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Synopsis: Union Budget 2017-2018

Dr. Anand Wadadekar 
on 01 February 2017

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GENERAL:

Finance Minister says:

  • IMF estimates world GDP will grow by 3.4 percent in 2017
  • India has become the 6th largest manufacturing country, up from ninth previously
  • Budget contains three major reforms: Budget advanced for early start of fiscal expending; merging of Rail Budget to main Budget; Done away with plan and non-plan expenditure
  • Merger of the Railway Budget with the Union Budget is a historic approach
  • Agriculture expected to grow at 4.1% in the current year
  • Law on Contract Farming to be introduced
  • Govt plans legislative reforms to simplify existing labour laws - wages, industrial relations, social security and safety
  • LIC to come up with 8% guaranteed scheme for senior citizen
  • New rules regarding medical devices will be devised to reduce their cost
  • Aadhar enabled merchant payment will be launched soon, especially for those without net banking, e-wallets, and debit cards
  • Centralised defence travel system, where travel ticket can be booked by soldiers online
  • Model Shops and Establishment Bill to open up additional opportunities for employment of women
  • Head post offices to issue passports
  • Govt considering option to amend Negotiable Instruments Act to ensure that holders of dishonoured cheques get payment

Education:

  • National Testing Agency to conduct all examinations in higher education, freeing CBSE and other agencies from this and facilitate them to focus on academics
  • Govt plans to increase additional 5,000 post graduate seats per annum
  • Innovation fund to be created for secondary education
  • Swayam platform for students - more than 350 courses online
  • Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat

Infrastructure:

  • Housing to get 'Infrastructure' status
  • Allocation for infrastructure stands at a record Rs 3,96,135 crore
  • 3 year period for long-term capital gains tax on immovable property reduced to 2 years; base year indexation shifted from 1.4.1981 to 1.4.2001

RAILWAY:

  • No change in Passenger Fares
  • Service charges for e-ticket booking through IRCTC website to be withdrawn
  • IRCTC & IRCON as a company to be listed on stock exchange

DIRECT TAX:
Individuals:

Tax Slabs changed at:

Income up to Rs 2.5 lakh: NIL tax
Income between Rs 2.5 - 5 lakh: Tax at 5%

Income between 5 - 10 lakh: Tax at 20%
Income above Rs 10 lakh: Tax at 30%

  • Surcharge of 10% in those with income above Rs. 50 lakhs per annum and below Rs. 1 crore
  • 15% surcharge on incomes above Rs 1 crore to continue
  • No cash transaction above Rs 3 lakh without PAN
  • 5% TDS on insurance agents removed
  • A single one-page form for filing IT returns for taxable income up to Rs 5 lakh

Corporate:

  • Corporate tax to be at 25% for small & medium companies whose annual turnover is less than Rs. 50 crores
  • MAT can be carried forward for 15 years by companies as against 10 years allowed earlier

INDIRECT TAX:
No change in excise and service tax rates due to upcoming GST


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