sector, which is India’s backbone, is performing well. This year’s budget will particularly concentrate on agriculture and rural economy. We will also focus on promoting education and healthcare,” says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

11.06 am : Lok Sabha paid tributes to sitting member Chintaman Vanga, who died on January 30. The norm, usually is to adjourn the session when a sitting member dies but as today is the Union Budget, there has been a break from tradition.

10.58 am : The cabinet has approved the budget and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for the year 2018. Jaitley’s fifth Union Budget is arguably his toughest yet as he seeks to address farm distress, create jobs and boost growth while sticking to fiscal prudence and negotiating a tricky GST twist. This Budget is being keenly watched to see what Arun Jaitley does to boost growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.

11:02 am : Parliament Session Begins. This is the Narendra Modi government’s first post-GST and last pre-poll Budget. Budget 2018, to be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, is expected to provide Income Tax and Corporate tax relief along with farm sops. Markets are upbeat ahead of the Budget speech with the Sensex opening at 36,127.20 points, while the Nifty opened at 11,067.25. Breaking with tradition, Jaitley will deliver the Budget speech in Hindi this time.

10:54 am : “Rural India is a story of permanent depression. In 2004, when NDA crash landed, it won a majority of rural seats and it hoped that rural India was looking forward. But then the middle class ditched BJP. Now there is rural distress and middle-class distress. We have big hopes and optimism, but when it comes to concrete numbers nothing looks rosy. This govt has shown a tendency to take the middle class for granted,” says CVoter’s Yashwant Deshmukh.

10:50 am : “We’ve wanted the inclusion of petroleum and petroleum products in GST for a long time, even when I was chairman ONGC. While GST council decides on these matters we may see an indication for the same in the budget speech,” says DK Sarraf, chairman petroleum and natural regulatory board and ex-chairman ONGC.

10 .44 am : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gets set to present Budget 2018 after attending the cabinet meeting

10:38 am : “Reduction of corporate tax could be the ‘Brahmastra’ this Budget. Anticipate a focussed address to agrarian distress in Budget 2018; expect a strong push to public expenditure in today’s budget,” says Confederation of Indian Industry.

10:23 am : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Parliament ahead of the Budget 2018. The cabinet meeting has begun, after which at 11:00 am, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for the year 2018-19