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Highlights of Kerala State budget 2017-18

The Kerala State budget 2017-18 was presented by the State Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac. It was is the first full-fledged budget of the present Left Democratic front (LDF) government.

In the Budget speech the minister held that the Centre’s demonetization move has affected all sectors of life and will cause economic slump. It also mentioned that state is prepared to introduce Goods and Services Tax.

Key Highlights
  • Various social welfare measures were announced. Over one lakh homeless people to get houses under budgetary provisions.
  • Medicines for treatment of lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol will be free at primary health centres.
  • Health data register having the health details of all the citizens was proposed. Autism parks will be set up in all districts of the state.
  • Proposed to spend Rs 150 crore on water conservation projects in the wake of state facing its worst drought season.
  • Internet facility will be made a right of citizens. Basic free internet services will be provided to 20 lakh poor families. For this digital connectivity will be boosted.
  • High priority was given to the development, security and rehabilitation of the women. Rs 68 crore was announced for women protection.
  • Separate women battalion, police stations will be there in state and public registry of the sex offenders will be created, which will be first of its kind.
  • For achieving target Clean Kerala, Suchitwa Mission was allocated Rs. 127 crore. Efforts will be made to completely end manual scavenging. Rs 10 crore allocated for mechanization of sewage maintenance.
  • Rs 100 crore wass allotted for clean crematoriums with focus on clean streets. 3 crore trees are to be planted in a span of three years. Rs 50 crore allotted for scientific landfills.

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N K Singh panel submits report on changes in FRBM Act  

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee has submitted its 4 volume report on changes in FRBM Act, 2013 to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The 5 member committee was headed by N.K. Singh, former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary and former MP. Its member included RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose, and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Director Rathin Roy.

Key Facts
  • The committee was constituted in May 2016 following Finance Minister Budget 2016-17 announcement. It was assigned task to review the working of the FRBM Act over last 12 years to suggest the way forward.
  • It was also tasked to examine the need and feasibility of having a ‘fiscal deficit range’ as the target in place of the existing fixed numbers (percentage of GDP) as fiscal deficit target.
  • The committee has kept in view the broad objective of fiscal consolidation and prudence and has suggested changes required in the context of the uncertainty and volatility in the global economy.
  • The first volume of the report addresses the issue of the fiscal roadmap, fiscal policy, international experience and recommendations therein.
  • The second volume refers to international experience especially from a lot of international organisations particularly OECD, the World Bank, ILO.
  • The third volume deals with Centre-State issues. The fourth volume deals with views of domain experts both from national and international appropriate for fiscal policy

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Highlights of Union Budget 2015-16

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2015-16 in the Parliament.

It was the first full year Budget of the NDA government under leadership of Prime Minister of Narendra Modi and the second budget of Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister.

Highlights of Union Budget 2015-16

Taxation

  • No change in the Tax slab on personal income.
  • Wealth tax abolished.
  • Additional 2% surcharge for the super-rich with income more than Rs. 1 crore.
  • For next 4 years, corporate tax has been reduced to 25 percent from present 30 percent.
  • Service tax increased to14 per cent.
  • Apart from CSR, 100% tax exemption for contribution to Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.

New projects 

  • 5 more AIIMSs in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.
  • IIT in Karnataka. While, the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, Jharkhand will be converted into IIT.
  • 2 more IIMs in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Post-Graduation institutes of Horticulture in Amritsar, Punjab.
  • University of Disability Studies will be established in Kerala.
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, Centre of film production, animation and gaming will come up.
  • For Infrastructure sector Rs. 70,000 crores allocated.
  • Projects in rail road and irrigation bonds will be tax free.
  • Infrastructure development through PPP model will be revitalised and government will bear majority of the risk.
  • Atal Innovation Mission will be established to draw on expertise of researchers and entrepreneurs to foster scientific innovations. For this mission Rs. 150 crore allocated.
  • 5 ultra-mega power projects each of 4000MW proposed by Government

Defence

  • 2,46,726 crore allocated for Defence. It is 9.87 per cent greater than last year.
  • Make in India campaign will take into consideration for speedy manufacturing of Defence equipment.

Welfare Schemes and new programmes

  • Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, six crore toilets across the country will be built.
  • By 2020, housing for all.
  • MGNREGA will get MGNREGA of Rs. 5,000 crore. It is highest allocation to this scheme.
  • To improve quality of life of common man, GST and JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile) will be launched.
  • To encourage first generation SC/ST entrepreneurs, MUDRA bank will provide finance.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) will be further be expanded to 10.3 crore from 1 crore.
  • Government will contribute 50% of the premium limited to Rs. 1,000 a year for the Atal Pension Yojana.
  • 9,000 crore unclaimed funds in PPF/EPF will be used for Senior Citizens Fund.
  • For all Indian, government will create universal social security system.
  • For electric cars production Rs. 75 crore allocated.
  • Renewable energy target for 2022: 60K MW in wind; 10K MW in biomass, 100K MW in solar and 5K MW in small hydro plants.
  • Under the new tourism scheme, development of churches and convents in old Goa; Hampi, Elephanta caves, , Jallianwala Bagh, Forests of Rajasthan, Leh palace, Varanasi Qutb Shahi tombs at Hyderabad.
  • Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility to be increased for 150 countries from present 43 countries.
  • As an alternative to purchasing gold, Sovereign Gold Bond will be launched.
  • In order to facilitate depositors of gold to earn interest and jewellers to obtain loans on their metal accounts new scheme will be launched.
  • Forward Markets Commission (FMC) will be merged with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • Under SARFAESI Act 2002, NBFCs registered with the RBI having asset size of Rs 500 crore and above to be considered as financial institution for mid-corporate businesses and fund SME.
  • For Rural Infrastructure Development Bank, Rs. 25,000 crore allocated.
  • To support Micro Irrigation Programme, Rs. 5,300 crore allocated.

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