LIVE Budget 2018 impact, reactions, analysis: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's last full budget before General Elections 2019 has received mixed reactions from experts, industry and political parties.
Budget 2018 benefits, impact, analysis: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s last full budget before General Elections 2019 has received mixed reactions from experts, industry and political parties. While many felt disappointed after Jaitley apparently shunned the middle class, which is considered to be main vote bank of the BJP, some believe Budget 2018 is a bid to prepare the ground for Narendra Modi’s bid to return to power in 2019. The Budget has focussed on rural areas, farmers, education, and especially health care. Modi’s ambitious plan to provide health coverage of Rs 5 lakh to 10 crore families each of the country has become the talking point as it is one of the most ambitious healthcare project ever attempted by the world.
Check Budget 2018 benefits, impact, reactions, analysis
2: 15 pm: Budget 2018 Impact – Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has kept the focus on infrastructure intact allocating a sum of Rs 70,544 crore, an 8.7 per cent hike from the previous Rs 64,900 crore, for the road ministry. The thrust on Pradhan Mantri Gamin Sadak Yojana is expected to continue this year as well.
1: 32 pm: Budget 2018 Benefit – Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech announced the construction of one crore houses in rural areas under the Prime Minister Awas Yojna Rural. In urban areas, the assistance has been sanctioned to construct 37 lakh houses. The government has also announced to establish a dedicated Affordable Housing Fund (AHF).
1: 10 pm: Budget 2018 Reactions – Renowned for its role in India’s Green Revolution, MS Swaminathan has reacted to the Union Budget saying, “Budget says that crops for which MSP is not announced, they will have MSP at 1.5 times cost of production. I am happy that after over 10 years that we recommended this formula, the government has accepted it. Better late than never. Farmers will be more happy,” while speaking to ANI.
12: 50 pm: Budget 2018 Impact – In an attempt to provide a boost to domestic manufacturing, customs duty on strategic products such as processed food, perfumes, toiletry preparations, electronics (including cellular mobile phones, smart watches/wearable devices), auto components, footwear, toys and furniture have been increased.
12: 35 pm: Budget 2018 Reactions – After the tabling of the Budget, Shiv Kumar Singh, a Varanasi farmer said, “Budget is alright for farmers if we get the right rates for our crops. Government has hiked the MSP for crops, but still, we will be in loss because the cost of agricultural production is very high, we do not get return,” while speaking to ANI.
12: 22 pm: Budget 2018 Benefit – Taking note of the farmers the Union Finance Minister has proposed the MSP for Kharif crops to be fixed at 1.5 times the cost of production. To ensure adequate and timely farm credit, the target for agriculture credit has been raised to Rs 11 lakh crore for FY19 from Rs 10 lakh crore last year.
12: 10 pm: Budget 2018 Reactions – The Union Budget 2018 has been slammed by the BJP’s 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,” while speaking to ANI.
11: 50 am: Budget 2018 Benefit – The Finance Minister introduced a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for the salaried taxpayer. The senior citizens were also given a gift in the Budget by increasing the limits for tax-free interest income from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.
11.31 am: Budget 2018 Impact – Sensex crashed on Friday morning trades. BSE Sensex lost 591.69 points, while Nifty lost 190.4 points.
11.20 am: Fiscal discipline takes the backseat! Indian economist Eswar Prasad tells PTI: “Fiscal discipline has taken a backseat in this budget, which contains many tinges of populism, as was to be expected in the run-up to a national election cycle. There are no major measures that could stimulate private investment, which has been notably weak even during the recent period of high growth,” Prasad said.
Budget 2018 was the last full budget of Arun Jaitley before 2019 General Elections.