Budget 2018 LIVE Updates: The Budget of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley\u00a0was dubbed as an "election budget" by many analysts. Allocated huge sums for rural infrastructure and unveiled a National Health Protection scheme to provide health cover of upto Rs 5 lakh to each of the 10 crore poor family per year. Sensex, Nifty took a hit after FM announced a 10 percent tax on some long-term capital gains. There were no changes announced on personal income tax rates. LIVE updates Union Budget 2018 2.28 pm:\u00a0Milan K. Shah, Partner Corporate & International Tax at PwC says: "Budget 2018 proposes to amend 'business connection' (BC) provisions under the domestic income-tax law, which brings the business activities of non-residents\/foreign companies in India within the income tax net. While the rationale given suggests alignment of BC provisions with the OECD recommendations under BEPS Action Plans, it can have significant implications. BC definition will not only cover conclusion of contracts on behalf of non-residents but extend even if person is playing a principal role leading to the conclusion of contracts by the non-residents. "Further BC will now include 'Significant Economic presence' of non-residents\/foreign companies especially the activities or transactions in relation to download of data or software in India or systematic and continuous soliciting of its business activities or engaging in interaction with such number of users as may be prescribed, in India through digital means." READ |\u00a0Rs 50 lakh crore \u2018Modicare\u2019 announced: How \u2018world\u2019s largest\u2019 healthcare project will impact you 12.30 pm: Former Prime Minister and economist Manmohan Singh has found little merit in the Union Budget of India 2019 presented by Finance Minister\u00a0Arun Jaitley\u00a0on Thursday. The former PM, who has been the most influential voice against PM\u00a0Narendra Modi\u2019s economic policy decisions like Demonetisation and GST rollout, was especially critical of Modi government\u2019s promise to double farmers\u2019 income by 2022. 11.30 am:\u00a0\u00a0The Union Budget 2018 has been slammed by the BJP\u2019s alliance TDP. After the tabling of the budget, TG Venkatesh, TDP MP, said, We are going to declare war, have three options, 1 is to try and continue, 2 is our MPs resign and 3rd is breaking of an alliance. Will decide in meeting with CM on Sunday,\u201d while speaking to ANI. 11.oo am:\u00a0Rahul Jain, Head \u2013 Edelweiss Personal Wealth Advisory, says, "From the personal finance point of view, the union budget 2018-19 has done few but relevant changes. A standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 in lieu of reimbursement of medical bills and travel allowance has been introduced. It will provide tax relief to salaried individuals, albeit marginally. Senior citizens have lot to cheer about. Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices which will increase from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000. Further there will be no TDS on interest income. Deduction limit under section 80D too has been increased from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000. On the investment front, the introduction of 10% long-term capital gains tax on equities is a sentimental negative only that too for the short term. Globally, most countries have LTCG. Given the grandfathering of LTCG that the government has provided, this should not be a big deterrent." Updates on\u00a01 February 2018:\u00a0 5:50PM: Sarju Simaria, Chief Financial Officer, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, says, \u201c10 crore poor and vulnerable families and 50 crore beneficiaries well-being is being assured under the National Health Protection Scheme announced in the Union Budget 2018. By providing them health and social security Government is honouring its primary obligation towards the have nots. This is a laudable step in right direction.\u201d 5:45PM: Sajal Gupta, Head Forex & Rates, Edelweiss Securities, said, "In what was the last budget ahead of elections 2019, government chose to deviate from the glide path of fiscal deficit and set the target for FY19 at 3.3% of GDP instead of 3.0% outlined earlier. We perceive this fiscal slippage as marginally negative for the currency market. Moreover, the quality of expenditure also makes it look like more of a populist budget ahead of elections. Most of the budgeted increase in expenditure comes from increase in revenue expenditure rather than the capital expenditure." 5:40PM: RP Sanjiv Goenka group chairman Sanjiv Goenka said that FM Jaitley's Budget was a landmark document. He said that Modi government's focus on agriculture, healthcare and food processing was brilliant 5:30PM: Albinder Dhindsa, Co-Founder and CEO, Grofers, said: \u201cThis year\u2019s Union Budget presented by Honourable Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley, laid a strong focus on inclusive development and sustained economic growth. The measures introduced to bolster fields such as agriculture, infrastructure, MSMEs, youth and rural economy, are commendable. The growth focus around ease of living is laudable, and we are hopeful that this will anchor the future growth of the Indian economy and its citizens. The measures announced today to benefit the farmer community and boost the agriculture sector will be instrumental in maximizing farmers\u2019 incomes while reducing waste and inefficiencies that contribute to inflation. It is heartening to see the Government\u2019s continued focus on education and digital connectivity to aid India\u2019s transformation to become a digitally empowered, knowledge economy. The initiatives to bolster the growth and success of MSM.\u201d Watch: Five Key Takeaways For Indian Stock Markets from\u00a0Budget 2018 [jwplayer ZnQsWDAY] 5:20PM: Sameer Narang, Chief Economist, Bank of Baroda, says, "Union Budget will go a long way in stimulating the rural and farm economy in FY19. At the same time, indirect tax collections have been pegged to increase by 19.2% led by higher compliance and improved GST collections. Fiscal deficit of 3.3% in FY19 is slightly higher than our estimate of 3.2% of GDP and which will result in net borrowings of Rs4.62tn (slightly higher than this year\u2019s Rs4.59tn). Overall, we continue to believe that GDP growth will inch up to 7.5% in FY19 on the back of higher exports and government spending on rural and infra sectors.\u201d Watch: How the Budget affects Auto sector [jwplayer n5ZAzbeO] 5:10PM: KG Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD & CEO, Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited, says: "The Budget was a clear reflection of government\u2019s focus of increasing affordability in healthcare and housing, coupled with availability of necessary services and ensuring ease of living for senior citizens. The launch of National Health Protection Scheme is a welcome move and the industry will surely look forward to its implementation. Raising the limit of deduction for health insurance premium and\/ or medical expenditure to INR 50,000\/- under section 80D will push senior citizens to avail policies with higher limit and better coverage. With raise in limit of deduction for medical expenditure for certain critical illness to INR 1 lakh for senior citizens will encourage people to avail for better healthcare services. Merger of three PSU insurance firms is definitely a positive move for the entire insurance industry. Just like a whole is greater than a sum of individual elements, the merged entity will have higher scalability and lower operational costs. From the industry\u2019s perspective, it will lead to healthy competition which will ensure innovation in product offerings and better customer service. Expanding airport capacities more than five times to handle a billion trips a year will boost the travel insurance sector. The establishment of affordable housing fund is a positive move for the retail housing sector, which will in turn amplify the importance of home insurance. Lastly, the credit support provided to MSMEs will provide the required impetus to insurance for fire and allied perils and indemnity cover.\u201d 5:00PM: HDFC Bank in its reaction on the Budget says, "The macroeconomic assumptions in the budget seem realistic although there could be overrun on the expenditure side. Quantum of allocations to certain key sectors like rural development seem very low." Watch: FM Jaitley Announces National Health Protection Scheme For Poor Families [jwplayer FHG6n7mG] 4:45PM: Shilpa Divekar Nirula, CEO, Monsanto India Region", says \u201cThe Union Budget 2018 has reiterated the government\u2019s rural focus and its commitment towards India\u2019s agriculture sector. Announcements through measures regarding farm output seem to be the key highlight. These include MSPs, improved market linkages and increased allocation towards the food processing sector. The continued emphasis on irrigation and farm insurance will provide further impetus to help farmers manage risks associated with cultivation. An unbridled focus on agriculture coupled with enabling policies will go a long way in benefitting the larger farming community. These initiatives if complemented with enabling policies would go a long way in achieving the government\u2019s target of doubling farmers\u2019 incomes by 2022.\u201d 4:30PM: Harshvardhan Lunia, CEO & Co-Founder, Lendingkart Group says, \u201cThe Union Budget for the year 2018 is in line with our expectations and requirements of the economy. The country is still reaping the benefits from forward-looking initiatives proposed over the previous financial year such as demonetisation, the GST rollout and the increased focus towards digitisation. The programs that have been announced for the rural, agriculture, healthcare and manufacturing sectors will drive essential growth. The continued focus on MSME\u2019s with the allocation of over 3000 crores for credit support along with backing the efforts of FinTech companies\u2019 will help in creating more avenues of financial inclusion for the underserved segment. Bank recapitalisation will also sustain these efforts by adding much-needed credit in the market. The emphasis on complementing existing digitisation efforts by connecting villages through high speed optic fibre networks and building Wi-Fi spots will give an impetus to upcoming digital sectors that rely heavily on connectivity like FinTech and Edtech. We are happy with the current focus of the Government, as the country continues on the path of \u2018ease of doing business\u2019 it is great to see strong emphasis being put on \u2018ease of living\u2019 for the masses.\u201d 4:15PM: KK Pahuja, President, ISSDA said, \u201cFor the past few years, Indian Stainless Steel industry has been ailing due to high production cost in the manufacturing of Stainless Steel due to the custom duties levied on key raw materials. With no relief in duty structure on Ferro Nickel and stainless steel scrap, higher input cost will continue to hurt the players\u201d. Watch: FM Jaitley says, cryptocurrency is not legal tender [jwplayer gka3lvrh] 4:00PM: Sanjay Sethi, CEO & Co-founder, ShopClues, says: "With a deep focus on the social sector, this year\u2019s budget has ensured that India will be clocking a healthy growth rate. We are happy that, Finance Minister has given a boost to infrastructure spends and to the MSME sector. The MSME sector is the backbone of our economy and this boost by the government will ensure higher production and consumption. With a focus on technology, the Finance Minister has provided great support to the digital industry. The government's decision to create 500,000 wifi hotspots in rural India will enable broadband access to those with no or little access to the realm of the internet. This will help grow the digital commerce industry and encourage more people to adopt cashless economy.\u201d 3:45PM: Ajay S. Shriram, Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram said, \u201cBudget 2018 presents an encouraging outlook for a wide cross section of stakeholders. The FM has taken a long term view by focusing on agriculture, health care, education and infrastructure. It addresses specific pain points of the farmer by undertaking three major initiatives: A) By assuring revenue of 1.5 times the cost incurred, it has safeguarded the farmer\u2019s income. B) By funding agricultural market development and increasing the reach of e-NAM, access to market has been strengthened. C) By extending Kisan Credit Card and creating a Rs 10,000 crore fund for animal husbandry it captures the changing composition of the Agriculture sector. Watch: Demonetisation was received by honest taxpayers as 'Imaandari ka Utsav', says Arun Jaitley [jwplayer XVJhltAN] 3:30PM: Radhika Gupta, CEO \u2013 Edelweiss Asset Management Limited, says: "The budget is in line with our expectations, Rural, Infrastructure and healthcare gets major attention. Lower corporate tax for companies with turnover of upto 250 crs is a good move. As widely expected, Long Term Capital Gain Tax in equities has been introduced, however, it will not be desruptive given the way it has been implemented with grandfathering clause. Equity still remains the lowest taxed investment vehicle and it LTCG Tax will not impact the growing equity and SIP culture amongst retail investors. Overall it is a neutral budget and a win-win for all." 3:25PM: Karni S Arha, Chief Financial Officer, Aviva India: \u201cThe National Health Scheme of the government is a great initiative and will act as a catalyst in elevating the insurance sector and in turn the health care services for the uninsured and underinsured population. Also overall Health insurance deductions increasing to 50k and increase in exemption limit from Rs 10K to Rs 50K for Senior Citizens is a big positive move to promote health care and safety amongst the most deserving.\u201d 3:20PM: Rajeev Dimri, Partner Deloitte India, \u201cCustoms duty rates on various products proposed to be increased, with a view to promote \u2018Make in India\u2019 initiative. This proposal would make domestic manufacturing of these products more attractive as compared to their imported counterparts. Replacement of existing 3 percent education cess with proposed social welfare surcharge of 10 percent on imports could be hard to digest for the industry. Subsumation of this surcharge within the tax credits chain would need to be seen to analyse the overall impact on importers. Measures on simplification of assessment procedures would be helpful for industry at large which is already battling with the issue of pending litigation before several forums.\u201d Watch: Budget to focus on strengthening agriculture, rural economy, says Jaitley [jwplayer DYHPRaIa] 3:13PM: Neeru Ahuja, Partner Deloitte India, says \u201cWhile Finance minister has done a commendable job of touching on all strata of society to encourage inclusive growth and to meet the challenges in the country, on the taxation side, industry and individuals are little disappointed that no significant tax relief has been provided in spite of increased compliance by taxpayers. Even the standard deduction given is in lieu of two other deductions being taken away.\u201d 3:11PM: Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal: \u201cWe commend the focus on growing the digital footprint, providing better physical infrastructure, and improving not just the ease of doing business but also ease of living in the country. The enhancement of digital infrastructure with more broadband access in rural parts, unique ID to companies, record allocation to building national highways and railways, and multifold increase in airports will go a long way in broad-basing growth in the economy. We also welcome the emphasis on upgrading teaching methods and training teachers which will enable India to have better learning outcomes. These initiatives will make an impact when there is continued attention on the implementation of these policies.\u201d Watch: Jaitley plans to go digital, slated to go from blackboard to smartboard [jwplayer UnkaNQ3X] 3:09PM: Divya Baweja, Partner Deloitte India, \u201cThe Hon\u2019ble FM has proposed a standard deduction of INR 40,000 in lieu of medical reimbursement and transport allowance, thereby resulting in a net benefit of meagre INR 5,800. This benefit will get offset with levy of additional cess @ 1%. Thus, no relief accrues to the salaried class much against the expectation. The current budget focuses on welfare of Senior Citizen with exemption on interest income arising from banks and post office enhanced from INR 10,000 to INR 50,000 along with no deduction of tax on such income. Raising the limit of deduction for health insurance from INR 30,000 to INR 50,000 and limit of deduction for critical medical illness treatment increased from INR 60,000\/ 80,000 to INR 1,00,000 is surely a welcome move. Long term capital gain arising from sale of equity share is proposed to be taxed at the rate of 10% on a gain exceeding 100,000 effective Feb 1, 2018, without allowing any benefit of indexation. Similarly, distribution by the equity oriented mutual fund shall attract tax @ 10%. This shall act as major dampener for the investors.\u201d 3:07PM: Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO at HDFC Securities: \u201cBudget 2018 has focussed on agriculture and rural economy, health, infra, senior citizens and aims to work towards improving living standard in India. FM Jaitley has tried to deftly balance economics with politics. Rural focus would lead to alleviation of rural distress, while urban populace may have a mixed reaction on budget. LTCG exemption was an attraction for new investors into equity\/equity mutual funds and brought funds from other low paying avenues. Rising interest rates domestically and tax on LTCG could result in minor reversal of this trend. Reaction of FPIs and the bond markets locally to the 3.3% fiscal deficit proposed in FY19 will be keenly watched in the background of rising rates abroad.\u201d Watch: Planning to build 2 crore toilets in next 2 years, says Arun Jaitley [jwplayer wC3AryH4] 3:05PM: Richa Gupta, Senior Director and Senior Economist Deloitte India, \u201dThe FM appears to have accepted the need to have a more proactive fiscal policy. The target for the next year has been relaxed to 3.3% for fiscal deficit , even though there is an expectation of stabilizing GST revenues along with buoyant disinvestment proceeds. In a scenario of rising crude oil prices and rising MSPs, it becomes critical that all schemes are implemented timely and the projection of better incomes and growth is realized.\u201d 3:03PM: Milan K. Shah, Partner, PwC, Corporate & International Tax: "In terms of big ticket announcements in FM's Budget 2018 speech, positives includes extending 25% tax rate to MSME with turnover of INR 250 crores (in FY 2016-17), a 5 years tax holidays to Farmer Producer Companies with turnover up to INR 100 crores, covering other business (as suggested by DIPP) into Start up definitions while extending the tax holiday by 2 years. The dampners include Longterm capital gain tax on shares of listed companies @ 10% without indexation benefits, effective 31 January 2018, Dividend Distribution Tax of 10% on income from equity oriented funds and no real tax benefits to salaried class." 3:00PM: P Sathyanarayanan, President of SRM University: \u201cWe are very happy to see the continued focus on research and development in the education sector. The fact that Rs. 1 lakh crore has been earmarked for revitalising innovation under RISE over the next 4 years augurs well for the future. We at SRM are committed to creating an innovation and R&D focused institution and we believe that we are completely in sync with the aspirations of the Government in reaping rich demographic dividend and this is possible through high quality education. The focus on creating a corpus of the best brains of the country and getting top 1,000 B.Tech students from the top institutions to work for research is a healthy way forward and we are grateful to the FM for his programmes in the segment" Watch: People attend Budget session in Chandigarh [jwplayer Puq3BniF] 2:57PM: Harish Doraiswamy, Vice President - Qualifications, Schools & Vocational, Pearson India: \u201cThe government has presented a well-balanced budget with a focus on addressing the fundamental needs of education in India. The budget rightly focuses on movement from traditional blackboards to digital boards which offer enhanced learning experience to students. We are confident that the promotion of digital platforms and use of technology will increase reach and ensure superior outcomes. The government understands the need for quality of education and setting up of higher education finance agency, integrated B.Ed programme and revitalizing infrastructure and systems' in Education by 2022 with Rs 1 Lakh crore in next 4 years, steps in right direction. Furthermore, significant budgetary allocation towards improving education infrastructure in the country augurs well for learners.\u201d 2:55PM: Jayant Manglik, President- Religare Broking said: \u201cA good last budget before the elections though the fiscal deficit at 3.5% was definitely higher than\u00a0 expected. The rural & farmer focus was expected and necessary. Other than a kneejerk reaction, equity market will\u00a0 not be impacted in the medium and the long term as it is still the only real investment opportunity available. FII investments may be affected in the short run as the issue of tax compliance come up which increases operational cost. Likewise mutual funds may see a brief impact but the grandfathering till the 31st January helps. The real disappointment was the continuation of STT along with Itcg, logically only one should be there.\u201d 2:52PM: R Muralidharan. Senior Director, Deloitte India, \u201cThe budget proposals relating to indirect taxes were limited to Customs as expected. While we await the fine prints the theme on indirect taxes seem to be towards encouraging ' Make in India' by increasing the customs duties on final products to disincentivise imports and encourage domestic production. The other area of focus seems to be to facilitate ease of doing business and towards this the budget contains proposals towards issuance of pre-notices and specified time periods for adjudication both aiming to reduce\/ faster resolution of disputes\u201d 2:50PM: Anil Talreja, Partner, Tax- M&A, Deloitte India: \u201cThe Finance Minister has, in his speech, laid out a powerful report card by referring to the commitments made by him with regard to the farm and consumer sectors in the earlier years and not only giving the status of the outcome of various measures\u00a0 but also announcing various measures to promote this key sector.\u00a0 He has re-iterated the Government\u2019s promise of doubling the income of the farmers by 2022 and also announced various additional allocation and funds in this sector. With 150% increase in MSP for crops, support to organic farming, doubling the expenditure allocation to INR 1,400 crores for food processing sector, state of the art facilities to 42 food parks, liberalisation of agricultural exports, allocation of INR 10, 000 crore to fisheries, animal husbandries and related infrastructure, this budget is in true sense a Roti-Kapada and Kisaan budget.\u00a0 \u00a0Perhaps for the first time there is a special attention to the ancillary sector including infrastructure which will help the overall consumer and farm sector. The focus of these measures to ensure that the farm produce reach the ultimate consumers from the farms with maximum returns for farmers, introduction of facilities and technology leading to reduction in wastage in the sector, a boost to the fishery, aquaculture and animal husbandry sectors.\u201d 2:45PM: Kumar Abhishek, CEO & Co-founder, ToneTag: "Major focus to boost Financial technology is a welcome move especially initiatives to increase cashless payments on Toll booths to make roads seamless. Big Push for Rural Internet connectivity with 5 lakh WiFi hotspots. This will play a major role in providing digital literacy and empowering every citizen to be connected to the world. The biggest Take away from this budget is National Health Control Protection Scheme covering 50cr people. Health benefits are very basic needs and every citizen irrespective of their income should get access to these benefits. This move will take India a step further towards a developed & healthy economy" 2:40PM: Anand Ramanathan, Partner Deloitte India, says, \u201cAn effort has been made to address the impact of changing dietary patterns and the increased consumption of proteins through the announcements made in animal husbandry and fisheries. This will also help India from an exports standpoint in the marine sector. However, would have also liked to see a similar focus on promoting investments in horticulture which is another high impact area from a changing food pyramid perspective\u201d 2:35PM: Fiscal deficit target achievable, says FM Jaitley in his post Budget interview 2:30PM: Arun Jaitley defends Budget 2018, says it is not for elections 2:20PM: Reacting to the Union Budget, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the central government continues it's step- motherly treatment to Delhi, the National Capital of India. He said, "I had expected some financial assistance to important infrastructure projects for national capital." 2:13PM: Alok Agrawal, Senior Director, Deloitte India, \u201cStandard deduction of Rs 40,000 p.a. for salaried individuals seems to be a very nominal benefit as the current tax-free limit for medical expense reimbursement of 15,000 p.a. and transport allowance exemption of Rs 1,600 p.m. is anyway leading to a total tax-free salary of Rs 34,200 p.a.\u201d 2:10PM: Rakesh Bhargava, Director, Taxmann on Custom Act: Government has expanded the scope of Custom Act in order to cover the persons who are situated outside India and make contravention of any provisions of Custom Act. Earlier, Government was not allowed to take action against such persons who commit any offence under Custom Acts and situated outside India. This will empower the Government to control offences committed by any person whether In India or outside India. 2:05PM: Rakesh Bhargava, Director, Taxmann on Cryptocurrency: Contrary to the expectations of the Industry and the investors, the Finance Minister has made clear in today\u2019s budget speech that the government does not consider crypto currencies as a legal tender. Further he said that Government will work towards eliminating illicit transactions going on through crypto assets. SEBI, the Financial regulator can regulate on crypto currencies only when it falls under the definition of \u2018commodity\u2019. SEBI along with RBI had formed committee earlier which is yet to draft a framework to regulate the crypto currencies in India. We can expect amendments in coming time in various laws such as SEBI Act, Securities Contract Regulation Act, and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, to curb the use of crypto currencies which are being used to fund illegitimate transactions. 2:00PM: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says that announcements regarding education, health and agriculture made, a national health protection scheme to benefit 10 crore poor families announced, it is a huge initiative; I would like to congratulate the government for this. 1:40PM: Many significant benefits to the MSME sector announced by FM Jaitley, says PM 1:37PM: Ayushman Bharat will improve healthcare for rural India, says PM Modi 1:36PM: Moody's said that India's Union Budget 2018 is in line with the government's fiscal consolidation path, adding that it reinforced the credit ratings agency's recent rating upgrade for the country. 1:34PM: This budget has devoted attention to all sectors, ranging from agriculture to infrastructure, says PM 1:32PM: The farmers, Dalits, tribal communities will gain from this Budget. The Budget will bring new opportunities for rural India, says PM 1:31PM: I congratulate the Finance Minister for the decision regarding MSP. I am sure it will help farmers tremendously, says PM 1:30PM: Budget 2018 will promote ease of living, says PM Modi 1:25PM:\u00a0Budget 2018 is farmer friendly, common man friendly, business friendly and development friendly, says PM Modi Railway Budget Bullet Train: What Rail Budget 2018 says about Modi\u2019s pet\u00a0project 12:57PM: Rakesh Bhargava, Director, Taxmann: MSMEs being major growth element of economy, Government has given more emphasis on boosting this sector especially in this budget. A special corpus of Rs 3 lakh crore for lending under PM Mudra Yojana is fixed to boost morale of this sector. Also, it has been announced that tax rates will be lowered for companies having turnover upto Rs.250 Crore and this benefit of reduced corporate taxes was firstly introduced in last year\u2019s budget and this year the benefit of corporate tax rate of 25% is provided for Small and medium sized companies. Also, Government is planning to link GSTN portal with system of loan sanction process of banks. This will reduce the time of sanction and approving loans by much extend and will boost economy. In contrary to the expectations, the proposals made by FinMin in personal taxation are on passive side. Nothing extraordinary has been proposed for individual taxpayers. There is no change in the rate of tax for all individuals whether male \/female resident, senior citizen or super senior citizen. It was quiet expected that maximum exemption limit will be raised and benefit will be granted for salaried class. Moreover, the rate of education cess has been increased from 3% to 4% which will increase the tax burden. 12:55PM: FM fails fiscal consolidation test, this failure will have serious consequences: Congress leader P Chidambaram on Budget 2018 12:50PM: Education cess and higher education cess on imported goods abolished. New levy of Social Welfare Cess @3% on imported goods Income-tax at 10% on distributed income by equity-oriented mutual funds. 12:45PM: Deduction under Section 80D for Medical insurance premium is proposed to be increased to Rs 50,000 12:44PM: New scheme to be introduced to complete assessments in electronic mode 12:43PM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 Bad news for market, reintroduction of capital gain tax 12:42PM: Deduction under Section 80D increased to INR 50000 for senior citizens 12:41PM: Education cess rate increased by 1% to 4% from the existing rate of 3%. 12:40PM: Longterm Capital Gains on sale of shared of listed companies exceeding INR 100,000 will now be taxed @ 10% with no indexation benefits. Notional Gains on shares purchased prior 31 Jan 2018 shall be grandfathered and exempt. 12:39PM: Rs 7.5 lakh per senior citizen limit for investment in interest-bearing LIC schemes doubled to Rs 15 lakh, senior citizens allowed Rs 50,000 deduction on health insurance premium paid in a year from earlier Rs 30,000. Rs 8,000 crore revenue lost due to standard deduction allowed to salaried employees, says FM. 12:37PM: Standard deduction to the salaried class of INR 40,000 in place of Medical expense reimbursements and Transport allowance. 12:36PM: Government proposes to extend the deductions under Section 80JJA to footwear and leather industry 12:35PM: Benefit of reduced corporate tax rate of 25% is extended to all those companies whose turnover is 250 crore or less in the financial 2016-17 12:34PM: No change has been proposed in personal Income Tax slab rates 12:33PM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by PwC - Benefit of reduced corporate tax rate of 25% extended to companies with turnover of INR 250 crores in FY 2016-17. Presently, the reduced rates only applies to companies with turnover of INR 50 crores in FY 2015-16. 12:32PM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by PwC - Farmer producer companies with turnover upto INR 100 crores, allowed 100% tax holiday on profits for a period of 5 years. Boost to Farm sector. 12:28PM: 41% more return have been filed by entities under presumptive tax scheme 12:27PM: Rs 80,000 cr disinvestment target for 2018-19; Rs 1 lakh cr receipt expected in current year. More exchange traded funds (ETF) on offer including debt ETF. Government has initiated strategic disinvestment in 24 PSUs, including Air India, says FM 12:26PM: Government to formulate a comprehensive gold policy to develop gold as an asset class; gold monetisation scheme to be revamped, says FM 12:25PM: President's emolument raised to Rs 5 lakh, Vice President's to Rs 4 lakh and Governors' to Rs 3.5 lakh per month 12:24PM: GST revenue for 2017-18 will be for 11 months; shortfall of non-tax revenue due to deferment of spectrum auction, says FM 12:23PM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 While fiscal slippages for FY18 is disappointing, it was widely expected. 12:22PM: Government proposes to amend RBI Act 12:21PM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 Disinvestment of 24 CPSEs is a welcome move. Announcement on debt funding by large company through bond market will certainly enhance the bond market in India. As expected, big push to infrastructure sector including rail infra is likely to kick start investment. With such a populous measures announced in rural, social sector and infrastructure sector, target for fiscal deficit seems optimistic. 12:19PM: Hike in allowances of MPs very 5 years on basis of inflation, says FM 12:18PM: SEBI may consider mandating large corporates to use bond market to finance one-fourth of their fund needs, says FM. 12:17PM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by PwC - Hybrid instruments to be introduced to support funding for Startups. Will provide funding alternatives for Startups 12:16PM: FDI to be liberalised in defense sector. Focus will be on domestic manufacturing 12:15PM: The Government does not consider crypto currency as a legitimate currency and all the measures will be taken to keep a check on crypto currency transactions. 12:14PM: Government will focus on promoting fast tags on road toll system similar to Aadhaar, individual enterprises too to have unique ID, announces FM 12:12PM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 While increasing MSP is good for farmers and farm income, it may fuel inflation going forward 12:10PM: Regional air connectivity scheme shall connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads, government will expand capacity of airports by five times to cater to one billion trips a year, says FM Jaitley 12:08PM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by Taxmann - Govt. proposes to contribute 12% of wages to EPF for new employees for next 3 years. The benefit of scheme is likely to be extended to all industries so that more employment can be generated and the stability can be provided to lower working class. Quality of education is still a cause for concern. The government will allocate Rs. 1 lakh crore to improve education infrastructure over four years 12:06PM: Over Rs 1.48 lakh crore to be allocated for railways in next fiscal, 36,000-km of rail track renewal targeted in coming year, 4,267 unmanned railway crossings on broad gauge routes to be eliminated in next two years, says FM Jaitley. Wifi, CCTVs to be progressively provided at all trains; escalators at stations with 25,000-plus footfall, added FM. 12:05PM: Government to take additional measures to strengthen environment for venture capitalists and angel investors, says FM Jaitley 12:04PM: Govt's budget for health, education and social security increased to Rs 1.38 lakh crore for 2018-19 from Rs 1.22 lakh crore in current fiscal, says FM Jaitley 12:03PM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by PwC - Proposed funding of 50 Lakh crore for infra sector. For infra sector - Currently benefits of lower GST rates available only for ROAD related projects and not for Ports\/Air\/ Vessels, which are still at 18%. Will Part B extend lower GST rate to other infra areas? 12:01PM: 99 cities selected for smart cities project with an outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore, says FM. National Highways exceeding 9,000-km will be completed in 2018-19, added FM. 11:59AM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by PwC - Women employee EPF contribution to be reduced from 12% to 8% for first 3 years. Will result in higher net take home salary for women employees. More clarity awaited in Part B of the speech. 11:57AM: Employees PF Act to be amended to reduce contribution of women to 8 pc from 12 pc with no change in employer's contribution, says FM 11:55AM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by PwC -\u00a0MSME discounts\/ benefits to be linked to GSTIN. Turnover of MSME to be determined through GSTN, thus leading to direct connectivity and less human intervention. Benefits\/ discounts to be announced in Part B of the Speech 11:53AM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 Increased allocations and measures announced towards rural sector, rural infrastructure and social sector, if implemented timely, has potential to kick start growth momentum in the economy 11:50AM: Mass formalisation of MSME sector is happening after demonetization and GST. Govt to revamp easy loan facilities for MSMEs by linking sanctioning of loan with GSTN. Target for loan disbursement under Mudra scheme set at Rs 3 lakh crore for next fiscal. Rs 4.6 lakh cr sanctioned under MUDRA Scheme, says FM. 11:47AM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 Increased allocations and measures announced towards rural sector, rural infrastructure and social sector, if implemented timely, has potential to kick start growth momentum in the economy 11:45AM: FM: Two new schools of planning and architecture to be set up; 18 more in IITs and NIITs. Government to launch Prime Minister's Research Fellow Scheme which will identify 1000 B.Tech students to do Ph.D at IITs. To increase digital intensity in education; to move from blackboard to digital board, added Jaitley 11:42AM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by Taxmann - Government decides to take care health care protection to new level under AAYUSHMAN BHARAT 11:41AM: Government to allocate Rs 600 crore towards nutritional support of tuberculosis patients. 10 cr families will be provided Rs 5 lakh cover per family per year for treatment. Jaitley said that the government will launch flagship National Health Protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable people. Rs 1,200 crore to be allocated for Ayushman Bharat programme in 2018-19, added FM. 11:40AM: We have allocated 1200 crore for health wellness. Rs\u00a0 5 lakh per family per year for 10 crore poor families.\u00a024 new government medical colleges and hospitals to be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals. The world's largest govt funded program, says FM Jaitley. By 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent ST population will have Ekalvya schools at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas, added FM 11:39AM:\u00a0Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by Taxmann - Digital intensity in education is required for moving from black board to digital board 11:38AM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 Focus on the education sector and rural housing is big positive 11:36AM: Government to launch 'Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education by 2022. FM says government will increase digital intensity in education. Technology to be the biggest driver in improving quality of education, added FM. 11:34AM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 While providing free gas connection to 8 crore families is very good measures, it is crucial to see how government is managing subsidy 11:32AM: FM - Government proposes to increase the target of providing free LPG connections to 8 crore poor women. Government also plans to construct 2 crore more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission 11:30AM: Special scheme is proposed to curb air pollution in Delhi NCR. Air Pollution in Delhi NCR is a cause for concern, special scheme will be implemented to support government of Haryana, Punjab, UP and Delhi NCT to address it and subsidize machinery for management of crop residue, says FM Jaitley 11:25AM: Government proposes to launch 'Operation Greens' on the lines of Operation Flood'. FM said the government will raise institutional credit for agriculture to Rs 11 Lakh Crore for 2018-19. He also proposed to launch a national bamboo mission with Rs 1200 crore. He alloted Rs 10,000 crore to fisheries and animal husbandry sector. 11:23AM: Budget 2018 Insta Analysis by Taxmann - Finance Minister proposes infrastructure fund for animal husbandry with corpus of 10,000 crores. Focus is on low-cost farming, higher MSP for agriculture produce. Emphasis is on generating farm & non-farm employment for farmers. Government will emphasize more on generation of higher income for farmers 11:21AM: Dr Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet -\u00a0 Decision to hike MSP, e-marketing for agri product, roads for all villages along with increased allocation for the sector are expected to provide some boost to growth of agriculture sector which otherwise in distress Budget 2018 Highlights: Arun Jaitley says 'When NDA govt took over, India was in fragile 5 economies' list, today it is fastest growing economy' 11:19AM: Government to support agriculture sector with favourable tax system. Economy to grow by 7.2-7.5 per cent in second half of current fiscal, cooking gas being given free to poor under PMUY, 4 cr unconnected being provided electricity connection, stent prices slashed, says FM 11:17AM: I am very happy to announce that minimum support price has been set at 1.5 times the production cost for kharif crops, says FM. The focus is on low-cost farming, higher MSP and emphasis is on generating farm & non-farm employment for farmers, added Jaitley 11:15AM: India to become 5th largest global economy soon, exports to grow at 15% in 2017-18, says FM Jaitley. Read 11:13AM: FM Jaitley says that the Budget 2018-19 will focus on boosting agriculture and rural economy 11:11AM: From ease of doing business, our government has moved to ease of living for the poor and middle class. Government will work with states to provide more resources to improve quality of education, says FM Arun Jaitley 11:09AM: Indian economy is on the course of achieving high growth of 8%. Economy to grow at 7.2-7.5% in second half of 2018-19, says FM Jaitley 11:08AM: FM Jaitley says that Indian economy has performed very well since Modi government took over in May 2014. He said that India is now the seventh largest economy in the world 11:07AM: India enter the club of Top 100 Countries in Ease of Doing Business, says FM 11:05: Finance Minister is speaking in Hindi 11:00AM: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley begins his Budget speech in Lok Sabha 10:55AM: Taxmann's expectations for GST 1. Govt. may allow service providers to avail of the composition scheme up to turnover of Rs. 5, 00,000 per annum. 2. No. of GST returns to be filed every month may be reduced from three to one. 3. The threshold limit of annual turnover for opting composition scheme should be increased to Rs. 2 crore to align it with the provisions of Section 44AD of the Income-tax Act, 1961. 4. Government may announce a framework for inclusion of Petroleum products under GST. 5. It is recommended that the return filing process should be more simplified and rationalized. Enabling provision should be introduced so that GST returns can be revised. 6. Govt. may announce stringent audits and assessment of taxpayers as the collection for the second quarter is only Rs. 307 Crores approx. under the Composition Scheme. 7. Govt. may announce that reconciliation or matching of invoices shall be shifted from Online to Offline. 8. Roadmap can be proposed for applicability of Reverse Charge on supply of taxable goods or services by an unregistered supplier to a registered person. 9. Roadmap may be proposed to provide a proper refund mechanism especially for exporters. 10. The Government may simplify the anti-profiteering application complaint form to facilitate complaints from citizens. The Govt. may also propose Rules and Guidelines to compute profiteering. 10:50AM: Following are Taxmann's Budget expectations for Corporates: 1) Provision might be introduced to disallow a portion of the expense if GST is not paid on an expense which is subject to reverse charge. 2) Tax rates and all other provisions which are applicable to a domestic company should be made applicable to a foreign company, which is deemed as resident person by virtue of POEM. 3) Tax rate should be reduced from 30% to 25% for other form of business entities, i.e., partnership firm, LLP, etc. 4) It is expected that Govt. may propose tax sops to the entities working on the problem of pollutions in metro cities. 5) It is expected that CBDT would bring in a regulatory framework for Cryptocurrencies. 6) Conflicting requirements of ICDS might be included in Income-tax Act. 7) Panama\/Paradise Paper: Govt. may propose some additional disclosure requirements to comply with FEMA provisions. 8) Amendment toSection 32 is proposed so that depreciation is allowed on goodwill. 9) Govt. may introduce TDS\/TCS provisions to curb flow of black money in Cryptocurrency market. 10) Clarificatory amendment should be proposed to end the litigation in respect of notional interest on security deposit received by landlord for letting out the property. 10:47AM: Following are Taxmann's Budget Expectations For Individuals: 1) Benefit of leave travel allowance should be allowed even for Foreign Travel. 2) Govt. is likely to increase the basic exemption limit for taxpayers. 3) Standard deduction should make a comeback for salaried taxpayers. 4) Threshold limit of Rs. 1,50,000 under section 80C should be increased to Rs. 2,50,000 5) For HRA deductions, currently only 4 metro cities are considered. It is recommended that more metro cities should be shifted from threshold limit of 40% to 50%. 6) Cost of medical treatments has increased manifold. It is suggested that limit of medical reimbursement should be increased to at least Rs. 50,000 7) Outdated threshold limits of various allowances should be revised immediately. 8) Time limit for construction or purchase of a house property for Section 54 and 54F exemption should be increased to at least 5 years. 9) Existing limit of Rs. 2 Lacs for deduction of interest on housing loan taken for a self-occupied house property should be increased. 10) Deductions should be allowed for the notice pay forfeited by the employer. 10:45AM: Will FM Jaitley cut taxes, will Budget 2018 reduce your Income Tax? "On the personal income-tax front, the budget is likely to provide some relief at the lower end of the tax rate by increasing the threshold for the taxable limit from the current 2.5 lac. This comes in the backdrop of higher tax compliance this year, but all within the lower tax bracket. So, to bring high-income earners under the radar, the threshold may be increased," says Priti Rathi Gupta of Anand Rathi. 10:35AM: Stock markets will be closely tracking FM Jaitley's speech on DDT and LTCG tax. Dividend is taxed in hands of individuals right now but there are limits. This was introduced in the Budget 2017. So anybody who is earning a dividend of more than Rs 10 Lakh on domestic Indian companies has to pay a flat rate of 10%. Surabhi Marwah of EY says, "The key question again is when companies are paying dividends and they are paying dividend distribution tax, is that somewhere impacting the amount of dividend that they are paying. If you look at statistics, you would see the amount of dividend distributed in the last few years has gone down a little bit. So while it may lead to some increase taxation in the hands of the individuals, there is a lot of talk about some change happening there, we will have to wait and watch. Whilst lot has been spoken about, the fact is that capital markets are doing quite well right now so any changes you bring into any taxation related to capital gains, either individuals or companies do have an impact on the markets." Priti Rathi Gupta of Anand Rathi says that increase in equity investments coupled with higher government spending and limited scope for revenue mobilization may increase the temptation to either increase the short-term capital gains tax and\/or reintroduce the long-term capital gains tax. 10:30AM: Will the Finance Minister introduce inheritance tax in Budget 2018? Surabhi Marwah of EY says, "There used to be an inheritance tax. I think it was done away in 1986. It was there between the 1930s and in 1985-86 inheritance tax was substituted for something called wealth tax. So if you had more than one property and other assets like even a car etc., you would have to pay wealth tax. It was done away with I say 2 or 3 years ago. The rationale that was given was that the amount of effort spent in collecting this levy of wealth tax was far beyond the amount that was collected so because it was done away with, very very recently, I doubt very something which is similar to it will be reintroduced in Budget 2018. But, at the same time, there is focus on trying to tax the rich and that has been the focus, I talked about last year as well. So doubt very much inheritance tax coming, simply the logic you did away with a wealth tax." 10:27AM: Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das spoke to ET Now, he said that the Budget 2018 won't be a populist budget. 10:23AM: Meanwhile the insurance sector has made the following demands; parity between NPS and pension exemption limits and separate limit for tax exemption for life insurance. Karni S Arha, Chief Financial Officer, Aviva India, says, "Ease of business for life insurance companies should get importance by increasing carry forward of business loses to 15 years due to capital intensive nature of business and long gestation period. Also, removal of the requirement of issuing quarterly TDS certificate to over 20lacs insurance agents, since TDS details are already available in Form 26AS, is something expected out from this budget verdict". Jyoti Vaswani, Chief Investments Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance says that Budget 2018 should indeed tap into this opportunity of change in sentiment and channelize more savings towards life insurance sector via tax benefits and schemes like micro-insurance, which will help in augmenting insurance penetration in the country. HDFC Securities says that corporate tax rate on insurance companies may be hiked gradually from the current 12.5%+SC over few years to match with the normal corporate tax rate. 10:20AM: Cabinet meet is underway inside Parliament ahead of the Union Budget 2018. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier met President Ram Nath Kovind in Rashtrapati Bhawan. 10:15AM: Modi government faces the dual objectives of boosting growth and maintaining fiscal consolidation. ICRA in its pre-Budget note said, "We expect enhanced allocations in the Union Budget for FY2019 for infrastructure, such as affordable housing, roads, railways, ports, inland waterways and smart cities, which would help to jumpstart investment activity and economic growth." 10:10AM: One of the biggest challenges that the Modi government faces is jobs creation, Kalyan Basu, MD & CEO, Invoicemart, says, "MSMEs actually can play a significant role in meeting this objective and hence we expect the Govt to come out with fresh incentives for the MSMEs going ahead. In the coming budget we expect the Finance Ministry to continue to provide easier access for MSMEs to institutional credit and strengthen them through a more relaxed regulatory framework."