Union Budget 2017-18 Live: FM Jaitley gives tax sops to individuals, small firms; more money for welfare

Union budget 2017 live updates, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Union budget, budget 2017, budget 2017 live blog, budget 2017 live updates, budget 2017 live streaming

Union Budget 2017
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to present Union Budget 2017 in Parliament today.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday presented the Union Budget 2017-18, offering more money for welfare schemes, small tax sops for individuals and small firms, and a fiscal deficit of 3.2 per cent of GDP. In his fourth budget as Finance Minister presented in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley also made some far-reaching changes in political funding, placing a cap of Rs 2,000 on the donation which any party can receive from one source in cash. Track FE.COM for the latest on the Union Budget 2017:

8:00PM: Government’s move to enhance rural spending through welfare schemes like MGNREGA and reduction in tax rate on basic income slab would help drive demand for products, say leading FMCG firms. Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) Managing Director Vivek Gambhir said that reduction in tax slab would leave more money with the consumer to spend and would increase the demand.

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7:00PM: Budget 2017 will strengthen farmers. Dairy processing infrastructure fund to be set up. I thank PM, says Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh

6:50PM: Hailing the 2017-2018 Union Budget as “pro-poor, pro-farmer, welfare and growth-oriented”, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said it had something for every section of the society. In a statement, he praised the budgetary provision of Rs 10 lakh crore as credit to farmers with a 60-day period for interest waiver and stated that the increase of funds to NABARD and the dedicated micro-irrigation fund for it will greatly help the farm sector.

6:45PM: Cyber security is vital for digital economy, says FM Arun Jaitley

6:35PM: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today described the Union Budget as “utterly disappointing” and said it did not say with “clarity” how much black money or fake currency was netted during the 50 days after demonetisation. He also slammed the Centre for merging the Railway Budget with the General Budget, saying “The government has ruined the railway.”

6:30PM: Arun Singh, Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet India – The Union Budget for FY18 was pragmatic and positive and treaded on the expected lines. Based on the three pillars of “Transform, Energise and Clean India”, the Budget focused largely on rural and underprivileged, infrastructure, transparency and prudent fiscal management to accelerate economic growth. While the target of achieving fiscal deficit of 3.2% seems to be optimistic amidst the current slowdown and increasing downside risk to the economy, it might be achieved on the back of rationalization of taxes, implementation of GST and additional measures to enhance the tax base. The much-needed emphasis on the languishing capital investment has received a boost through the more than 25% increase in government’s capital expenditure which is expected to crowd-in private investment. Although the Budget clearly refrained from any big bang announcements, the implications of two major announcements i.e. abolishing of FIPB and integration of public sector oil majors would be realized in the way the policy is framed and executed. While the Budget was overall positive, addressing the key focus areas which would provide traction to the growth momentum of the economy through multiplier effect, implementation and execution of the various announcements hold the key.

6:25PM: Dena Bank’s Ashwani Kumar welcomed the Rs 10,000 crore capital infusion along with explicit commitment to do more as a “morale booster” for the sector, saying banks are in “dire” need of capital for credit growth and compliance with the Basel-III framework.

6:16PM: Shikha Sharma, Axis Bank: There are many positives for banks like the balance between need to spend and maintain fiscal discipline. She also said infra investments in the absence of private sector investments with a focus on the rural pockets is also a positive, along with the stress on housing and simplification of taxes.

6:11PM: Attacking CEA Arvind Subramanian for “confirming” through economic survey Manmohan Singh’s claims that Indian economy is in a bad shape, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today wondered if the advisor worked for the Centre or the former Prime Minister and pitched for his removal. Speaking to reporters on Parliament premises, Swamy expressed “shock” at the survey and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to “take a call” in this regard.

6:08PM: When their government came in the centre, they promised ‘acche din’, where are ‘acche din’? Why don’t they talk about it now? Asks Uddhav Thackeray

6:05PM: Revolutionary & historic budget. Irrigation, education & health facilities will improve, says Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Union Budget 2017: Nothing much on indirect tax front from FM Arun Jaitley; all eyes now on GST

6:02PM: Commenting on the Union Budget 2017-18, Pankaj Patel, President FICCI said, “This budget would tremendously strengthen the economic muscle of the country. It is directionally correct, fiscally prudent and strengthens the governance fabric of the nation. FICCI compliments the Finance Minister on his vision for the economy which alongside economic growth also ensures economic justice. Growth without inclusion can be a liability for the country.”

5:56PM: COAI Director General Rajan Mathews – The telecom industry has said that it has adequate spectrum for another two years. So this year we are not looking for any spectrum. The industry has not asked for it, nor has the government proposed auctions for this year. So it is reasonable that they did not budget anything from auction proceeds.

Union Budget 2017: No more cash transactions above Rs.3 lakh? Here’s what it means

5:53PM: Mathews said that while Budget 2017-18 is good for the economy, it came as a “disappointment” for the telecom industry. “We are disappointed that there are no big ticket benefits for the industry, especially given the dominant role the industry will play in the digital economy, where collection of taxes depend on the robustness of networks,” he said.

5:50PM: Rajesh Agarwal, co-founder, Micromax Informatics: The allocation of Rs 745 crore is a welcome move which will provide impetus to local component manufacturing in the electronics sector

Union Budget 2017: How FM Arun Jaitley has sought to award honest tax payers

5:47PM: Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia – The budget allocated towards MSIPs and EPF looks progressive and will surely reduce dependency on imports in the industry. Also, the government’s move on imposing a 2 percent special additional duty on populated printed circuit boards (PCB) used for mobile phones imported into the country will provide adequate protection to the domestic industry and give the necessary impetus to ‘Make in India under the GST regime

5:45PM: DLF, Godrej Properties, HDIL, Oberoi Realty, Prestige Estate Projects, Sobha Ltd and Unitech zoomed by up to 6.74 per cent.

Union Budget 2017: Healthcare costs to become more affordable, say industrialists

5:40PM: Shares of companies related to the agriculture sector such as Dhanuka Agritech and Jain Irrigation Systems ended higher by up to 3.71 per cent after Jaitley announced a whopping Rs 1 lakh crore hike in credit target for the next fiscal to Rs 10 lakh crore as part of efforts to double farm income in the next five years.

5:35PM: Major gainers included Maruti Suzuki (4.69 per cent), M&M (4.64 per cent), ITC (4.51 per cent), ICICI Bank (4.40 per cent), GAIL (3.76 per cent) and Adani Ports (3.60 per cent). The mid-cap index rose 1.77 per cent and small-cap 1.68 per cent.

5:30PM: Shares of state-run banks such as SBI, Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, PNB and Syndicate Bank hogged limelight and climbed by up to 5.64 per cent as the government announced infusion of Rs 10,000 crore in public sector banks in the next fiscal.

5:25PM: Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services: No change in long-term capital gains tax on equities has lightened investors’ fears on transaction cost. The budget has given a positive momentum in the market, the focus of which was to reduce fiscal deficit to 3.2 per cent of GDP in 2017-18. Infrastructure developments are welcomed by the investors.

5:20PM: Anshul Jain, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield – The Union Budget 2017-18 was announced with the theme of Transform, Energise and Clean India (TEC) was largely geared towards rural growth, infrastructure, and poverty alleviation, with a huge impetus to affordable housing. The thrust on affordable housing renews government’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022’, giving a cheer for the housing segment. After a wait of several years, the government has finally awarded infrastructure status to the largely-neglected affordable housing, which is encouraging for developers. Infrastructure status will ensure easier access to institutional credit and help in reducing developers’ cost of borrowing for affordable projects. According infrastructure status will further simplify approval process for affordable projects, create clear guidelines and increase transparency in the segment. Such a market, which will further be made accountable through the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), could attract debt and pension funds to invest in the affordable housing segment.

5:15PM: Nilesh Shah, Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management – The budget has reassured investors. It has maintained the path of fiscal prudence. Fiscal deficit target of 3.2% for FY 18 and 3% for FY19 will reassure investors. Target of 60% debt to GDP by 2023 can change the Moody’s ratings who have demonstrated poor standards while rating India in the past. FIIs concern on taxation arising from indirect transfer of shares has been addressed. Extension of concessional withholding tax of 5% on ECB and Masala Bonds can turn around debt FII flows. Host of benefits given to affordable housing sector can create supply necessary to absorb unskilled labour and create demand for local materials from cement to tiles. It will allow banking sector to deploy liquidity in safe housing loans. Budget has provided for 25% increase in capital expenditure focussed on railway and road. The crucial thing here will be ability of government to spend it.

5:10PM: Puneet Kaura, MD and CEO Samtel Avionics: The increased allocation towards capital expenditure in defence budget is a welcome move. It shows the government’s commitment towards indigenisation. The increased spend by the government on capex will lead to trickle down effect and more work for SMEs. It will further help in defence and fleet modernisation. It will also boost Make in India in defence.

5:05PM: Sharekhan research head Gaurav Dua: No bad news on long term capital gains tax is relief for equity investors. Overall, Union Budget is positive for economy in general and equity markets in particular.

5:00PM: Axis Securities managing director and CEO Arun Thukral noted that the Budget was “balanced” with no negative surprises. “Markets over medium term will shift their focus towards global cues of rising interest rates in US, global commodity prices, global protectionist policies and domestic earning growth

4:55PM: Opposition parties also accused the government of bringing the budget proposals keeping in mind the Assembly polls in five states and indulging in jugglery of words and numbers.

4:50PM: JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav also said the government did not touch upon the issue of how much black money has been recovered post demonetisation.

4:45PM: CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury termed the budget as “contractionary”. “It an example of Finance Minister joining the Prime Minister and the BJP President to create ‘jumlas’ (phrases used as rhetoric). The budget is a classic example of that.    “It won’t boost employment or generate demand. The idea of infrastructure development is a farce because the data given by the FM is not related to reality, does not match to what he said in his speech,” Yechury said.

4:40PM: BJD leader in Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahtab wondered from where the revenue would come for the government at a time when the manufacturing growth is coming down.

4:35PM: He, as also his party colleage Tathagata Satpathy, said more relief should have been given to the middle income group. Mahtab said that with the implementation of Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, it had become essential to give benefit to salaried and fixed income groups. Satpathy said that the FM handled the “demon” part of demonetisation through “smooth language and smattering of poetry”. Mahtab, however, said greater thrust on infrastructure and investment in rural development was welcome.

4:30PM: Terming the budget as “contractionary” and a “complete gimmick”, the Left parties alleged that the figures given by the Finance Minister do not match the reality.

4:25PM: Jaitley spelled out measures to cleanse political funding, some BJP members asked the Opposition to thump their desks and a few seconds later. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi thumped his desk to support the move. Congress members were seen protesting when Jaitley said that the government has made the highest increase in allocation for MNREGA. Soon after adjournment of the House, the Prime Minister went up to Jaitley and shook hands with him. Jaitley’s family was sitting in the Speaker’s gallery.

4:20PM: Among other notable absentees were Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Union Ministers Manohar Parrikar, Harsimrat Kaur and Maneka Gandhi.

4:15PM: Analysts and market experts have welcomed the tax proposals in the Budget saying the slew of pro-business measures along with more inclusive taxation for individuals and small firms, will go a long way in boosting consumption which in turn will help the economy grow faster.

4:10PM: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hailed the Union Budget presented  by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as “pathbreaking”, and said it will help the country leapfrog to the next level.

4:05Pm: The budget is expected to bring positive impact on job market as the focus on infrastructure and ease of doing business is aligned with the government’s vision of job creation, experts say. The government’s focus on digitatisation, transparency in governance & politics, upliftment of women & youth, quality of education, rural India is evident in this budget and this is expected to boost job creation in the economy.

4:00PM: ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar said that the Union Budget 2017-18 was a comprehensive budget for the economy with a huge amount of multiplier effect, which will positively impact the whole lending push towards housing. “This budget has achieved an excellent balance between the much required focus on investments and structural reforms required for ease of doing business and simplifications,” Kochhar said.

3:53PM: Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG in India – With a 3.5 per cent expansion in total outlay, the Union Budget has aimed at sending out a clear indication that India is pacing itself for stronger growth and sustained development. With a fiscal deficit of 3.2 per cent, the budget has managed to find a balance between fiscal management and public expenditure to a considerable extent. The increase in allocation for agriculture and rural sectors, along with measures to digitise and enhance the flow of credit to agriculture, stand out. Greater focus on the social sector is also appreciable. The thrust for greater transparency in political financing is particularly commendable. So is the tax relief that has been provided to the lower middle class. 96 per cent of MSMEs have been provided a tax-cut which might go a long way in increasing compliance and help alleviate the disruption in fund-flow.

The 79 per cent increase in allocation for infrastructure is noteworthy, and it must now go hand in hand with synergising investments into the sector. The oil prices expected to begin ascending again, along with rising protectionist sentiments across the globe warrant the need to augment non-tax revenues through disinvestment and efficient asset recycling.

Over the coming fiscal, measures to remonetise India quickly, addressing the bottlenecks in infrastructure effectively and easing business persistently, will be pivotal. While the expected corporate tax lowering has not come through, the year will be memorable for India if the GST comes into force swiftly, adverse effects of demonetisation simmer down, and much of the well-rounded budgetary ideas get implemented.

3:50PM: National carrier Air India will receive Rs 1,800 crore as equity infusion in 2017-18 under the government’s ongoing financial assistance and the amount is slightly higher than the allocation for this fiscal.

3:47PM: Sensex rose 1.8 percent after FM Jaitley unveiled a budget with a range of incentives for companies and geared towards boosting infrastructure and developing the rural economy. The broader NSE index ended up 1.81 percent at 8,716.40, while the benchmark BSE index closed 1.76 percent higher at 28,141.64. Both indexes earlier hit their highest since October 25, 2016.

3:45PM: Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said though the government has provided relief to the salaried class, it has completely forgotten the farmers, youths and senior citizens, and also took a dim view of the decision to give infrastructure status to affordable housing sector.

3:43PM: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh praised the Union Budget presented today in Parliament, saying it is in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sabke Saath Sabka Vikas’. “Like previous year, this year also the central budget has been announced with a number of financial provisions in public interest,” Singh said in an official statement, while congratulating PM Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

3:38PM: Exporters body FIEO said investments announced in the Budget on infrastructure, including road, railways and aviation, would help in improving competitiveness and reduce the logistics costs of traders. Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) also said that the Trade Related Infrastructure Scheme (TIES) would require sufficient funding to make an impact.

3:35PM: Industrialist Anand Mahindra today welcomed the Budget proposals on cleaning-up political funding and abolition of the FIPB as “big signals” of the government’s mindset illustrating its determination to shed legacy and step firmly into the future. “These steps are big signals about the government mindset. (They) show its determination to shed the skin of legacy and step firmly into the future,” the Mahindra group chairman wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

3:33PM: Manish Aggarwal, Partner and Head of Energy and Natural Resources, KPMG in India – Budget 2017 augments the already established mode of using government budgetary spend to boost infrastructure in an overall tepid private sector investment sentiment. Integrated Transportation focus including railways, metros, multi-modal transport, highways is transformational and has the potential to launch economic growth into the next orbit. Renewed volatility in oil markets enunciated a response by way of creation of integrated oil majors which would aim at creating strategic oil ownership. In parallel, budget focused to enhance renewable energy capacity by launching another 20 GW solar mission. Signals were also made to revive PPPs by introducing amendments to arbitration & conciliation act to address disputes and launching a fresh PPP pipeline in airports and railways

3:32PM: Neha Punater, Partner and Head of Fintech, KPMG in India – The Govt. has continued the demonetization initiative to promote digital and cashless payments with a slew of initiatives in the budget. It has addressed all the components – from incentivizing the customers and merchants for using BHIM to furnishing of PAN for cash transactions over Rs. 3 lakhs to promoting infrastructure creation by duty exemption on POS machines and iris readers. The Aadhaar enabled merchant payments would ensure that supply side is also addressed for a digital transaction. We see this a definitive boost for the digital economy.

3:31PM: Atul Gupta, Head – Cyber Security, KPMG in India – Establishing cyber and computer emergency response teams shall support addressing cyber threat and also facilitate increased adoption of digital economy. However, this needs to be implemented effectively with participation from all stakeholders, including regulators and LEAs to ensure that cyber response works seamlessly.

3:30PM: Jaideep Ghosh, Partner, KPMG in India – Union Budget aims to boost Digital Economy, which will have a positive impact on the telecom sector. Additional outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for BharatNet and creation of ‘Digi- Gaon’ a definite positive to Broadband penetration; however, BharatNet implementation track record needs to significantly improve for benefits to reach rural India. MSIPs benefits for domestic manufacturing of mobile devices & components will strengthen ‘Make in India’ and add to employment. Broadband penetration has a direct impact on economic growth, employment, innovation & prosperity. Strong push on transport connectivity, and healthcare and education through digital media, are likely to have significant long term impact on the telecom ecosystem.

3:29PM: Amarjeet Singh, Partner – Tax, KPMG in India – The proposed dismantling of the FIPB indicates that almost all sectors attracting FDI will move into automatic approval route. However, what needs to be ensured is that the balanced sectors, which are not part of the automatic route, are able to get clearances under a single window mechanism.

3:28PM: Anish De, Partner and Head of Oil and gas, KPMG in India – Extension of MAT credit carry forward period to 15 years is a positive for all infrastructure players.  Especially considering the large forthcoming investments in Oil & Gas, the measure will serve to de-risk some of the infrastructure projects in the sector. Reducing the basic custom duty in LNG to 2.5% will make it more affordable for various applications.  Industrial and city gas consumption will benefit.  Will further climate goals under COP 21. No announcement on oil industry development cess in main budget speech.  There was an expectation that it be reduced. Two additional strategic reserves announced.  This is of considerable importance for the energy security of the country and also for the oil industry.

3:27PM: Narayanan Ramaswamy, Partner and Head of Education and Skill Development, KPMG in India – The focus on Education and Skill Development in this budget looks at best cursory and customary. There are some bright spots with the set-up of Innovation fund for local innovation in school education, more colleges will be identified for autonomous status and a national testing agency for all entrance exams. There are some announcements of new schemes for leather and footwear. The outlay is not known for these schemes.  The 4000 crores for SANKALP targeting 3.5cr youth, Rural Mason training scheme targeting 5lakh youth by 2022 are encouraging. Given the mammoth requirement for skilling and urgency of the need, it is disappointing to see this budget virtually ignoring the support and encouragement needed for skill development and vocational education.

3:25PM: Biswanath Bhattacharya, Partner, Infrastructure and Government Services, KPMG in India – The set of initiatives announced seem to acknowledge the challenge that Railways is losing share in both freight and premium passenger services to alternate modes of transport, and hence an integrated approach to improving safety, cleanliness and passenger comfort, and higher levels of service to freight customers through end to end services have been introduced in this budget. The introduction of accounting reforms will also facilitate better management control systems, to track performance improvement, of the Railways.

3:23PM: Statement from Santosh Kamath, Partner and Head of Renewables, KPMG in India – The push on Phase 2 of the national solar programme of 20,000 MW reiterates the Government’s commitment to this sector. The move to expand solarising of the railway stations also sends an encouraging signal to rooftop and distributed solar.

3:21PM: Neeraj Bansal, Partner and Head of Real Estate, KPMG in India – By granting Infrastructure status to affordable housing, the Government acknowledges that affordable housing industry is an important driver of the economy. Affordable housing developers will now be eligible for several Government incentives, subsidies, tax benefits and most importantly institutional funding. The status could also mean that the Government may release land specifically for affordable housing development in central locations of major urban centres in India.

3:19PM: Nilaya Varma, Partner and Head, Healthcare, KPMG in India – Many of the targets set by the Government for healthcare is very welcome and so is the focus on wellness, creating more clinical staff and leveraging existing assets. However, we need to see what is the real extra allocation for making these announcements happen… would have appreciated comment on plan for universal healthcare and infrastructure status.

3:17PM: Naveen Aggarwal, Partner- Tax, KPMG in India – Amidst high expectations of India Inc., the FM presented the Union Budget 2017.  The Budget was based on broad themes of curbing black money, boosting individual spending, ensuring transparency and providing much needed impetus to agricultural and rural sector, infrastructure and digital economy. Similar to last 2 years, the Budget did not bring much respite or specific announcements benefiting M&E industry. While the expectation of overall reduction in corporate tax rate and abolition of MAT was given a miss, the proposal to reduce corporate tax rate for MSMEs to 25% (having turnover upto Rs 50 Crore) and increasing the MAT credit entitlement (from 10 to 15 years) is a welcome move and will benefit medium scale service companies in M&E sector. While the announcement to abolish FIPB in light of successful e-governance was surprising, further liberalization in FDI policy will be keenly watched in context of M&E industry. Lastly, the FM provided much needed assurance on roll-out of GST as per schedule, confirming GST council finalizing majority of its recommendations.

3:15PM: Jaijit Bhattacharya, Partner – Strategy and Economics, KPMG in India – Budget 2017 has focused on infrastructure, including digital infrastructure, increasing private investments, increase consumption and strengthen social sector and safety net, including health and education. The key feature of the budget appears to be several declared deadlines for outcomes such as elimination of TB by 2025, removal of unmanned crossings in railways by 2019 etc. This makes the budget more accountable and its impact and progress can be tracked over a period of time. The budget appears to be able to achieve its stated objectives and would help in growth of consumption and infrastructure development.

3:12PM: Santosh Dalvi, Partner – Indirect Tax, KPMG in India – In one of the trend setting event, the Union Budget 2017 along with Railway Budget was presented together today i.e. 1st February instead of the usual date of February 28 with overall objectives to transform, energise and clean India and the Budget was heavily focused on Rural and Infrastructure sector. The FM has strongly supported demonetization and GST implementation steps, with a belief that it would help in removal of corruption, control inflation, generate employment and stimulate growth in the country. The budget estimates 8.8% growth in indirect tax revenues as opposed to 15.3% growth in direct tax revenues, prima facie without imposing or increasing rate of taxes. This means that the focus is on increased compliance by broadening the tax base rather than raise the tax rates. With the likely implementation of GST from 1st July, the FM has proposed minimal changes in Indirect Tax. While there was an opportunity to eliminate some of the Indirect Tax redundancies and bring changes which would be one step closer to implementation of GST, the expectations remained partly fulfilled. Tax Administration of “Honoring the Honest” coupled with quality data analysis of Cash deposit on account of demonetization, Personal Income Tax benefit, reduction in Corporate Income Tax rate for MSME with turnover upto INR 50 Crores, rationalization of Customs & Excise duty rate for promoting “Less Cash” economy, correcting the Inverted Duty Structure, integration of Oil PSU, increased in MSIPS budget allocation, abolition of FIPB, proposal to introduce new FDI Policy and continuous digitization policies, etc. will significantly increase tax compliance, broaden the tax base and boost Make in India initiatives. Overall, the Budget proposals seems to be in the right direction and efficient implementation of such proposals, would be the key to accelerate growth and improve Tax compliance in the country

3:10PM: Sachin Menon, Head of Indirect Tax, KPMG in India – Hon’ble Finance Minister presented the Union Budget today in the backdrop of world economic and political uncertainty following the change in US policies and impact of several government initiatives such as demonetization, GST implementation, etc.  It seems the focus of the Budget announcement seems to be on expanding the tax base and therefore increasing collection rather than increasing the tax rate. Union Budget 2017 was unique and path breaking in its own way and the theme of the budget concentrated around promoting agriculture and rural sector, digital economy, infrastructure growth, reforms for key sectors such as agriculture, real estate, financial sector, small and medium industry segment. The increased government spending on infrastructure and rural sector will spur demand and kick start the economic growth.

3:09PM: Girish Vanvari, Head of Tax, KPMG in India – Budget 2017 sticks to fiscal prudence with a fiscal deficit of 3.2% whilst balancing enhanced spending in several socio-economic schemes and different aspects of economic development.  There is some cheer for individuals as tax rates for income between 2.5 lakhs to 5 lakhs has been reduced from 10% to 5%.  However, an additional 10% surcharge has been introduced on income between 50 lakhs and 1 crores which is a dampener for high networth individuals.  MSME with turnover upto Rs 50 crores will benefit from lower tax rate of 25% and there are some concessions to boost the real estate sector.  The trust of the budget is to enhance the tax base and move towards digitization through several amendments in the act.  No change in capital gains tax regime for listed stocks and clarification on non-applicability of indirect transfer rules to FPIs and AIFs will be a big relief to the investors and could trigger an immediate rally on the stock markets.  One can argue that the Budget could be more ambitious at the cost of fiscal prudence.  However, in global macroeconomic backdrop, the calibration in the Indian economy post demonistation and much awaited GST which is now on anvil, Budget 2017 is stable fine balancing act, with fiscal prudence, directional spending and no surprises on the taxation front which should lead the country to a sustainable growth path.

3:08PM: Terming the Union Budget 2017 as “clueless and misleading”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed it has no road map and is full of jugglery of numbers and hollow words. “A controversial #Budget2017 which is clueless, useless, baseless, missionless and actionless. Heartless No roadmap for the country or the future from a government that has lost all its credibility,” Banerjee said on Twitter.

3:05PM: India’s 10-year benchmark bond yield rose as much as 5 bps to 6.46% from previous close on initial confusion about government’s 2017/18 gross borrowing numbers

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3:02PM: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday lauded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s annual budget which provides for systemic and a transformative shift to Indian economy, saying this will give an impetus to growth, people welfare and help all sections of the society in unleashing their true potential. “The Union Budget provisions honour the honest tax payers, curb the flow of black money and provide relief to the middle class. In spite of global uncertainties, India is seen as a bright spot of growth and the Budget further consolidates the existing growth momentum,” Singh tweeted.

2:59PM: Anil Kothuri – President & Head of Edelweiss Retail Finance – “The budget has managed to achieve a fine balance between fiscal prudence, rural spending, expenditure growth and tax stability. The finance minister has contained the fiscal deficit at 3.2%, while increasing the expenditure by 8.5% (in FY17-18), with virtually no changes to the tax regime. In line with the Prime Minister’s speech on new year’s eve, the budget carries forward the government’s agenda of ‘Housing for All’ and of rejuvenating  the SME sector, post demonetisation. There is focus on the affordable housing sector, which is over 90% of all homes constructed. In addition to allocation for the construction of 1 crore housing units in rural India, the government has made home ownership affordable by conferring ’Infrastructure status’ on the construction of affordable homes. There is also a larger allocation (Rs. 43,000 combined via NHB & PMAY) to subsidise home loan interest rates through the National Housing Bank and under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY). It has also given an impetus to the resale market, by reducing the long-term Capital gains on houses after two years of holding. Further, the budget is not inflationary. Consequently, interest rates are expected to be benign, which will lower the EMIs on home loans. The SME sector will benefit through lower tax rates (25%) for all companies with a turnover of up to Rs. 50 crore. The enhanced lending under MUDRA (Rs. 2.44 lakh crore) will also help over 20 lakh SMEs avail working capital loans. This will help partly offset the higher tax compliance intended from this sector. Thus, the middle class will benefit owing to these measures – on affordable housing, SMEs and lower personal tax rates up to Rs. 5 lakhs.”

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2:56PM: Following is a list items that will turn cheaper:

>>  Booking railway tickets online
>>  RO membrane elements for household usage
>>  LNG
> > Solar tempered glass used in solar panels
>>  Fuel cell based power generating systems
>>  Wind operated energy generator
>>  Vegetable tanning extracts used in making leather products
>>  POS machines card and fingerprint readers
>>  Group insurance for Defence services

2:54PM: Following is a list of items that will turn costlier:
>> Cigarettes, pan masala, cigar, cheroots, bidis, chewing tobacco
>> LED lamp components
>> Cashew nuts (roasted and salted)
>> Aluminum ores and concentrates
>> Polymer coated MS tapes used in manufacturing of optical fibres
>> Silver coins and medallions
>> Printed circuit board used in making mobile phones

2:53PM: Aashish Kasad, Tax Leader – Retail practice, EY India – The Union Budget of 2017 has made some very progressive announcements which should benefit various segments of the consumer products and retail (CPR) sector. Reforms and investments pertaining to the agricultural and food sector, dairy processing, etc are very welcome. The reduction of the individual income-tax rate for income between INR 250,000 to 500,000 from 10% to 5% would lead to an increase in the disposable income of consumers, thereby benefiting the CPR sector. Reduction in corporate tax rate to 25% for companies having a turnover of upto INR 50 crores would also provide incentive to the MSME entities especially in the small scale sector, enabling them to expand their capacity and move towards technologically advanced solutions.  Announcement of the abolishment of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (‘FIPB’) in the year 2017-18 should make FDI vide the approval route a smoother process (viz. vide online filing and processing of applications), especially benefiting Single Brand Retail Trading (‘SBRT’) and Multi Brand Retail Trading companies that are looking to invest in India. Further, the Honorable Finance Minister has indicated liberalization of FDI norms in the coming year during the Union Budget speech, which may be expected to include further liberalization with respect to mandatory sourcing requirements for FDI in SBRT exceeding 51%, requisite conditions for FDI in MBRT, e-commerce entities etc to attract further FDI in this sector.  The industry has been anxiously awaiting the launch of GST which is likely to be introduced from July 2017 and hence the Finance Minister has not alluded to any significant indirect tax proposals in his Budget speech, other than a few positive changes to incentivise “Make in India” especially for electronic manufacturing.  Overall, the Budget 2017 is likely to provide a positive growth momentum to the Indian CPR sector which felt a significant short-term impact due to the bold and disruptive demonetisation drive, which is evidenced by a 196 point rise in the BSE FMCG index immediately after the Budget Speech.

2:52PM: Maadhav Poddar, Tax Partner, Real Estate practice, EY India – Affordable housing given ‘infrastructure status’ – will attract greater private participation and help in raising funds for affordable housing – liberalization in profit linked tax incentive conditions – overall, a much needed move by the Government which aligns with the objective of ‘Housing for All by 2022’. Long awaited clarity on taxability in case of Joint Development Agreements (‘JDA’) – this will reduce litigation on the point of taxation for land owners and will provide an impetus to execution of more JDAs in this time of cash crunch faced by the sector. Holding period for immovable property reduced from 3 to 2 years to achieve long term status for capital gains tax – will encourage more transactions through banking channels. Litigation around notional house property income in the hands of developers on un-sold stock – laid to rest by providing that no notional income on vacant unsold flats on developers upto 1 year from dates of obtaining completion certificate

2:51PM: Sameer Gupta, Tax leader for financial services, EY India – The proposed amendment on Increase in deduction available to Indian banks for provisions for bad and doubtful debt from 7.5 % to 8.5 % of adjusted total income and  whereby non-scheduled co-operative banks are allowed to offer interest on sticky loans on receipt basis would certainly in addition to other measures introduced,  help banking industry to strenghten their financial position.

2:50PM: Abhaya Agarwal, Partner & PPP Leader, EY India – The 2017-18 budget puts a strong emphasis on the creation of infrastructure in the country to continue with its economic growth momentum. Total allocation for the infrastructure sector is Rs. 3.96 lakh crore, of which Rs. 2.41 lakh crore (61% of the total infrastructure allocation) would be spend in the transportation sector. Strengthening of the multi-modal transport system with railways and highways sector playing critical role is the priority of the government. In addition to the line capacity addition, Rs. 1.31 lakh crore (with Rs. 55,000 crore as gross budgetary support) allocation to railways sector (an increase of 8.26% over last year gross budgetary support and an increase of 20% in overall spending) would be invested on station redevelopment, passenger safety, cleanliness and accounting reforms. Aviation sector would also witness a major boost with government planning to develop and operate select airports in tier-II cities on PPP mode. Allocation to roads and highways sector has also increased significantly. Budgetary support for national highways has increased from Rs. 55,000 last year to Rs. 64,000 crore this year (an increase of 16%).

2:49PM: Raju Kumar, Tax Partner, EY India on Oil & Gas – On a high level, it appears that Oil & Gas sector once again has not got the necessary impetus in the Budget 2017. Hon’ble Finance Minister noted the potential risk of rise in oil prices which could impact the fiscal deficit adversely given significant import dependence of our country, there seems to be an effort towards promoting gas as an alternative source of energy by reducing the Customs duty on import of LNG from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent. Some policy announcements with respect of supporting the strengthening of the transmission and distribution network for natural gas could have supported this cause even better. The Government continues to push the agenda of building healthy strategic crude reserves and the announcement of adding 2 more caverns for strategic crude storage is a welcome move. The tax exemption to specified foreign companies supporting this initiative has also been further strengthened by providing that sale of leftover crude by a foreign company after the expiry of the arrangement shall also not be taxed in India. The announcement regarding the creation of an integrated public sector ‘oil major’ appears to be a bold strategic move and the implementation plan for this policy measure will need to be carefully evaluated given the diverse interests of CPSEs in the oil & gas sector.

2:47PM: Hitesh Sharma, Tax Partner & Lifesciences Leader, EY India – While it would help reduce prices and therefore great for the consumer, the uncertainty continues for the Pharma and the Medical device sector on pricing of drugs and devices due to the announcement of proposal to amend the Drugs and Cosmetic rules and regulations for Medical devices sector.  Govt focus on elimination certain deceases like TB, etc and increasing the number of medical professionals by increasing the Medical educational facility and augmenting DNB courses are great measures to support the Health infrastructure.  Also the health details being linked to Aadhar cards is a small but good beginning towards digitisation of health.  Also through DigiGram, the provision of tele medicine is a positive step.  The repealment of the R&D Cess is good as companies will save on R&D Cess payment in respect of technical know how fees and royalty payments

2:44PM: Narendra Rohira, Tax Partner, EY India on PE Funds – Budget positive for overseas  Funds investing via debt instruments such as NCDS and Rupee denominated bonds as withholding of 5% extended to 30.6.2020  and for Funds investing in affordable housing sectors due to relaxation of Tax Holiday and infrastructure status for affordable housing. Government has accepted the suggestions of the fund industry and granted exemption for some FPIs on Indirect transfer of shares/interest at Fund level. But there are concerns as long term capitals gains exemption on listed share available only if STT paid. Further its proposed to introduce Thin Cap regulations to limit deduction of Interest paid on borrowings to Associated Enterprises  to 30% of EBITDA . Moreover the expected Corporate tax rate cut restricted  only for SMes

2:43PM: Garima Pande, Corporate Tax Leader, EY India – There were high expectations from the FM to present a reformative budget that would not just introduce exemptions and deduction but will also foster investor’s confidence. The budget proposals announced earlier focus on the transformative agenda of the Government of India, with the clear intent of promoting infrastructure, foster digitisation and develop the financial sector to support the cash-less economy.  Reduction in corporate tax rate was much talked about and with a reduction in corporate tax rate to 25% for MSME companies, the government has taken a positive step to aid this segment, which clearly does not avail too many incentives. This announcement shall go a long way in making the Indian MSME segment more competitive vis a via the global players.  Restriction in the scope of domestic transfer pricing provisions to cover only transactions with AEs enjoying specific profit linked deductions, shall help in easing the cost of compliance and ease tax administration.  While exemption provided to FPIs on applicability of indirect transfer provisions was much awaited, corporate India expected clarity on various other litigious tax issues, which still remain unanswered.

2:42PM: Sandeep Upadhyay, Managing Director & CEO- Centrum Infrastructure Advisory – The attempt to catalyse the economic growth through core sectors like Infrastructure and Defence was evident in the FM’s speech. Within the Infrastructure sector the focus continues to be on pushing Capital expenditure in the transportation sector with major impetus of railways. Addition of low cost housing within the gamut of Infrastructure sector was much anticipated and is a welcome move. However one was expecting much needed reduction in MAT rate which seems to have been side-lined with minor iteration on which details are further awaited.

2:39PM: Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner Khaitan & Co on Budget indirect tax proposals – After launching a war against black money, it is time for another disruption on the indirect tax front in form of the tectonic GST reform. In his Budget speech, the Finance Minister made it amply clear that in light of the upcoming GST implementation, no major changes in the indirect tax structures were made. In addition, the FM ensured that digitalization of the economy was on its way by providing substantial boost to the digital infrastructure devices by providing exemptions from indirect tax.

2:36PM: Pradeep Dadha, CEO and Founder- – “Government for amending the drug rules to allow reasonable medicines reaching out to masses in a better way.  The amendments in Drugs and Cosmetics Act will improve the way Pharma sectors is serving people in the country.  Additionally, we welcome Governments’ initiative of Aadhar based health record for senior citizens of our country to provide them with healthcare facilities hassle free. Also, the decreased tax slab for the companies in MSME sector will help companies focus more on the expansion of their services.”

2:33PM: Neha Malhotra, Executive Director, Nangia & Co – Immovable property owners have been relieved by lowering the holding period for availing lower rate of long-term capital gains tax from three years to two years. Also, the base year for computing capital indexation benefit has been changed from existing April 1, 1981, to April 1, 2001. This move will give significant relief to the taxpayers earning profits from sale of house property and will encourage investments in the real estate sector. Another woe of the taxpayers is that provisions applicable on dishonoured cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act are ineffective. New effective way to tackle the issue of bounced cheque is a welcome move which shall relieve those facing hardship on these fronts.

2:30PM: It is a populist budget for the middle class. The budget proposes to give relief to the middle class while taxing the super-rich. It was a legitimate expectation post-demonetisation that the personal income tax rate will be reduced to soften the tax hit on the pockets of the individuals, says Neha Malhotra, Executive Director, Nangia & Co

2:25PM: Railway Budget has lost its identity, says Malikarjun Kharge

2:22PM: This budget is women, poor-friendly budget; PM Modi has fulfilled his promise made in 2014 to bring in transpanecy in politics, says Amit Shah

2:19PM: According to the Budget, government will borrow Rs 3.5 lakh crore from the market in 2017-18, around Rs 75,000 crore lower than the the current fiscal.

2:16PM: Shaktikanta Das to ET Now: Arun Jaitley unvieled a budget for recovery

2:14PM: It’s giving highest priority to rural and agricultural sectors; With all the employment potential, sectors expected to see 2% growth, says Gadkari

2:12PM: It’ll bring our economy at no.1 position,it’s revolutionary change;This budget will bring transparency in politics, says Nitin Gadkari

2:10PM: Cheering Budget proposals of infusing Rs 10,000 crore in public sector banks and keeping long-term capital gains tax unchanged for the capital markets, the benchmark Sensex regained the 28,000-mark by soaring over 400 points at mid-session today. Sentiments also got a boost after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3.2 per cent of GDP from 3.5 per cent.

2:08PM: The Sensex, which kept moving in a tight range after the Budget was presented in Parliament, made a strong rally by soaring 401.43 points, or 1.15 per cent to 28,057.41, powered by budgetary proposals to infuse Rs 10,000 crore in public sector banks, no change for capital markets and allocating a record Rs 3.96 lakh crore to infrastructure sector as well as granting infra status to affordable housing. Moreoever, proposal to further liberaise FDI policy too uplifted trading sentiments, brokers said.

2:06PM: The broad-based National Stock Exchange’ Nifty also saw an upswing and shot up by 109.00 points, or 1.27 per cent to 8,670.30 following widespread gains in stock prices.

2:04PM: “No change in the capital gain tax, particularly long-term, in the Budget, cheered the investing fraterinity” said a Delhi-based NSE broker, Manoj Choraria. The government also kept the security transaction tax (STT) and other taxes for the capital markets unchanged.

2:02PM: Shares of state-run banks such as SBI, Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Syndicate bank hogged the limelight and climbed by up to 4 per cent as the government announced infusion of Rs 10,000 crore in public sector banks in the next fiscal.

2:00PM: Its a historic and important budget which will have a long term impact, says Nitin Gadkari

1:58PM: Nothing on defence spending; How are they fighting #UPElections? Did they get donations in cheque or digital payment? Asks Renuka Chowdhury

1:56PM: Consider it mix budget. Industry hoped lot more from promotion of investment but I think FM did whatever was possible, says DS Rawat, ASSOCHAM

1:54PM: Nothing on defence pending; How are they fighting UP Elections? Did they get donations in cheque or digital payment? Asks Renuka Chowdhury of Congress

1:52PM: It’s a very good budget with focus on skill development, it is women friendly: Sonali Jaitley, daughter of FM Jaitley

1:51PM: This is a Budget for the future- for farmers, underprivileged, transparency, urban rejuvenation, rural development, enterprise: PM

1:50PM: Budget 2017 is a transformative one; It’s a step towards cleaning the whole political system, we welcome it: Union Minister Ananth Kumar

1:48PM: The commitment to eliminate corruption and black money is reflected in the Budget, says PM Modi

1:47PM: In many ways this budget will facilitate the changes that our country is going through, says PM Modi

1:46PM: Railway budget has focused on railway safety fund: PM Modi

1:45PM: This Budget will help small businesses to become competitive in the global market, says PM

1:44PM: The commitment to eliminate corruption and black money is reflected in the Budget, says PM

1:43PM: Special emphasis has been given on women empowerment in the Budget, says PM

1:42PM: This Budget is yet again devoted to the well-being of the villages, farmers and the poor, says PM

1:41PM: The aim of the Government is to double the income of farmers, says PM

1:40PM: The Housing sector stands to gain immensely from the Budget, says PM

1:39PM: This Budget is yet again devoted to the well-being of the villages, farmers and the poor, says PM Modi

1:37PM: The merger of the Railway Budget with the general budget will give an impetus to the transport sector’s growth, says PM Modi

1:35PM: The aim of the Government is to double the income of farmers, says PM Modi

1:33PM: An important link between all the steps taken in the last 2 and a half years and the development in future that will follow, says PM

1:30PM: The FM has presented an ‘Uttam’ Budget, devoted to strengthening the hands of the poor, says PM Modi

1:21PM: In a move to push digital payments, the government today removed all duties on devices used in the process of cashless transactions like point of sales machines, finger print readers etc

1:18PM: What is the need to present the Budget every year? Were all announcements of last year’s budget fulfilled? Asks Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena

1:15PM: Any step to clean political funding will be supported by us. We were expecting fireworks, instead got a damp squib, says Rahul Gandhi on Budget 2017

1:12PM: KPMG in India Insta-Analysis: FM reiterated about the readiness for GST

1:11PM: Former RBI governor C Rangarajan describes 2017-18 Budget as ‘a fairly routine’ Budget

1:09PM: The budget numbers dont seem to add up, as there is huge expansion on Govt spending on schemes. The budget is rhetorical, but in actually creating jobs there is precious little. Railways got a cursory mention, says Manish Tewari, Congress

1:06PM: Path breaking budget, a new era has begun, says Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister

1:05PM: Sensex rises 265.79 points, at 27,921.75

1:03PM: KPMG in India Insta-Analysis: As expected, no changes in service tax legislation

12:59PM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: GST on government’s top priority. No major changes under central excise and service tax. IT System are on track for implemetation of GST. No significant loss or gain on account of changes in indirect taxation

12:57PM: DnB Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Corporate tax reduction will support financial health of msmes segment

12:56PM: Arun Jaitley Cut tax rate for 2.5-5 lakh to 5%!!! Very good move. All other categories will get a benefit of Rs 12,500 Sounds neither here not there … What a letdown. Arun Jaitley has left the big arbitrage open by keeping slabs high and bringing in top tax rate of 30% at a mere Rs 10 lakh, says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

12:55PM: FM Jaitley concludes his Budget speech

12:55PM: Surcharge of 10% for those whose annual income is Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore: FM Jaitley

12:54PM: Cash donation kept at Rs 2,000 instead of 20,000 … hogwash … should be removed completely. RBI Bonds for Political Parties …Wow, what a convoluted way to allow political parties to keep donations private. FII clarification very important … taxman dumb to apply Vodafone law to FIIs … Arun Jaitley has done well to remove this. Will boost market sentiment in a big way, says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

12:53PM: Propose to reduce existing rate of taxation of those with income between 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh from 10% to 5%, says FM Jaitley

12:53PM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Corporate tax rate for small companies having turnover upto 50 cr. reduced to 25%. Will benefit 96% of companies in India

12:52PM: Maximum cash donation any party can receive will be Rs 2000 from one source. Political parties continue to receive most funds through anonymous donations, says FM Jaitley. Read More

12:52PM: KPMG in India Insta-Analysis: Relief to corporate tax payers- MAT credit allowability period increased from 10 years to 15 years

12:51PM: KPMG in India Insta-Analysis: Reduced corporate tax rate of 25% for companies with annual turnover upto 50 crores, boost to SMEs

12:51PM: KPMG in India Insta-Analysis: Concessional rate of 5% percent withholding tax on interest on eligible loans / bonds etc extended to 2020

12:50PM: SIT has suggested no cash transaction above Rs 3 lakhs. Government has accepted this, says FM Jaitley

12:48PM: I propose to reduce basic customs duty on LNG from 5% to 2.5% in 2017-18, says FM Arun Jaitley

12:47PM: Not to remove Minimum Alternative Tax in 2017-18; Propose to allow a carry forward of MAT for a period of 15 yrs as against 10 years now, says FM

12:47PM: Income tax for small companies with an annual turn over of 50 crore, now to pay 25%, a 5% reduction, says FM

12:46PM: Lowering tax rate on MSMEs to 25% … more arbitrage Arun Jaitley, says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

12:45PM: Capital gains tax to be exempted, for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of state capital of Telangana, says FM

12:44PM: The net tax revenue grew by 17% in 2015-16, says FM Arun Jaitley

12:43PM: Plan to extend basket of financial instruments to which the capital gains can be invested sans payment of tax, says Jaitley

12:43PM: Due to demonitisation advance tax on personal Income tax increased by 34.8%, says FM

12:42PM: Out of 3.7 crore who filed tax returns in 2015-16, only 24 lakh persons showed income above Rs 10 lakh, says FM Jaitley

12:42PM: We are largely a tax non compliant society, when too many people evade taxes burden falls on those who are honest, says FM Jaitley

12:41PM: Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried, says FM

12:40PM: More funds beyond Rs 10,000 cr for recapitalisation of banks will be provided if needed, says Jaitley

12:39PM: The shares of railway CPSEs like IRCTC and IRFC to be listed on various stock exchanges, says Arun Jaitley

12:38PM: DnB Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Increased tax collection will provide more leg room to government for investment

12:37PM: New ETF with diverse stocks will be launched in 2017-18, says FM

12:36PM: We are largely a tax non-compliant society, says FM Jaitley

12:35PM: Urgent need to protect poor from chit fund schemes, draft bill placed in public domain, says FM

12:35PM: DnB Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Given increased public investment, fiscal deficit target looks optimistic

12:35PM: Computer emergency response team to be set for cyber security of financial sector, says FM

12:34PM: Government to further liberalise FDI policy, says FM

12:33PM: Rs 2,74,114 cr allocated for defence expenditure, excluding pension; This includes Rs 86,000 cr for defence capital, says FM

12:32PM: Second phase of solar power development to be taken up with an aim of generating 20,000 MW, says FM

12:31PM: Trade Infrastructure Export Scheme to be launched in 2017-18; total allocation for infra at record Rs 3.96 lakh cr, says FM

12:30PM: Digi Gaon will be launched to promote tele-medicine and education, says FM

12:29PM: DnB Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Restructuring ugc will help revolutinise education system in India. Abolishing FIPB will help foreign investment

12:28PM: Crude oil strategic reserves to be set up in Odisha and Rajasthan apart from 3 already constructed, says FM

12:27PM: Government provides Rs 2.41 lakh crore for transport sector, including railways, road and shipping, says FM

12:26PM: Coverage of Fasal Bima Yojana to go up from 30 pc of cropped area to 40 pc in 2017-18 and 50 pc next year, says FM

12:25PM: Select airports in tier-II cities to be taken up for operations, development on PPP mode, says FM

12:25PM: Railway tariffs to be fixed on the basis of cost, social obligation and competition, says FM

12:24PM: Fiscal Deficit target for 2017-18 is 3.2%, says FM Jaitley

12:23PM: Have increased allocation for scientific ministry to Rs 37,435 cr in 2017-18, says FM

12:22PM: Mallya gets special mention … may even get a new law for him Model Asset Liability Liquidation Act! says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

12:21PM: Total resources being transferred to the states & union territories with legislature is Rs 4.11 lakh crore, says FM Arun Jaitley

12:20PM: Total expenditure of budget 2017-18 has been placed at Rs 21.47 lakh crore, says FM

12:19PM: Defence expenditure excluding pension at Rs 2.74 lakh crore, says FM Arun Jaitley

12:18PM: Arbitration process for Infra-PPPs very important Arun Jaitley. PSU listing is sooooo old — doesn’t really help. Where are the big privatisation measures? Integrated oil PSU seems quite dumb … PSUs don’t have the capacity to deliver the way private firms can. Survey’s big bad bank PARA scheme out of the window! Govt in no mood for a big bang here. If no quick resolution to NPAs,how does @ArunJaitley expect lending to rise?Lending to MSME CONTRACTING today. Watch the Bank Nifty fall with no big change from @ArunJaitley here … So far, quite disappointing, says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

12:17PM: Aadhar enabled payment system to be launched soon;Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh Point-of-Sale terminals by Mar’17, says FM

12:16Pm: Government considering introduction of new law to confiscate assets of offenders who escape the country, says FM

12:15PM: Chandigarh and eight districts of Haryana have been declared Kerosene free, says FM

12:14PM: Unmanned railway level crossings to be done away with by 2020, says FM Jaitley

12:13PM: Propose to double the lending target of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and set it up at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18, says FM Arun Jaitley

12:12PM: KPMG in India Insta-Analysis: FIPB may be phased out by 2017-18, New FDI policy under consideration

12:11PM: Propose to double the lending target of Pradhan Matri Mudra Yojana and set it up at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18: FM Arun Jaitley

12:10PM: 3.5 Crore youth will be trained under Sankalp program launched by the government, says FM Jaitley

12:10PM: Railway related state-run companies like IRCON and IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges, says FM Jaitley

12:09PM: During 2017-18, another 5 lakh ponds will be constructed, for drought-proofing, says FM Jaitley

12:09PM: Action plan to eliminate Kala Azar & Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018, Measles by 2020 & Tuberculosis by 2025, says FM

12:08PM: DnB Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Infra gets maximum investment and will help crowd-in pvt investment

12:08PM: DnB Insta-Analysis: Budget Infra status to affordable housing will make loans cheaper and boost real estate sector. Boost to rural infrastructure will multiply rural income and accelerate economic growth. Rural credit gets a major boost.

12:07PM: Allocation to electronics manufacturers schemes like MSIPS increased to all time high of Rs 745 crores with 250 proposals received, says FM

12:07PM: The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has been abolished, says FM Jaitley

12:06PM: Transport sector allocated Rs 2.41 Lakh crore and Bharat Net Project allocated Rs 10,000 crore, says FM Jaitley

12:06PM: Service charges on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn, says FM Arun Jaitley

12:05PM: Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnership, says FM Jaitley

12:04PM: By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with Bio-toilets, says FM Arun Jaitley

12:03PM: Hope new plan on medicines doesn’t lead to more inspector raj Arun Jaitley. Beginning of outcome-monitoring of expenditure — for SC/ST so far — is a good beginning, says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

12:02PM: Railway Safety Fund of Rs 100,000 crore over 5 years … no word on price reforms makes you a bit wary thought. So Arun Jaitley needs to find an extra Rs 20,000 cr for Railways this year. Where will he get this from? says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

12:01PM: Atleast 25 stations expected to be awarded during 2017-18; 500stations to be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts&escalators, says FM

12:00PM: A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth, says FM Jaitley

12:00PM: Rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore to be created over a period of 5 years, says FM Jaitley

12:00PM: Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism, says FM Jaitley

11:59AM: Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat, says FM Arun Jaitley

11:59AM: Total allocation for rural, agricultural and allied sectors for 2017-18 at record Rs 1.87 crore, it is up by 24%, says FM Jaitley

11:58AM: For senior citizens, Aadhar cards giving their health condition will be introduced, says FM Jaitley

11:57Am: Safe drinking water to cover 28,000 arsenic & Fluoride affected habitations in the next four years, says FM Jaitley

11:56AM: Open defecation free villages are now being given priority for pipe to water supply, says FM Jaitley

11:55AM: To complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha houses, says FM Jaitley

11:55AM: For youth, proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning; Science to be given focus, says FM Arun Jaitley

11:54AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: To achieve 100% rural electrification by March 2018. Affordable housing to be given Infrastructure status  – This will incentive real estate sector

11:54AM: 133-km road per day constructred under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana as against 73-km in 2011-14, says FM

11:53AM: Government to set up dairy processing fund of Rs 8,000 crore over 3 years with initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore, says FM

11:53AM: National Testing agency to conduct all examinations in higher education, freeing CBSE and other agencies, says FM

11:52AM: 27,000 cr on to be spend on #PMGSY; 1 cr houses to be completed by 2017-18 for houseless, says FM.

11:51Am: 1 crore households to be brought out of poverty under Antodya Scheme, says FM

11:51Am: Modern law on contract farming will be drafted and circulated to states, says FM

11:50AM: Spacetechnology to be used for monitoring MNREGA implementation, says FM

11:50Am: Dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be created with a corpus of Rs 5000 crore, says FM

11:49AM: Market reforms will be undertaken, states will be asked to denotify perishables from Essential Commodities Act, says FM

11:48AM: Allocation under MNREGA increased to 48,000 crore from Rs 38,500 crore. This is highest ever allocation, says FM

11:48AM: Committed to doubling the #farmincome in 5 years, says FM

11:47AM: Rs 9,000 cr higher allocation for payment of sugarcane arrears, says FM

11:47AM: Functional autonomy of the #railways to be maintained, says Jaitley

11:47AM: Tax administration honouring the honest is one of the 10 pillars of Budget 2017-18, says FM

11:47AM: Textile-type scheme for leather and footwear a great idea Arun Jaitley, hope the gau-rakshaks will let it happen. EcoSurvey raised this issue, says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

11:46AM: Will promote employment and exports …. Textile-type scheme for leather and footwear a gr8 idea Arun Jjaitley Hope the gau-rakshaks will let it happen. EcoSurvey raised this issue, says, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

11:45AM: 100% village electrification will be achieved by May 1,2018, says FM

11:45AM: As Swami Vivekananda said ‘education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves is it worth of the name?’, says FM

11:44AM: Total allocation for rural, agricultural and allied sectors for 2017-18 is Rs 187223 cr, which is 24% higher than last year, says FM Arun Jaitley

11:44AM: Budget allocation to MNREGA increased to a record Rs 48,000 crore for 2017-18, from Rs 37,000 crore in 2016-17, says FM Jaitley

11:43AM: Dedicated micro-irrigation fund will b set up by NABARD to achieve goal of ‘Per Drop More Crop’.Initial corpus will be Rs 5000 crore, says FM

11:43AM: Participation of women in MNREGA has increased to 55%, says FM Arun Jaitley

11:42AM: Top-class idea to work on measuring quality of learning. Very important to free up non-govt education … no sign of that so far, says Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

11:41AM: Target of agricultural loans to farmers set at record Rs 10 lakh crore in 2017-18, says FM Jaitley

11:41AM: Dairy processing infrastructure fund will be set up under NABARD, with fund of 8,000 crore, says FM Jaitley

11:40AM: Issuance of soil health cards have gathered momentum, will setup a mini lab in krishi vigyan kendras, says FM Jaitley

11:40AM: My approach in preparing the Budget is to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure & poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence, says FM Jaitley

11:39AM: With better Monsoon, Agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1% in current year, says FM Jaitley

11:39AM: Uncertainty around commodity prices, especially around crude oil, one of the major challenges, says FM Jaitley

11:38AM: We are aware we need to do more for our people, our agenda is transform, energise and clean India, that is ‘tech India’, says FM Jaitley

11:37AM: Welcome increase in rural roads Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana plan, says Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

11:36AM: Firmly believe that GST, Demonetisation, built on JAM, will have an epoch-making impact on the lives of our people, says FM

11:35AM: Demonetisation aims to create a new normal, where the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real, says FM

11:34AM: Effects of demonetisation not expected to spill over to next year, says Jaitley

11:33AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Honouring the honest – waiting to hear, a very welcome step

11:32AM: Demonetisation two tectonic policy initiatives, We have witnessed historic and impactful economic reform and policymaking, Number of global reports show India has considerably improved its policies, profile and practice, says FM

11:31: Budget 2017 live, Arun Jaitley live

11:30AM: Welcome plan to increase crop insurance to 40% of all cropped area, says Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

11:29AM: India’s macroeconomic stability continues to the foundation of our economic success, says FM

11:28AM: Signs of retreat from globalization have potential to affect exports from many emerging economies, including India, says FM

11:27AM: Uncertainty around commodity prices, esp. around crude oil, second major challenge, says FM

11:26Am: Current monetary plance of the US Federal reserve one of 3 challenges, says FM

11:25AM: My approach in preparing the Budget 2017 is to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure & poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence, says FM

11:24AM: We have moved from discretionary based administration to policy based administration, says Jaitley.

11:23AM: Demonetisation was a bold & decisive strike in a series of measures to arrive at a new normal of bigger, cleaner & real GDP, says FM

11:23AM: Demonetization seeks to create a new normal where in the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real, says FM Jaitley

11:23AM: Pace of remonetisation has picked up &will soon reach comfortable levels; effects of demonetisation not expected to spill over to next yr-FM

11:22AM: Spend more in rural areas and infrastructure while keeping fiscal deficit mind …. FM is quite reassuring, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

11:21AM: I am reminded of what our father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi said ‘a right cause never fails’, says FM Jaitley

11:20AM: Demonetisation is a bold and decisive measure, for many decades tax evasion was a way of life for many, says FM Jaitley

11:19AM: India is seen as engine of global growth, have witnessed historic reform in last one year, says FM Jaitley

11:19AM: The advanced economies are expected to increase their growth from 1.6%-1.9% and emerging economies from 4.1%-4.5%, says FM Arun Jaitley

11:18AM: Growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to recover in 2017, says FM

11:17AM: There are positive signs, that point to a positive outlook for the next year, says FM There are positive signs, that point to a positive outlook for the next year, says FM

11:16AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: India becomes 6th largest manufacturer in the world

11:16Am: We are moving from informal to formal economy & the Government is now seen as a trusted custodian of public money, says Arun Jaitley

11:15AM: IMF estimates world GDP to grow at 3.1% in 2016 and 3.4% in 2017: FM

11:14AM: The Government is now seen as a trusted custodian of public money, says FM

11:13AM: Energizing youth, to reap benefits of growth and employment: our focus, says FM

11:12AM: Govt has no money to invest in capital spending, but needs to. So, like last year, expect more off-budget spending for roads and railways, financed through borrowing from LIC-types, says Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

11:11AM: Jaitley thanks the people for support to the Government, assures of more measures for people’s welfare

11:10AM: Expectations included burning issues like inflation and price rise, issue of corruption & crony capitalism, says FM

11:09AM: Our government was elected amidst huge expectations of people, the underlying theme of expectations being good governance, says FM Jaitley

11:08AM: The government is now seen as a trusted custodian of public money,I express gratitude to people for their strong support, says FM Jaitley

11:07AM: Massive war on black money launched

11:06AM: FM Jaitley begins his Budget speech

11:05AM: I would have adjourned the house, but today’s sitting has been fixed by President for presentation of Union Budget 2017, says Sumitra Mahajan in Lok Sabha

11:04Am: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Exemption base may be trimmed to align with proposed GST framework

11:04AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Changes expected under customs, Make in India policy and broad GST road map may be laid down

11:03AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017:Basic tax exemption limit may undergo some beneficial change

11:00Am: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reads out obituary of E Ahamed who passed away due to cardiac arrest

10:57AM: Cabinet approves the budget 2017, budget 2017 live, FM to present shortly in the parliament. Arun Jaitley live in parliament in another 5-10 minutes.

10:55AM: Lalu Yadav demanding adjournment of the house

10:53AM: Manishi Raychaudhuri to BTVI: Hope long term capital gains is not re-introduced; increase in ltcg will dampen sentiments

10:51AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: The retirement benefits, specifically the NPS withdrawals may see some change

10:49AM: Budget has a sanctity, we are already in the 11th hour. There should be no controversy over it. Its constitutional obligation, says Venkaiah Naidu

10:46AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Rate of service tax may be raised from current 15 percent to align with higher GST rate

10:43AM: Saddened by E Ahamed ji’s demise but Budget 2017 will be presented, says Sumitra Mahajan. We have to keep in mind that budget is a constitutional obligation, will have to be presented, says Speaker

10:40AM: EY India Insta-Analysis on Budget 2017: Exemption for interest payments for housing loans may go up to 2.5 Lakhs from the current 2 Lakhs.

10:37AM: Budget 2017 live: There was no need to go to the President with the budget, what is the hurry? Shows the  mentality of the government. This is surprising, says HD Deve Gowda. Meanwhile, Lalu Yadav of RJD offered his condolences to the family of E Ahamed. He went on to say that Budget shouldn’t be presented today.

10:36AM: EY India Insta-Analysis: 80C likely to be increased to Rs 2 Lakhs

10:35AM: Speaker confirms that the Union Budget 2017 will be presented today

10:33AM: Budget 2017 live EY India Insta-Analysis: With GST proposed to be implemented from 1 July 2017, not much changes are expected on excise & service tax which are to be subsumed under GST

10:30AM: EY India Insta-Analysis: Reduction in Corporate tax rate expected

10:29AM: Huge shortfall in disinvestment receipts and zero privatization … Going to be a test of government reform credentials, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

10:26AM: Postponement of budget will be no big deal, its not as if secrecy will break-HD Deve Gowda,former PM

10:23AM: Watch me present Union Budget 2017 at 11 am today, tweets Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

10:20AM: This year’s budget is historic in several ways. The budget is for the first time being presented on February 1, earlier it was February end event. The government is aiming at implementing the budgetary provisions from the beginning of the financial year which is April 1.

10:17AM: The cloud hovering around the presentation of Union Budget got cleared as the government has arrived at a consensus after speaking to all political parties

10:14AM: Sunil Singhania to BTVI: Market is expecting huge cap expenditure from the government; Budget is getting more off a routine exercise

How much money FM puts aside for proposed PARA to fix banks critical, assuming FM even agrees. Survey suggests using demonetization dividend — that is more people flocking to amnesty scheme — for funding PARA, not wasting it. Let’s see what FM does, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

10:30 AM: Budget 2017 live, FM Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi attend the cabinet meeting ahead of budget presentation.

10:12AM: PM Modi reaches E Ahamed’s residence

1011AM: It’s not March 31, there is a lot of time to present budget. Govt can postpone it, says Mallikarjun Kharge

10:10AM: I think Govt already knew that he had passed away, but they were trying to maybe delay announcement: Mallikarjun Kharge,Congress

10:09AM: In our opinion,including JDU leaders and former PM Deve Gowda, the budget should be postponed: Mallikarjun Khadge, Congress

10:08 AM: Given the really bad shape of telecom companies, there cannot be any spectrum auction in FY18. That could reduce telecom revenue for FM in FY18 by 20,000-25,000 crore at the very least, Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

10:06AM: Economic Survey points to critical issues … Slowing consumption, contracting private investment, critical condition of PSU banks due to NPAs and this resulting in negative flows to industry …Judge budget by what it does on these issues, says Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express

Union budget 2017 live updates by  Arun Jaitley. Arun Jaitley live from Parliament presenting budget 2017 live. Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017. He has done away with a decade-old practice of presenting it on the last working day of February. After presenting the Budget, Jaitley will reply to questions by Twitterati on the Budget proposals. Will he reduce Income Tax rates for the common man, will he announce sops for SMEs hit by demonetisation? Track FE.COM for the latest on the Union Budget 2017:

10:03AM: Cabinet meeting to be held shortly in Parliament

10:00AM: Fresh positions created by retail and domestic institutional investors on hopes of an investor-friendly
budget lifted sentiment. Realty, PSU, oil and gas, capital goods, consumer durables and banking stocks were lapped up, accounting for much of the gains.

9:59AM: The 30-share BSE index, which had lost 226.50 points in the previous two sessions, recovered 64.15 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 27,720.11. Similarly, the NSE Nifty moved up 21.90 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 8,583.20.

9:57AM: Market rose by over 64 points in opening trade today as investors built up positions ahead of the Union budget, which is slated to be unveiled later in the day.

9:54AM: The Union budget comes less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bold and risky gamble to outlaw high-value old currency notes, which has slammed the brakes on Asia’s third-largest economy and hit the poor particularly hard.

9:51AM: Hitting a positive note for the sixth session, the rupee today strengthened by another 24 paise to 67.63 against the dollar early on after banks and exporters continued to cut back on the US currency. Dealers said dollar’s weakness against a basket of other currencies overseas gave the domestic currency more muscle. Moreover, a higher opening in the domestic equity market provided some support.

9:48AM: Lok Sabha speaker Sumita Mahajan to visit E Ahamed’s residence at 10 am

9:46AM: FM Arun Jaitley reaches the Parliament

9:45AM: Union Budget 2017 on track, FM Jaitley to present Budget in Parliament at 11AM

9:44AM: Eight core industries register a growth of 5.6 per cent in December 2016 on the back of healthy output recorded by refinery products and steel.

9:43AM: ICRA says that a Budget that boosts economic growth through targeted spending while balancing fiscal considerations, may help revive FII interest in the immediate term, particularly in the country’s equity market.

9:40AM: India’s fiscal deficit in the first nine months to December was $73.87 billion or 93.9 percent of the budgeted target for the fiscal year ending in March 2017, as per government data. The fiscal deficit was 87.9 percent of the full-year target during the same period a year ago. Net tax receipts in the first nine months of 2016/17 fiscal year were Rs 7.52 trillion. Senior officials say Jaitley may allow the deficit to overshoot an earlier target of 3 percent of GDP to create room for more public investment – a move against that ratings agencies such as Standard & Poor’s have warned against because of India’s high national debt.

9:37AM: Startup industry is expecting more incentives this financial year. According to the market leaders, Startups are looking forward to a continuing tax exemption as well as other tax-related incentives.

9:33AM: Running trains at 200 kmph on the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes, allocation of Rs 20,000 crore for safety upgrade and customised trains for agri products are likely to be in focus as FM Jaitley presents the first Rail Budget subsumed in the General Budget. Besides, the budget may also give thrust on infrastructure development including laying new lines, electrification, modernisation and station redevelopment with private participation. Making all stations disabled-friendly ones and connectivity for religious places are likely to find mention in the Budget 2017-18. This may have a direct and significant effect on the second class and AC-3 tier tickets, while ticket prices of AC 1-tier and 2-tier will increase marginally. The Railways, which expected Rs 1.84 lakh crore revenue in the current financial year, but has already lowered down it to Rs 1.7 lakh crore, would definitely witness a boost in its finances due to the fare hike.

9:30AM: Ahead of the Budget, a survey has revealed that India Inc’s business confidence slipped to a four quarter low as demonetisation pulled down performance and clouded its assessment of the economy. According to Ficci’s latest Business Confidence Survey, the Overall Business Confidence Index (OBCI) slipped to a four quarter low of 58.2 vis-a-vis 67.3 in the last round as 4 out of 5 companies reported weak demand. The survey was conducted between December 2016 and January 2017 to capture the assessment of the current situation as well as gauge expectations regarding performance for the next six months. It drew responses from about 207 companies belonging to a wide array of sectors.

9:27AM: Expectations of an economically balanced Budget by sticking to its fiscal consolidation path which will give room for RBI to cut key rates, say experts

9:24AM: FM Jaitley will reply to questions by Twitterati on the proposals in the Budget after its presentation in the Lok Sabha. “I shall be presenting the Union Budget for 2017-18. I shall be happy to respond to your questions which you can send directly to me,” Jaitley said in a video message. The questions can be asked on Twitter by using hastag #MyQuestionToFM.

9:22AM: Jaitley is expected to offer some tax “sops” to individuals to ease the pain of demonetisation, and ramp up public sector investment to offset weak consumption and private capital investment.

9:20AM: Budget 2017 copies reach Parliament

9:10AM: FM Jaitley meets President Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan


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First published on: 01-02-2017 at 09:13 IST