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Budget 2018 LIVE Updates: Spotlight on farmers, 'World's Largest' Health Plan in Jaitley's Pre-Poll Budget
February 1, 2018, 1:01 pm
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Agriculture got prime time attention in the Union Budget 2018 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today. The Union Budget 2018 was also the last full-year budget before the general elections in 2019 and eight state assembly elections this year. Delivering his opening statement, Mr. Jaitley switched from English to Hindi as he outlined schemes to promote agriculture, organic farming, animal husbandry and fisheries, ensuring that he was understood by people living in rural areas. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call to double farmers' income by 2022, the 75th year of India's independence," Mr Jaitley said in parliament. The minimum support price of all crops will be increased to at least 1.5 times of production cost. He has also announced a healthcare scheme to cover 10 crore poor families, saying "50 crore beneficiaries will get Rs. 5 lakh per family per year." The scheme is the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme, Mr Jaitley said.

Here are the live updates on the Union Budget 2018:

Feb 01, 2018
15:11 (IST)


Smriti Irani (Minister of Textiles and Information and Broadcasting): I want to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on announcing the world's biggest national health protection scheme. This Budget is for the development of the poor, for farmers and increasing their income, senior citizens and women. I thank PM Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for allocating Rs. 7,148 crore for textiles.. it will will stimulate growth in the sector.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
15:01 (IST)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to state-run broadcaster Doordarshan: Obamacare might not be successful but 'Modicare' will be. A card will be issued to each family with 5 lakh top-up and it can be redeemed at any hospital.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
14:45 (IST)


Allocation for defence in the Union Budget 2018 is up 7.81 percent with Rs. 2,95,511.41 crore earmarked for the armed forces. This accounts for 12.10 percent of the total government expenditure in the next fiscal year. For defence pensions, Rs. 1,08,853.30 crore has been provided, which is 26.6 percent above the Budget estimates of the current fiscal at Rs. 85,740 crore and 14.26 percent over the revised estimates of the current fiscal at 95,000 crore.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
14:37 (IST)
Shashi Tharoor (Congress MP) reacts to Budget 2018
 
- The lukewarm response to the Budget shows how disappointing it was. Heard nothing about how we will have more jobs. 
 
The healthcare move is something we will approve of. But Mr Jaitley carefully avoided outlining the outlay for the scheme. Implementation will be key.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
14:30 (IST)
Ajay Singh (CEO, SpiceJet): Capacity increase planned is more than a five-fold increase. The ambition the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister have laid is clearly to be the largest aviation market in the world.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
14:10 (IST)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has tabled the Union Budget 2019 in the Rajya Sabha.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
14:08 (IST)


The government proposes to increase customs duty on mobile phone parts from 15 percent to 20 percent. The move is likely to create local jobs in electronics manufacturing since foreign firms will find it expensive to export parts to India.
 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
14:03 (IST)
 


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said all crypto currencies, which include bitcoins, are illegal and the government will take all measures to eliminate their use. "The government does not consider crypto currencies as legal tender or coin," he said.
 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:49 (IST)


The Union Budget 2018 is in line with the government's fiscal consolidation path, a Moody's analyst said, adding that it reinforced the credit ratings agency's recent rating upgrade for the country. Most of the spending announced seemed to be on "productive investments" rather than one-time handouts, Joy Rankothge, Vice President of Moody's Investors Service told news agency Reuters. Moody's rates India at "Baa2" with a "stable" outlook.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:43 (IST)
The Union Budget 2018 is in line with the government's fiscal consolidation path, a Moody's analyst said, adding that it reinforced the credit ratings agency's recent rating upgrade for the country. Most of the spending announced seemed to be on "productive investments" rather than one-time handouts, Joy Rankothge, Vice President of Moody's Investors Service told news agency Reuters.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:35 (IST)


India's benchmark 10-year bonds slumped today after the government set a higher-than-expected fiscal deficit target for the year starting in April. The yield for the benchmark 10-year bond rose 9 basis points to 7.50 percent after the deficit forecast. It had closed at 7.43 percent on Wednesday.
 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:34 (IST)
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks on Budget 2018
 
- This Budget strengthens the expectations and aspirations of 1.25 billion people.
- It is pro farmers, businesses and the common man.
- Ease of living a focus big along with ease of doing business.
- These measures will open new means of employment in rural areas.
- I congratulate the Finance Minister for the decision regarding MSP (minimum support price). I am sure it will help farmers tremendously.
- The 'Gobar Dhan' scheme will also help to keep the village clean, as well as increase farmers' income.
- 'Ayushman Bharat Yojana' will help all sections of society, provide 10 crore poor families with health insurance. This is the world's largest government-funded healthcare scheme
- The establishment of 24 new medical colleges will help the youth to pursue medical studies. Our endeavour is to have at least one medical college in three parliamentary areas in the country.
- Senior citizens will now receive at least 8% interest on amounts upto Rs.15 lakh. There will be no tax on interest of up to Rs. 50,000 on their funds deposited at post office and banks
- To ensure more take-home salary for women, the EPF for women employees has been reduced to 8%
- For better ease of living, infrastructure is very important. 6 lakh crore allotted for 'next generation' infrastructure. This is 1 lakh crore more than last year.
- I congratulate the Finance Minister and his team for a Budget that ensures ease of living and strengthens the foundation of a new India.
 
 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:32 (IST)

Sunil Kant Munjal (Chairman, Hero Enterprise): Happy to see a move to address the needs of the elderly. Besides being a country with a large number of young people, we are also becoming a country with a rising population of old people. The key is implementation.

 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:29 (IST)
Sujan Hajra (Chief Economist, Anand Rathi Securities, Mumbai): We were expecting (fiscal deficit of) 3.4 percent for the current year and 3.2 percent for the next year, and these announcements are slightly higher than expected. This is slightly negative for bond markets.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:28 (IST)
Shilan Shah, (Economist, Capital Economics, Singapore): It was no surprise that they relaxed the deficit targets. It looks like the BJP is aiming to shore up support among rural voters. These are quite trademark things ahead of an election.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:27 (IST)


To secure India, the government is developing connectivity infrastructure in border areas, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech today. Work on Rohtang tunnel in Ladakh is complete and now the government will build a tunnel under Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:16 (IST)
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Chairperson, Biocon): Big takeaway was the healthcare scheme (but) the devil is in the detail. How the finances of it will work will need to be looked at. The move to turn district hospitals into medical colleges is an interesting proposition.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:06 (IST)
Dr Naresh Trehan (Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta): It was a much bolder step than expected. Kudos to the Finance Minister. This is a huge opportunity to overhaul the entire health sector of the country. 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
13:05 (IST)
Bond yields in India's benchmark 10-year bond rose 4 basis points after the government said its fiscal deficit would be 3.3 percent of the GDP in fiscal 2019, compared to a previously projected level of 3 percent.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:58 (IST)
Health insurance for 50 crore people is an a-ha! moment for me in Budget 2018: Prannoy Roy
 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:51 (IST)
As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ends Budget speech, Sensex falls to 35,526.23, down 438.79 points.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:50 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: Health and education cess increased to 4 percent from 3 percent.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:49 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: The government proposes to tax long-term capital gains exceeding Rs. 1 lakh at 10 percent without indexation: The centre plans to introduce tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at 10 percent.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:42 (IST)
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram reacts:
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has failed the fiscal consolidation test
FD limit of 3.2% in 2017-18 breached and estimated at 3.5
For 2018-19 also, against 3 he has fixed FD at 3.3
This failure will have serious consequences
 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:42 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits has been raised to Rs. 50,000. No change in income tax for individuals. Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:39 (IST)

 
 
Arun Jaitley: No change in income tax for individuals. Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses.
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:35 (IST)
Corporate tax rate for companies up to Rs. 250 crore turnover reduced to 25% from 30%
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:31 (IST)

Arun Jaitley: The government is proposing changes in salary revision of members of parliament (MPs). The law will provide automatic revision of salaries of MPs every five years, taking inflation into account.

 
Salary of MPs to be doubled from Rs. 50,000 to 1,00,000. To be around Rs.2.30 lakh a month. President's salary up from Rs. 1.5 lakh to 5 lakh 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:25 (IST)
5 lakh WiFi hotspots to provide broadband access to 5 crore rural people: Arun Jaitley
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:24 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: Revised fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 is 3.5 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The government is projecting 3.3 per cent for the next fiscal.
 
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:21 (IST)


Arun Jaitley: The AAI (Airports Authority of India) has proposed to expand airport capacity to 1 billion trips a year. Hawai chappal pehene wale nagrik bhi ab hawai jahaj mein udege (people in hawai chappals will be able to travel in aircraft).
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:20 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: Aadhaar has eased delivery of public services to the people. The government will also evolve a scheme to provide every individual enterprise with a unique ID.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
12:15 (IST)
Sensex in the red, down 20 points
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:59 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: 70 lakh formal jobs have been created this year. The government will contribute 12 percent of wages as EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) in all sectors for the next three years. Contributions from women employees will be brought down from 12 percent to 8 percent.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:54 (IST)


Arun Jaitley: Quality of education is still a cause for concern. The government will allocated Rs. 1 lakh crore to improve education infrastructure over four years. We will strive to move from the blackboard to digital board as technology will have a great impact on education.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:44 (IST)


Arun Jaitley: We are launching a flagship national health protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. 50 crore beneficiaries will get Rs. 5 lakh insurance cover per family per year. It will be the world's largest state-funded healthcare programme.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:43 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: The government's aim is that by 2022, every poor person should have a home. This year we are making 51 lakh affordable homes. The government will also establish a dedicated affordable housing fund.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:31 (IST)
Arun Jaitley: Air Pollution in Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region) is a cause for concern. Special schemes will be implemented to support Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to address it. Subsidies will be given for farm machinery to manage crop residue.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:30 (IST)
Just announced: Gas connections to 8 crore poor women under Ujwala Yojana
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:27 (IST)
A Reuters poll this week showed most economists expect a 3.2 per cent fiscal deficit in 2018-19, as the government looks to increase investments in agriculture. Anything much beyond that, however, may draw a swift sell-off in the markets.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:24 (IST)
Bamboo is green gold..have removed them from the definition of trees, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:22 (IST)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announces Rs. 200 crore for organic farming sector
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:15 (IST)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley:
 
For decades, the government's focus has remained production intensive. Our emphasis is on increasing their income. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call to double farmers income by 2022, the 75th year of India's independence.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:10 (IST)
"This year's Budget will focus on agriculture, infrastructure and healthcare", says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:08 (IST)
There's a premium on honesty now: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:06 (IST)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley: When our government took over, India was considered one of the fragile five. We have successfully reversed this. India now stands among the fastest-growing economies in the world.
 
 
Feb 01, 2018
11:05 (IST)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is presenting in parliament the government's last full-year budget before the 2019 general elections.

Source: ndtv

 
 

 

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