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Union Budget 2016-17: Rural, social sectors get a huge boost

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament today. The Budget was largely along expected lines, with sops lined up for the rural, agriculture and social sectors.

While presenting the Budget, Jaitley pointed out that the global economy was in serious crisis with growth slowing down from 3.4 per cent in 2014 to 3.1 per cent in 2015. “Financial markets have been battered and global trade has contracted. Amidst all these global headwinds, the Indian economy has held its ground firmly. Thanks to our inherent strengths and the policies of this Government, a lot of confidence and hope continues to be built around India,” he added.

There are various sops in the Union Budget 2016-17 for the rural sector, infrastructure, and social services. For the communications industry the Budget outlay stands at Rs 13,806 crore.

The key highlights of Union Budget 2016-17:

Tax:

·        Infrastructure and agriculture cess to be levied.

·        Excise duty raised from 10 per cent to 15 per cent on tobacco products other than beedis.

·        1 per cent service charge on purchase of luxury cars over Rs 10 lakh and in-cash purchase of goods and services over Rs 2 lakh.

·        SUVs, luxury cars to be more expensive. 4 per cent high capacity tax for SUVs.

·        Companies with revenue less than Rs 5 crore to be taxed at 29 per cent plus surcharge.

·        Limited tax compliance window from June 1-September 30 for declaring undisclosed income at 45 per cent, including surcharge and penalties.

·        Excise 1 per cent imposed on articles of jewellery, excluding silver.

·        0.5 per cent Krishi Kalyan cess to be levied on all services.

·        Pollution cess of 1 per cent on small petrol, LPG and CNG cars; 2.5 per cent on diesel cars of certain specifications; 4 per cent on higher-end models.

·        Dividend in excess of Rs 10 lakh per annum to be taxed at additional 10 per cent.

Personal Finance:

·        No changes have been made to existing income tax slabs.

·        Rs 1,000 crore allocated for new EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) scheme.

·        Government will pay EPF contribution of 8.33 per cent for all new employees for first three years.

·        Deduction for rent paid will be raised from Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000 to benefit those living in rented houses.

·        Additional exemption of Rs 50,000 for housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh, provided cost of house is not above Rs 50 lakh.

·        Service tax exempted for housing construction of houses less than 60 sq. m

·        15 per cent surcharge on income above Rs 1 crore.

Social:

·        Rs 38,500 crore for Mahatma Gandhi MGNREGA for 2016-17.

·        Swachch Bharat Abhiyan allocated Rs 9,500crore.

·        Hub to support SC/ST entrepreneurs.

·        Government is launching a new initiative to provide cooking gas to BPL families with state support.

·        LPG connections to be provided under the name of women members of family: Rs 2,000 crore allocated for five years for BPL families.

·        2.87 lakh crore grants to gram panchayats and municipalities – a quantum jump of 228 per cent.

·        300 urban clusters to be set up under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission.

·        Four schemes for animal welfare.

Rural Economy:

·        Rural jobs programme allocated Rs 385 billion ($5.61 billion) in 2016/17.

·        Farmer welfare budget to total Rs 359.84 billion.

·        Rural road development to get Rs 190 billion.

·        Target of agriculture credit at Rs 9 trillion.

·        Interest subvention towards farm loans at Rs 150 billion.

Investment:

·        100 per cent foreign direct investment to be allowed in food processing industry.

·        Further reforms in foreign direct investment policy in insurance, pension, asset recast companies.

Banking Reforms:

·        Banks get a big boost; Rs 25,000 crore towards recapitalisation of public sector banks. Banking Board Bureau to be operationalised.

·        Target of disbursement under MUDRA increased to 180,000 crore.

·        Process of transfer of government stake in IDBI Bank below 50 per cent started.

·        General insurance companies will be listed in the stock exchange.

·        Government to increase ATMs, micro-ATMs in post offices in the next three years.

Agriculture:

·        Total allocation for agriculture and farmer welfare at Rs 35,984 crore.

·        28.5 lakh hectares of land will be brought under irrigation.

·        5 lakh acres to be brought under organic farming over a three-year period.

·        Rs 60,000 crore for recharging of ground water recharging as there is urgent need to focus on drought hit areas cluster development for water conservation.

·        Dedicated irrigation fund in NABARD of Rs 20.000 crore.

·        Nominal premium and highest ever compensation in case of crop loss under the PM Fasal BimaYojna.

Education:

·        Scheme to get Rs 500 crore for promoting entrepreneurship among SC/ST.

·        10 public and 10 private educational institutions to be made world-class.

·        Digital repository for all school leaving certificates and diplomas.

·        Rs 1,000 crore for higher education financing.

·        Rs 1,700 crore for 1,500 multi-skill development centres.

·        62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide quality education.

·        Digital literacy scheme to be launched to cover 6 crore additional rural households.

·        Entrepreneurship training to be provided across schools, colleges and massive online courses.

·        Objective to skill 1 crore youth in the next three years under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojna.

·        National Skill Development Mission has imparted training to 76 lakh youth. 1,500 multi-skill training institutes to be set up.

Health:

·        2.2 lakh renal patients added every year in India. Basic dialysis equipment gets some relief.

·        A new health protection scheme for health cover up to 1 lakh per family.

·        National Dialysis Service Program with funds through PPP mode to provide dialysis at all district hospitals.

·        Senior citizens will get additional healthcare cover of Rs 30,000 under the new scheme.

·        PM Jan Aushadhi Yojana to be strengthened, 300 generic drug stores to be opened.

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