Budget 2018 Highlights: India Creates World’s Largest Healthcare Program!
The current budget focusses on agriculture and has also announced the world's biggest healthcare program, ModiCare.
Current BJP Govt’s last Union Budget has been announced, and there have been mixed reactions from the business community, and the public at large.
While socialists and liberals are rejoicing on the fact that India has created world’s largest healthcare system, ModiCare, salaried employees are a bit upset over additional 10% capital gains tax on their income from investments.
PM Modi has hailed the budget and termed it as ‘pro-development’, which will help to create more jobs.
“This budget has devoted attention to all sectors – ranging from agriculture to infrastructure… this budget strengthens the hope and expectations of 125 crore people of India and will give a push to development,”
As per the PM, this budget will enable both ‘ease of business’ and ‘ease of living’.
Major #Budget2018 Highlights
ModiCare: World’s Largest Healthcare Plan
ModiCare has been announced in the budget, which is world’s largest universal healthcare scheme, which will benefit more than 10 crore underprivileged families who cannot afford their health-related expenses. Free health insurance of Rs 5 lakh per family has been announced. Besides, Govt. will create 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres centres under the Ayushman Bharat program.
Capital Gains Tax
A 10% additional long-term capital gains tax has been proposed on income deriving from share sell or mutual fund investment, which is in addition to Securities Transaction Tax (STT). Investors are a bit upset over this additional tax, as it will reduce their overall profits.
Import Duty On Mobile Phones
Foreign mobile companies will now pay 20% import duty, compared to 15% earlier; which means that domestic production of mobiles under Make in India will receive a boost.
Income Tax Slabs
No changes have been made in the slab of personal income tax of salaried employees. However, Rs 40,000 (max) tax rebate can be now availed under expenses such as travel and health reimbursements.
In a big boost to senior citizens, Govt has allowed tax rebate up to Rs 50,000 over health-related expenses, which also includes health insurance premiums.
On the issue of cryptocurrencies, Govt. has restated that they are not legal tenders for financial transactions, and their use and expansion would be curbed when it comes to their illegal use. Besides legalities, the exact position is still unclear.
- In a big move, which is certainly unprecedented, Indian Railways has received a total budget allocation of Rs 1.48 lakh crore for various upgradations and reforms.
- 18,000 km of lines would be doubled, and 36,000 km of rail track renewal has been planned for this year.
- 600 railway stations would be modernized, and every train will now have WiFi connectivity.
- But the cream of the announcements was reserved for agriculture sector: price realisation of farm products and minimum price of Kharif crops would be raised to 1.5 times of the production cost.
- A special budget of Rs 500 crore has been allocated to support the prices of potatoes, onion and tomatoes – the three major vegetables which can influence the fate of the farmer.
- Agri-market infrastructure fund has been established with a corpus of Rs 2000 crore, which will enable more sale and exports of farm products.
By 2022, every home, anywhere in the country will have electricity.
Overall, the budget can be described as rural-focused, with massive emphasis on the agriculture sector, and health reforms.
You can find the complete text of the budget speech here.
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