Budget 2018: On February 1, finance minister Arun Jaitley will present one of the most important budgets of his tenure. Ever since he came to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed for development in certain areas. Healthcare, housing for all, a boost to agriculture were certain dreams that were realised after he came to power. Since this will the last full budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the push to certain pet projects of Narendra Modi can be seen in Union Budget 2018. Narendra Modi’s dream projects are listed below, a big boost to these projects can be expected in the union budget 2018:
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the country’s economic growth is not “justifiable and equitable” unless the benefits are “clear and evident” in the farm sector. This statement ahead of the union budget 2018 shows that the government is focusing on the agriculture sector and big boost to the sector may be seen.
The Micro, Small and Medium (MSME) sector is still overcoming two back to back reforms, demonetisation and GST. Even with the many retorts from many businessmen, the government has taken these steps for the betterment of the country in the long run. Hence, in the union budget 2018, MSMEs can get a much-needed breather. As per FICCI’s Business Confidence Survey, the average lending rates of banks are around 12%. The RBI should consider cutting policy rates by at least 100 bps. FICCI also wants the Modi government to keep a specific tab for the MSME and startups in the union budget 2018.
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Housing For All
One of the dream projects of Narendra Modi is Housing for All by 2022. According to the pre-budget memorandum by NAREDCO, people in the housing sector are bearing the brunt of GST and are hoping for some relaxation in the union budget. In its pre-budget memorandum, NAREDCO has requested the Modi government to bring GST on under construction housing properties to 12 per cent slab, with 50 per cent abatement for land, and Input Tax Credit (ITC), from existing 18 per cent slab with 1/3rd abetment for land and Input Tax Credit. This will bring the effective GST rate at 6 per cent, which ultimately will be tax neutral for the end consumers.
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In BJP’s 2014 election manifesto, the party had promised for a Comprehensive Health Care Policy. Modi government has made efforts to control the prices of medicines. And with the need to push healthcare for all, the budget 2018 is expected to be focused on the healthcare. In the wake of upcoming Budget India 2018, the healthcare sector is expecting some major steps to be taken by the Modi government in order to boost healthcare delivery in the country.
One of the top priorities of the Modi government was to strengthen the Indian Railways, several announcements were made in this regard by the government. Good news has come ahead of the Union Budget 2018, Indian Railways plans to manufacture ‘world-class’ ‘Make in India’ self-propelled train sets. Complete modernisation of Indian Railways’ entire signalling system, including automation, at a whopping cost of Rs 78,000 crore is likely to get the nod among other safety measures in the forthcoming budget. With all such announcements in the pipeline, the government has made up its mind to make the Indian Railways a class apart service in India.