Delhi & G-Noida: The Union Budget 2018-19 would be pro-people, progressive, balanced and different from the general trend. It is expected to take care of the aspirations of people. It is likely to be growth oriented, non-inflationary, with focus on agriculture, rural development, education, employment and investment.
The budget would try to maintain macro-economic balance and try to contain fiscal deficit at 3% of GDP despite enhanced allocations and large scale concessions and Buoyancy in tax collections.
The budget is expected to focus on agriculture and rural development with a view to enhance their incomes. The focus may be to give farmers agricultural credit at zero interest rates to buy agricultural equipments, seeds and fertilizers.
The budget is expected to give boost to infrastructure, including railways with a view to increase the efficiency and competitive capacity of the economy. Railways, roads, power may get an increase in allocations by about 12%. Railways may be allocated about 80,000 crores to update technologically. Investment in infrastructure may help generate employment.
The savings in subsidies due to DBT may be used to transfer benefits to rural sector and building rural infrastructure and farmers.
The budget may also focus on defence by increasing allocation by about 15% to equip defense in meeting the challenges.
The budgetary allocations to education and health may also get an increase of about 8 to 10%%. The focus may be to grant benefits to girls and women. A special allocation may be made for Muslim girls for their education so as to increase literacy rate among Muslim girls.
On budgetary tax proposals the finance minister may reduce corporate tax rates by about 2-3%. He may even propose corporate tax rates at 25%. To motivate investment to give boost to “Make in India” few incentives may be introduced in the forthcoming budget. Personal taxation may also find favours from the finance minister. The minimum exemption limit may be raised to 3.5 lacs and tax slabs may be redefined. Additional concession under sector 80 may be granted for investment in housing or expenditure incurred on education of girls, old parents, and medicines.
The government may aim a to bring one and half crores households out of poverty and make about 60,000 Gram Panchayats poverty free under the mission Antyoday
The budget 2018-19 may provide building of about 1 crore houses by 2019 for homeless as promised in budget 2016-17. It may step up allocations to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana 23,000 crores to about 35,000 crores.
On Indirect taxes on commodities outside the purview of GST may face a challenge with increase in tax rates.
Infrastructure developments through better connectivity of rural India with urban India. Rs. 60,000 crores may allocated on Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in 2018-19. While an amount of Rs. 80,000 crores may be allocated for railways.
The Budget may focus on provision of drinking water. There may be Incentives for solar energy The total allocation for rural, agriculture and allied sectors in the economy may be stepped up by about 25%.
Mahila Shakti Kendra’s may be given about Rs. 1,000 crores to promote Anganwaris centers. There may be increased allocation to women and children welfare schemes for an amount of Rs. 1,95,000 crores in 2018-19. Allocations to Schedule Tribes and ministry of affairs may be stepped to about 38,000 crores and 4,750 crores respectively.
Attempts may be made to promote affordable housing , give boost to real estate sectors, stimulating growth, promoting digital economy, and promoting ease of doing business by removing obstacles through tax proposals.
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