Budget 2018: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents budget in parliament

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented his budget for 2018-19 in the parliament on Thursday. Speaking in the parliament, Jaitley hailed his government’s deminetisation step adding that it was received by honest tax-payers as ‘imaandari ka Utsav.’

Here are the key highlights of today’s budget announcement:

  • Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport, medical expense
  • Government to launch public-funded flagship national health protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor families. Each family to get health cover for Rs 5 lakh every year.
  • Propose 100% tax rebate for farmer producer companies having a turnover of Rs. 100 crore
  • Tax payer base has risen from 6.47 crore in 2014-15 to 8.27 crore in 2016-17
  • Contribution of 8.33% to EPF for new employees by the govt for three years and 12% govt contribution to EPF in sectors employing large number of people
  • Gold monetisation scheme being revamped so that people can open gold deposit accounts in a hassle-free manner
  • Emoluments of the President to be revised to Rs 5 lakh per month. Emoluments of the Vice-president to be revised to Rs 4 lakh per month
  • The government is proposing changes in refixing salaries of MPs. Law will provide automatic revision of emoluments of the MPs every 5 years indexed to inflation
  • Projected fiscal deficit for 2018-19 is 3.3% of GDP
  • Will take all steps to eliminate the use of Crypto-Currencies, will encourage Blockchain technology in payment systems
  • Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up; Mumbai transport system is being expanded; suburban network of 160 km planned for Bengaluru
  • All railways stations with more than 25,000 footfall to have escalators. All railways stations and trains to have Wi-Fi and CCTVs progressively

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