Other Photo Credit: Reuters

Highlights

02 February, 2017

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday eased the government’s fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 as he proposed higher spending on rural areas and infrastructure in the annual budget.

In his address to Parliament, Jaitley said his fourth budget was for the poor and added that the impact on growth from the government’s decision in November to scrap high-value notes will wear off soon. Here are the highlights:

Fiscal deficit for FY18 at 3.2% of GDP, higher than the earlier target of 3%.

Fiscal deficit target for next year to be 3% of GDP.

* No changes in rates of indirect taxes as they will be subsumed under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) soon.

* Tax rate for individuals earning Rs 2.5-5 lakh cut to 5% from 10%.

* Net revenue loss in direct tax to be Rs 20,000 crore.

* Maximum cash donation that a political party can receive from any one source is Rs 2,000.

* Political parties can receive donations via cheque and digitally. Electoral bonds to be introduced.

* No cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh to be permitted.

* Affordable housing to get infrastructure status. Sops for builders in the affordable housing segment.

* Legislative changes to confiscate assets of economic offenders, especially those who flee the country.

* Budget proposes Rs 10,000 crore more for bank recapitalisation.

* IRCTC, IRFC and IRCON to be listed on stock exchanges. 

* Budget proposes Rs 10,000 crore more for bank recapitalisation.

* Draft bill to curtail illegal deposit schemes to be introduced soon.

* To abolish Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

* Two more strategic crude oil reserves in Odisha and Bikaner, Rajasthan.

* New metro rail policy on the anvil.

* To withdraw service charge on online railway tickets.

* A new rail passenger safety fund with Rs 1 lakh crore corpus over five years.

* Model law on contract farming to be prepared.

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