American writer Mark Twain famously said, “Clothes maketh a man.” And going by the attire that the parliamentarians chose to don on Budget Day (February 1), it is safe to assume that our parliamentarians (or at least most of them) also believe so. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley chose a grey kurta for the big day and complemented it with a black Nehru jacket. His look was a perfect combination of sober and dapper. Not just his outfit, but the briefcase which he carried was also carefully chosen and it had to be, as perhaps the most photographed pose on the Budget day every year is – the FM standing with his briefcase outside Parliament. To present the Union Budget 2018, Jaitley carried a leather brown briefcase to Parliament. The briefcase that carries the blueprint of the nation’s major economic decisions surely lived up to its significance.
Among other parliamentarians, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj chose a colour which was likely the colour of the day for the Parliament – yellow. On Thursday, when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Budget, there were at least 40 MPs who were dressed in various shades of yellow, as per a report by The Indian Express. Sushma’s ministerial colleague and national vice president of the BJP, S S Ahluwalia, chose a yellow turban for the occasion.
Meanwhile, the 10 key highlights of the budget were the following announcements:-
The launch of a National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, benefiting approximately 50 crore people.
No change in income tax slabs.
Hike in customs duty to boost domestic manufacturing.
Revising emoluments of the President, Vice-President, Governor, and parliamentarians.
Eklavya schools for Scheduled Tribe population.
Allocation of Rs 56,619 crore for SC welfare and Rs 39,135 crore for ST welfare.
Operation Greens to be launched on the lines of Operation Floods.
Construction of 2 crore more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission.
Under Saubhagya Yojana, 4 crore electricity connections will be provided to poor families.
Integrated B.Ed programme for teachers