Arun Jaitley presents Budget 2018-19 in Parliament
New Delhi, Feb 01 (KNB): The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who presents general Budget 2018-19 in Parliament on Thursday said a series of structural reforms will propel India among the fastest growing economies of the world, adding, that Indian society, polity and economy had shown remarkable resilience in adjusting with the structural reforms. IMF, in its latest Update, has forecast that India will grow at 7.4% next year in the backdrop of services resuming high growth rates of 8% plus, exports expected to grow at 15% in 2017-18 and manufacturing back on good growth path.
A large number of imported items including mobile handsets, cars and motorcycles, fruit juices, perfumes and footwear will become costlier as the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hiked customs duties on these products in the Union Budget 2018-19.
However, select items such as imported raw cashew nuts, solar tempered glass and raw materials and accessories of cochlear implants will become cheaper with the government reducing import duties on these items in Budget 2018.
The imported items that which will become costlier including, Cars and motorcycles, Mobile phones, Silver, Gold, Vegetable, fruit juices, including orange and Cranberry, Sunglasses, Miscellaneous food preparations other than soya protein, Perfumes and toilet waters, Sunscreen, suntan, manicure, pedicure preparations, Preparations for oral dental hygiene, denture fixative pastes and powders; dental floss, Pre-shave, shaving or after-shave preparations, Deodorants, bath preparations, depilatories, perfumery, Scent sprays and similar toilet sprays, Truck and, Bus radial tyres, Silk Fabrics, Footwear, Coloured gemstones, Diamonds, Imitation jewellery, Smart watches/wearable devices, LCD/ LED TV panels, Furniture, Mattresses, Lamps, Wrist watches, pocket watches, clocks, Tricycles, scooters, pedal cars, wheeled toys, dolls carriages, dolls, toys, puzzles of all kinds, Video game consoles, Articles and equipment for sports or outdoor games, swimming pools and paddling pools, Cigarette and other lighters, candles, Kites, Edible/vegetable oils such as olive oil, groundnut oil.
The imported items that will become cheaper including Raw cashew nuts, Solar tempered glass or solar tempered glass used for manufacture solar panels/modules, Raw materials, parts or accessories used in making cochlear implants, Select capital goods and electronics such as ball screws and linear motion guides.
Arun Jaitely said that the total earmarked allocation for SCs in 279 programmes has been increased from Rs.34,334 crore in 2016-17 to Rs.52,719 crore in RE 2017-18. Likewise, for STs, earmarked allocation has been increased from Rs.21,811 crore in 2016-17 to Rs.32,508 crore in RE 2017-18 in 305 programmes. The Finance Minister said that earmarked allocation has been further increased to Rs.56,619 crore for SCs and Rs.39,135 crore for STs in BE 2018-19.
The Finance Minister said that the exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices to be increased from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 50,000/- and TDS shall not be required to be deducted on such income, under section 194A. This benefit shall be available also for interest from all fixed deposits schemes and recurring deposit schemes.
The Finance Minister also announced raising the limit of deduction for health insurance premium and/ or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000/- to Rs. 50,000/-, under section 80D. All senior citizens will now be able to claim benefit of deduction up to Rs. 50,000/- per annum in respect of any health insurance premium and/or any general medical expenditure incurred.
Further, the Finance Minister proposed raising the limit of deduction for medical expenditure in respect of certain critical illness from Rs. 60,000/- in case of senior citizens and from Rs. 80,000/- in case of very senior citizens, to Rs. 1 lakh in respect of all senior citizens, under section 80DDB.
These concessions will give extra tax benefit of Rs. 4,000 crores to senior citizens.
In addition to tax concessions, the Finance Minister proposed to extend the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March 2020 under which an assured return of 8% is given by Life Insurance Corporation of India. The existing limit on investment of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen under this scheme is also being enhanced to Rs. 15 lakh. (KNB)