Budget 2018: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the budget 2018 in Parliament on Thursday. The budget held immense importance as it was the first budget after the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) and is timed just ahead of the union elections to be held in 2019. Post budget, different sectors of the economy came out with their reactions including the jewellery sector. The jewellery sector although welcomed the budget 2018 focus on rural economy, it was disappointed that no announcement in terms of reduction of import duty was made. The government made some wonderful reforms for the agriculture and rural sector as this will empower rural sector which in turn will help the jewellery sales, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Chairman Nitin Khandelwal told PTI.
The proposed Gold Policy, Gold Spot Exchange and Gold Deposit Account should be very beneficial for the economy, said he. Finance Minister also made an announcement that ‘Gold Monetisation Scheme’ will be revamped, said GJF former chairman Sreedhar GV said.
Here are the other announcements and key features of Budget 2018:
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1)The exemption of income made by interest on bank deposits increased to Rs 50,000 for senior citizens.
2) The Finance Minister has announced Rs 40,000 deduction for transport, medical reimbursement for salaried class.
3)Arun Jaitley brings in tax on LTCG; 10% tax on equity investments of over Rs 1 lakh
4)Government increased excise duty on mobile phones to 20% from 15%.
5) Cryptocurrencies not to be considered as legal tender and government will take measures, will explore blockchain.
6)’The government launched Operation Greens’ launched on the lines of ‘Operation Flood,’ the budget 2018 said.
7) Cooking gas to be given free to poor under PMUY, 4 crore unconnected being provided electricity connection
8) The government wants farmers produce to get 1.5 times cost of produce as per Budget 2018.
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9) The government announces to set up Agri-market development fund with a corpus of 2000 crore will be set up for developing agricultural markets.