Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents his third Union Budget. To support the small tax-payer and the small investor, the Minister announced a slew of schemes, and income tax exemptions.
1. Big Focus on Agriculture and Farmer’ Welfare
(i) Farmer’s income to be doubled by 2022.
(ii) 28.5 lakh hectares will be brought under irrigation under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.
(iii) 89 irrigation projects, requiring Rs. 86,500 crore in next five years, to be fast tracked. 23 of these projects to be completed before 31st March, 2017.
(iv) Dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund will be created in NABARD with initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore.
(v) Total outlay on irrigation including market borrowings is R. 12,157 crore.
(vi) Major programme for Sustainable Ground Water management proposed for multilateral funding at a cost of Rs. 6,000 crore.
(vii) 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain-fed areas and 10 lakh copost pits for production of organic manure will be taken up.
(viii) Soil Health Cards will be given to 14 crore farm holdings by March, 2017.
(ix) 2,000 model retail otlets of fertilizer companies with soil and seed testing facilities, will be opened in the next three years.
(x) Unified Agricultural Marketing E Platform to be dedicated to the Nation on the Birthday of Dr. Ambedkar on 14th April, 2016.
2. Rs. 27,000 crore including State’s share to be spent on PMGSY in 2016-17. Target date of completion of PMGSY advanced from 2021 to 2019.
3. Rs. 9 lakh crore will be given as Agricultural credit in 2016-17.
4. FCI will undertake online procurement of food grains. This will bring transparency and convenience to farmers through prior registration and monitoring of procurement.
5. Pashudhan Sanjeevani, an animal wellness programme, will be undertaken. Nakul Swasthya Patras to be issued.
6. Rural Sector
(i)Rs. 2.87 lakh crore will be given as Grant in Aid to Gram Panchayats and Municpalities as per the recommendations of the 14th FC. This translates to Rs. 81 lakh per gram panchayat and over Rs. 21 crore per Municipality.
(ii) Every Block in drought and rural distress areas will be taken up under Deen Dayal Antoyodaya Mission.
(iii) 300 Rurban Clusters will incubate growth Centres in Rural Area.
(iv) All villages will be electrified by 1st May, 2018.
(v) A new Digital Literacy Mission scheme will be launched for rural India to cover around 6 crore households in next three years.
(vi) Modernisation of Land Records through revamped National Land Records Programme.
(vii) Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Programme to be launched.
7. Targeted Delivery of Government subsidies and benefits to ensure that they reach the poor and the deserving.
(i) New law for targeted delivery of financial and other subsidies etc. using Aadhar framework will be enacted.
(ii) DBT in fertilizer will be launced on pilot basis.
(iii) Of the total 5.35 lakh fair price shops in the country, 3 lakh shops to be automated by March,2017.
8. MUDRA – Loan target of 1,80,000 crore in 2016-17.
9. Social Sector
(i) Massive Mission to provide LPG connection to poor households will be launched. 1.5 crore poor households will benefit in 2016-17. Scheme will continue for two more years to cover a total of 5 crore BPL households. LPG connection to be given in the name of woman member of the family.
(ii) New Health Protection scheme will be launched. Health cover up to Rs. 1 lakh per family and additional Rs. 30,000 for senior citizens to be provided.
(iii) 3000 stores under Prime Minister’s Jan Aushadhi Yojana will be opened in 2016- 17.
(iv) National Dialysis Services Programme will be launched. Tax exemptions given to certain parts of dialysis equipments.
(v) A new Eco System for SC/ST entrepreneurs will be set up. SC/ST Hub to be set up in MSME Ministry.
(i) 62 new Navaodaya Vidyalayas to be opened in remaining uncovered districts in next two years.
(ii) An enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world class teaching and research institutions.
(iii)Higher Education Financing Agency will be set up with an initial capital base of Rs. 1,000 crore.
(iv) Digital Depository will be set up for educational certificates, mark-sheets, awards etc.
11. Skill Development
(i) 1500 Multi Skill Training Institutes will be set up under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
(ii) National Board for Skill Development Certification will be set up in partnership with industry and academia.
(iii) Entrepreneurship education and training will be provided in 2200 colleges, 300 schools, 500 govt. it is and 50 vocational training centres through open online courses.
12. Job Creation
(i) Government of India will pay EPS contribution of 8.33% for all new employees enrolling in EPFO for the first three years of employment. Applicable to those with salaries of Rs. 15,000 per month
(ii) Section 80 JJAA of Income Tax Act being amended to broaden the scope of employment generation incentives.
(iii) Interlinking of State Employment Exchanges with National Career Service Platform.
(iv) Small and medium shops to be permitted to remain open all 7 days a week on voluntary basis. New jobs in retail sector.
13. Measures in the sectors of Infrastructure, Investment, Banking, Insurance etc.
(i) Rs. 2,18,000 crore will be spent on capital expenditure of roads and railways in 2016-17.
Includes: Rs. 27,000 crore PMGSY
55,000 crore Road Transport and highway
15,000 crore NHAI Bonds
1,21,000 crore Railways
(ii) Unserved and underserved airstrips to be revived by AAI and also in partnership with State Governments.
(iii) Road transport sector (passenger segment) to be opened up by removing permit system. This will benefit the poor and middle class, encourage new investment, promote start up entrepreneurs and create new jobs. This is a major reform measure.
(iv) Discovery and exploration of fas in difficult areas will be incentivized by giving them calibrated marketing freedom. This is a major reform measure.
(v) To promote private participation in infrastructure projects, Public Utility (Resolution of Disputes) Bill will be introduced; and guidelines for renegotiation of PPP agreements will be issued, without compromising transparency.
(vi) Changes in FDI Policy.
(vii) For the benefit of farmers, 100% FDI through FIPB route will be permitted for marketing of food products, produced and manufactured in India. This will give big encouragement to food processing industry and create new jobs.
(viii) Guidelines for strategic disinvestment have been approved and will be spelt out.
(ix) Individual units of CPSEs can be disinvested to raise resources for investment in new projects.
(x) In the financial sector, a comprehensive Code on Resolution of Financial Firms will be enacted. Together will the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law, this will fill a major systemic vacuum. This is a big reform measure.
(xi) SARFAESI Act to be amended to strengthen Asset Reconstruction Companies. This will help in dealing with stressed assets of Banks.
(xii) Public Sector Banks (PSB) – (a) Recapitalisation of PSBs; (b) roadmap to be spelt out for consolidation of PSBs; (c) considering reduction of Government equity in IDBI Bank to 49% of below; (d) DRTs to be strengthened with computerized processing of court cases.
(xiii) General Insurance Companies will be listed in stock exchanges for improving transparency, accountability and efficiency.
(xiv) Comprehensive Central legislation to deal with Illicit Deposit Taking schemes will be enacted.
14. ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ will be launched to link States and Districts.
15. Technology Driven Platform for Government procurement of goods and services will be set up by DGS&D. This will improve transparency, efficiency and reduce cost of procurement.
16. Fiscal Discipline
(i) Fiscal deficit target of 3.5% of GDP in 2016-17
(ii) Committee for review of FRBM Act.
(iii) Removal of -/Non Plan classification from 2017-18
(iv) Rationalisation of Central Plan Schemes. More than 1500 Central Plan schemes have been restructured to about 300 Central sector and 30 centrally sponsored Schemes.