This year, the Union Budget was released on 1st February. In fact, it was the first time that the rail budget was not presented separately. The announcements pertaining to Railways were made as a part of the Union Budget only.
Union budget is a significant aspect from the perspective of GK section seen in Bank PO / Clerk, SSC CGL & other Govt. Job Exams. As a candidate enrolled in the Institute for Best SBI PO Coaching in Delhi, you need to be aware of important budgetary announcements made by the finance minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley.
(I) Growth Rate
- GDP growth seen between 6.75% and 7.5% for 2017-18.
- GDP growth rate slashed to 6.50% for 2016-17.
- Agricultural sector is expected to grow at 4.1% in 2016-17.
(II) Deficit Figures
- Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.2% of GDP for 2017-18 and at 3% of GDP for 2018-19.
- As per the revised estimates of 2016-17, revenue deficit reduced to 2.1% of GDP.
- Revenue deficit estimated to be at 1.9% of GDP for 2017-18.
- In the 1st half of 2016-17, current account deficit was only 0.3% of GDP.
(III) Tax Reforms
- Corporate tax rate: MSME rate reduced to 25% (for firms with an annual turnover of 50 crore)
- Revised income tax slabs for individuals:
- Between Rs. 2.5 Lakh & 5 Lakh – 5%
- Between Rs. 5 Lakh & 10 Lakh – 20%
- Above Rs. 10 Lakh – 30%
- Above Rs. 50 Lakh – 30% + 10% Surcharge
- Above Rs. 1 Crore – 30% + 15% Surcharge
- MAT credit will be allowed to be carried forward up to 15 years duration, instead of 10 years at present.
- Under the scheme of presumptive income for small & medium tax payers whose turnover is upto 2 crores, the current, 8% of the turnover which is considered presumptive income has been reduced to 6% in respect of non-cash turnover.
- Profit (linked deduction) exemption offered to the start-ups for 3 years out of 5 years has been changed to 3 years out of 7 years.
- Threshold limit for the audit of business entities that opt for presumptive income scheme has been increased from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore. Similarly, the threshold limit for maintenance of account books for individuals & HUF increased from a turnover of Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh or income from Rs. 1.2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh.
- The time period allowed for revising tax returns is being reduced to 1 year from the completion of the financial year, at par with the time period for filing of return.
(IV) Budgetary Allocation
- Total budget expenditure: Rs. 21.47 Lakh Crore (around Rs. 21 trillion).
- Defence expenditure (excluding pensions): Rs. 2.74 Lakh crore.
- Allocation of Rs. 48,000 crore for MGNREGA.
- Agricultural sector credit target fixed at Rs. 10 Lakh Crores and 60 days interest waiver which was announced earlier.
- Rs. 10,000 crores for recapitalization of Banks provided in 2017-18, in line with the ‘Indradhanush’ roadmap.
- Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target at Rs. 2.44 lakh crore.
- Total allocation for Rural, Agriculture and Allied sectors is Rs. 1,87,223 crores.
- SANKALP (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) initiative to be launched, at a cost of Rs. 4000 crores, which will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore young individuals.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana: Rs. 23,000 crore allocated.
- Budget allocation for Highways at Rs. 64,900 crore.
- Transport sector (including Railways, Road and Shipping) allocated Rs 2.41 Lakh crore.
- Total allocation for Infrastructure: Rs 3.96 Lakh crore.
(V) Railway Provisions & Announcements
- Rail safety fund (Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh) with a corpus of Rs 1 Lakh crore to be created over a period of 5 years.
- Total capital expenditure and development expenditure of Railways pegged at Rs1,31,000 crore.
- Railway lines of 3,500 km to be commissioned in 2017-18.
- 500 stations to be made differently-abled friendly.
- Coach Mitra, a single window interface, to be set up to redress grievances.
- Service charge on e-tickets withdrawn for IRCTC.
- Unmanned railway level crossings to be eliminated by 2020.
- The shares of Railway public sector enterprises such as: IRCTC, IRCON and IRFC to be listed on various stock exchanges.
- By 2019, there will be biotoilets for all coaches.
(VI) Miscellaneous Announcements
- Aadhar Pay, the merchant version of Aadhar Enabled Payment System, to be launched soon.
- Maximum amount of cash donation that any political party can receive from one person will be Rs. 2000 only.
- LNG customs duty reduced to 2.5% from 5%.
- Allowable provision for NPAs of Banks increased from 7.5% to 8.5%.
- No transaction above Rs. 3 Lakh will be allowed in cash, subject to certain exceptions.
- SWAYAM: A platform, leveraging Information Technology to be launched with a minimum of 350 online courses.
- 100% rural electrification by March 2018.
- Two new AIIMS to come up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.
- Aadhar based health cards for senior citizens.
- Action plan to eliminate leprosy by 2018 and TB by 2025.
- Foreign Investment Promotion Board to be abolished.
- Participation of women in MNREGA increased to 55%.
- A scheme for senior citizens to ensure 8% guaranteed returns.
- Digi Gaon will be launched to promote tele-medicine and education.
- Speed of road construction under PMGSY accelerated to 133 kilometer per day in 2016-17.
- Amendment to the RBI Act to enable the issuance of electoral bonds as per a scheme that the GOI would frame in this regard.
These points have been carefully selected and their accuracy checked by experts providing Top Bank Exam Coaching in Delhi. Memorizing them is a must, if you are taking any Competitive Exam in the next 3 to 4 months. For further understanding, you can even watch a couple of video lectures on this topic which are available on Vidya Guru Youtube Channel. In fact, the online video tutorials available on this channel will support you in other areas such as: Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, English Language and General Studies as well.
This compilation of important points related to Union Budget 2017 will be of definite help to any candidate engaged in Govt. Job Exam Preparation. It can be used as a ready reckoner for anyone wanting to understand this year’s budget. For further guidance on how to prepare for Banking & SSC exams, you can get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.