Saturday, February 11, 2017

Union Budget 2017-18

Three changes in this year Budget (FY 2017-18) Presentation
Before starting the union budget, note the following three changes in this year budget presentation -

  1. The date of budget presentation in Lok Sabha is advanced to February 1 to ensure that the budget proposals take effect smoothly from April 1 (which usually presented in the last working day of February).
  2. The Railway Budget is now merged with the Union Budget (i.e., no separate rail budget by railway minister)
  3. It is also decided to scrap any distinction between plan and non-plan expenditures.

Three major challenges for Emerging economies like India
  1. The current monetary policy stance of the US Federal Reserve, to increase the policy rates more than once in 2017, may lead to lower capital inflows and higher outflows from the emerging economies.
  2. The uncertainty around commodity prices, especially that of crude oil, has implications for the fiscal situation of emerging economies.
  3. In several parts of the world, there are signs of increasing threat from globalization of goods, services and people, as pressures for protectionism are building up.

    - These developments have the potential to affect exports from a number of emerging markets, including India.

Some Macro-economic facts of FY 2016-17
Amidst all the developments, India stands out as a bright spot in the world economic landscape.
  1. India's macro-economic stability continues to be the foundation of economic success.
  2. CPI inflation declined from 6 % in July 2016 to 3.4 % in December 2016, and is expected to remain within RBI's mandated range (inflation target) of 2 % - 6 %
  3. Favorable price developments reflect prudent macroeconomic management, resulting in higher agricultural production, especially in pulses.
  4. India's Current Account Deficit (CAD) had declined from about 1 % of GDP last year to 0.3 % of GDP in the first half of 2016-17.
  5. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has increased from Rs. 1.07 lakh crore in the first half of last year to Rs. 1.45 lakh crore in the first half of 2016-17. This marks an increase by 36 %, despite 5 % reduction in global FDI inflows.
  6. Forex Reserves have reached USD 361 billion, as on Jan 20, 2017, which represents a comfortable cover for about 12 months of imports.
  7. According to IMF, India is expected to be one of the fastest growing economies of 2017. 
  8. India has become the 6th largest manufacturing country (up from 9th previously) in the world
  9. Demonetization will led to higher GDP growth and tax revenues.

  • IMF estimates that world GDP will grow by 3.1 % in 2016 and 3.4 % in 2017. The advanced economies are expected to grow from 1.6 % to 1.9 %, and the emerging economies from 4.1 % to 4.5 %
  • IMF, even while revising India's GDP forecast for 2016 downwards, has projected a GDP growth of 7.2 % (for 2017-18) and 7.7 % (for 2018-19)
  • World Bank is more optimistic and has projected a GDP growth of 7 % (for 2016-17), 7.6 % (for 2017-18) and 7.8 % (for 2018-19).
  • With a better monsoon, agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1 % in the current year.

Union Budget 2017-18 focusing on 10 themes
The Budget, presented by honorable FM Shri Arun Jaitley, was broadly focused on 10 themes -
  1. Farmers - for whom govt has committed to double the income in 5 years
  2. Rural population - providing employment and basic infrastructure
  3. Youth - energising them through education, skills and jobs
  4. Poor and the underprivileged - strengthening the systems of social security, health care and affordable housing
  5. Infrastructure - for efficiency, productivity, and quality of life
  6. Financial sector - growth and stability through stronger institutions
  7. Digital Economy - for speed, accountability and transparency
  8. Public services - effective governance and efficient service delivery through people's participation
  9. Prudent fiscal management - to ensure optimal deployment of resources and preserve fiscal stability, and
  10. Tax administration - honoring the honest

Followings are the key highlights from Finance Minister's Budget speech - 

  1. Agricultural credit - For a good crop, adequate credit should be available to farmers in time. The target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of Rs. 10 lakh croresSpecial efforts to ensure adequate flow of credit to the under-serviced areas, the Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir.
  2. 60 days' Interest waiver - The farmers will benefit from 60 days' interest waiver announced by honorable PM in respect of their loans from the cooperative credit structure.
  3. Core Banking System(CBS) in PACS - About 40 % of the small and marginal farmers avail credit from the cooperative structure. The Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) act as the front end for loan disbursements. Govt. will support NABARD for computerization and integration of all 63,000 functional PACS with the Core Banking System (CBS) of District Central Cooperative Banks. This will be done in 3 years at a estimated cost of Rs. 1,900 crores, with financial participation from State governments.
  4. Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) - At the time of sowing, farmers should feel secure against natural calamities. The Fasal Bima Yojana launched by government is a major step. The coverage of this scheme will be increased from 30 % of cropped areas in 2016-17 to 40 % in 2017-18 and 50 % in 2018-19. For 2017-18, govt will provide a sum of Rs. 9,000 crore.
  5. Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) - The real benefit to farmers would be available only when the soil samples are tested quickly and nutrient level of the soil is known. Govt. will therefore set up new mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and ensure coverage of all 648 KVKs in the country. In addition, 1000 mini labs will be set up by qualified local entrepreneurs. Govt. will provide credit linked subsidy to these entrepreneurs.
  6. Long Term Irrigation Fund - A Long Term Irrigation Fund has already been set up in NABARD. Honorable PM has announced an addition of Rs. 20,000 crores to its corpus. This will take the total corpus of this Fund to Rs. 40,000 crore.
  7. Micro Irrigation Fund - A dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund will be set up in NABARD to achieve the goal, 'per drop more crop'. The Fund will have an initial corpus of Rs. 5,000 crores.
  8. e-National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) - For the post-harvest phase, govt will take steps to enable farmers to get better prices for their produce in the markets. The coverage of National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) will be expanded from the current 250 markets to 585 APMCs. Assistance up to a ceiling of Rs. 75 lakhs will be provided to every e-NAM market for establishment of cleaning, grading and packaging facilities.
  9. Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) - Market reforms will be undertaken and the States would be urged to denotify perishables from APMC. This will give opportunity to farmers to sell their produce and get better prices.
  10. Model Law on Contract Farming - Govt proposes to integrate farmers who grow fruits and vegetables with agro-processing units for better price realization and reduction in post-harvest losses. A model law on contract farming would be prepared and circulated among the States for adoption.
  11. Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund - A large number of milk processing units set up under the Operation Flood programme has since become old and obsolete. A Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund would be set up in NABARD with a corpus of Rs. 8,000 crores over 3 years. Initially, the Fund will start with a corpus of Rs. 2,000 crore.

  1. Mission Antyodaya - Govt will undertake a Mission Antyodaya to bring 1 crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 gram panchayats poverty free by 2019, the 150th birthday of Gandhiji. The mission will work with a focused micro plan for sustainable livelihood for every deprived household. A composite index for poverty free gram panchayat would be developed to monitor the progress from the baseline.
  2. MGNREGA - The budget provision of Rs. 38,500 crores under MGNREGA in 2016-17 has been increased to Rs. 48,000 crores in 2017-18. This is the highest ever allocation for MGNREGA. The initiative to geo-tag all MGNREGA assets and putting them in public domain has established greater transparency. Govt is also using space technology in a big way to plan MGNREGA works. Women participation has increased from 48 % to 55 % 
  3. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) - The pace of construction of PMGSAY roads has accelerated to reach 133 km roads / day in 2016-17, as against an average of 73 km during 2011-14 period. Govt is committed to complete the current target under PMGSY by 2019, and a sum of Rs. 19,000 crores will be provided for this scheme in 2017-18. Together with the contribution of States, an amount of Rs. 27,000 crores will be spent on PMGSY in 2017-18.
  4. Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY) - Govt will complete 1 crore houses by 2019 for the houseless and those living in kutcha houses. The allocation for PMAY-Gramin is increased from Rs. 15,000 crore in 2016-17 to Rs. 23,000 crore in 2017-18.
  5. Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DUGJY) - Govt will achieve 100 % village electrification by May 1, 2018. An increased allocation of Rs. 4,814 crores has been proposed under the DUGJY in 2017-18.
  6. Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) - The allocation for DAY-NRLM is also increased for promotion of skill development and livelihood opportunities for people in rural areas to Rs. 4,500 in 2017-18.
  7. Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) - The allocation for PMEGP and credit support schemes has been increased more than 3 times.
  8. Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) - It has made tremendous progress in promoting safe sanitation and ending open defecation. Sanitation coverage in rural India has gone up from 42 % in October 2014 to about 60 %. Open Defecation Free villages are now being given priority for piped water supply.
  9. Safe Drinking Water under NRDWP - Govt will provide safe drinking water to over 28,000 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations in the next 4 years, under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP)
  10. Mason Training - For imparting new skills to the people in the rural areas, mason training will be provided to 5 lakh persons by 2022, with an immediate target of training at least 20,000 persons by 2017-18
  11. 'Human resource reforms for results' in Panchayat - Panchayati raj institutions still lack human resources for implementing development programmes. A program of 'human resource reforms for results' will be launched during 2017-18 for this purpose.
  12. Total allocation for rural, agriculture and allied sectors - The total allocation for the rural, agriculture and allied sectors in 2017-18 is Rs. 1,87,223 crores, which is 24 % higher than the previous year.

  1. Innovation Fund for Secondary Education - An Innovation Fund for Secondary Education will be created to encourage local innovation for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement. This will include ICT-enabled learning transformation. The focus will be on 3,479 educationally backward blocks.
  2. UGC reforms - In higher education, govt will undertake reforms in the UGC. Good quality institutions would be enabled to have greater administrative and academic autonomy. Colleges will be based identified based on accreditation and ranking, and given autonomous status. A revised framework will be put in place for outcome-based accreditation and credit-based programmes.
  3. SWAYAM Platform - Govt proposes to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM platform with at least 350 online courses. This would enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources; participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.
  4. National Testing Agency - Govt. proposes to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions. This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.
  5. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) - PMKK have already been promoted in more than 60 districts. Govt now propose to extend these Kendras to more than 600 districts across the country. 100 India International Skills Center will be established across the country. These centers would offer advanced training and also courses in foreign languages
  6. SANKALP - In 2017-18, govt also proposes to launch the Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion Programme (SANKALP) at a cost of Rs. 4,000 crore. SANKALP will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth.
  7. STRIVE - The next phase of Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) will also be launched in 2017-18 at a cost of Rs. 2,200 crores. It will focus on improving the quality and market relevance of vocational training provided in ITIs and strengthen the apprenticeship programmes through industry cluster approach.
  8. Textile, Leather and Footware industries - A special scheme for creating employment in the textile sector has already been launched. A similar scheme will be implemented for the leather and footwear industries.
  9. Special Tourism Zones - Tourism is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy. 5 Special Tourism Zones, anchored on SPVs, will be set up in partnership with the States.
  10. Incredible India 2.0 - Incredible India 2.0 Campaign will be launched across the world.

  1. Mahila Shakti Kendra - Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas begins with the girl child and women. Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set up at village level with an allocation of Rs. 500 crore in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centers. This will provide one stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health and nutrition.
  2. Pregnant Women - A nationwide scheme for financial assistance to pregnant women has already been announced by honorable PM on Dec 31, 2016. Under this scheme, Rs. 6,000 each will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children.
  3. Affordable Housing - Govt proposes to facilitate higher investment in affordable housing. Affordable housing will now be given infrastructure status, which will enable these projects to avail associated benefits.
  4. Housing loans by NHB - The National Housing Bank (NHB) will refinance individual housing loans of about Rs. 20,000 crore in 2017-18. Thanks to the surplus liquidity created by demonetization, the banks have already started reducing their lending rates, including those for housing. In addition, interest subvention for housing loans has also been announced by the honorable PM.
  5. Health and Wellness Centers - Poverty is usually associated with poor health. It is the poor who suffer the maximum from various chronic diseases. Govt has therefore prepared an action plan to eliminate Kala-Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018Measles by 2020 and Tuberculosis by 2025. Similarly, action plan has been prepared to reduce IMR from 39 in 2014 to 28 by 2019 and MMR from 167 in 2011-13 to 100 by 2018-20. 1.5 lakh Health Sub Centers will be transformed into Health and Wellness Centers
  6. Regulatory Framework of Medical Education and Practice in India - It is needed to ensure adequate availability of specialist doctors to strengthen Secondary and Tertiary levels of Health care. Govt has therefore decided to take steps to create additional 5,000 Post Graduate seats per annum. In addition, steps will be taken to roll out DNB courses in big District Hospitals; strengthen PG teaching in select ESI and Municipal Corporation Hospitals; and encourage reputed Private Hospitals to start DNB courses. The government is committed to take necessary steps for structural transformation of the Regulatory Framework of Medical Education and Practice in India.
  7. 2 new AIIMS - Two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be set up in the states of Jharkhand and Gujarat.
  8. Amendment of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules - Govt proposes to amend the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules to ensure availability of drugs at reasonable prices and promote use of generic medicines. New rules for regulating medical devices will also be formulated. 
  9. Amendment in Labor Laws - Legislative reforms will be undertaken to simplify, rationalize and amalgamate the existing labor laws into 4 Codes - (i) wages (ii) industrial relations (iii) social security and welfare (iv) safety and working conditions
  10. Model Shops and Establishment Bill 2016 - The Model Shops and Establishment Bill 2016 has been circulated to all States for consideration and adoption. This would open up additional avenues for employment of women.
  11. Amendment in Payment of Wages Act - The amendment made to the Payment of Wages Act is another initiative for the benefit of the labor and ease of doing business.
  12. SC, ST, Minority welfare - Govt is giving special importance to implementation of the schemes for welfare of SC, ST and Minorities. The allocation for the welfare of Scheduled Castes (SC) has been stepped up from Rs. 38,833 crores in 2016-17 to Rs. 52,393 crores in 2017-18, representing an increase of about 35 %. The allocation for Scheduled Tribes (ST) has been increased to Rs. 31,920 crores and for Minority Affairs to Rs. 4,195 crores. The government will introduce outcome-based monitoring of expenditure in these sectors by the NITI Aayog.
  13. Aadhar-based Smart Cards for Senior Citizens - For senior citizens, Aadhar-based Smart Cards containing their health details will be introduced. A beginning will be made through a pilot in 15 districts during 2017-18. The LIC will implement a scheme for senior citizens to provide assured pension, with a guaranteed return of 8 % per annum for 10 years.

  1. Railway Expenditures - Railways, roads and rivers are the lifeline of our country. It is the first combined Budget of independent India that includes the Railways also. For 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of Railways has been pegged at Rs. 1.31 lakh crores. This includes Rs. 55,000 crores provided by the government.
  2. Four focus points of Railways - Among other things, the Railways will focus on 4 major areas namely - (i) Passenger safety (ii) Capital and development works (iii) Cleanliness and (iv) Finance and accounting reforms
  3. Rashtritya Rail Sanraksha Kosh - For passenger safety, a Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh will be created with a focus of Rs. 1 lakh crores over a period of 5 years
  4. Unmanned Level Crossings - Unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge Lines will be eliminated by 2020.
  5. New Railway Lines - In the next 3 years, the throughput is proposed to be enhanced by 10 %. This will be done through modernization and upgradation of identified corridors. Railway lines of 3,500 kms will be commissioned in 2017-18, as against 2,800 kms in 2016-17. Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for tourism and pilgrimage.
  6. 70 New Projects - Railways have set up joint ventures with 9 state governments. 70 projects have been identified for construction and development.
  7. Station development and differently-abled friendly stations - A beginning has been made with regard to station redevelopment. At least 25 stations are expected to be awarded during 2017-18 for station redevelopment. 500 stations will be made differently abled friendly by providing lifts and escalators.
  8. Solar power stations - It is proposed to feed about 7,000 stations with solar power in the medium term. Works will be taken up for 2,000 railway stations as part of 1,000 MW solar mission.
  9. Swachh Rail and Coach Mitra facility - SMS-based Clean My Coach Service has been started. It is now proposed to introduce 'Coach Mitra' facility, a single window interface, to register all coach-related complaints and requirements. By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with Bio-toilets.
  10. Solid Waste Management Stations - Pilot plants for environment friendly disposal of solid waste and conversion of biodegradable waste to energy are being set up at New Delhi and Jaipur railway stations. 5 more such solid waste management plants are now being taken up.
  11. Integrated Transport Solutions - Railways will implement end-to-end integrated transport solutions for select commodities through partnership with logistic players, who would provide front and back end connectivity. Rolling stocks and practices will be customized to transport perishable goods, especially agricultural products.
  12. Service charge withdrawn from IRCTC booking - Railways will offer competitive ticket booking facility to the public at large. Service Charge on e-tickets booked through IRCTC has been withdrawn. Cashless reservations have gone up from 58 % to 68 %.
  13. Metro Rail - A new Metro Rail Policy will be announced with focus on innovative models of implementation and financing, as well as standardization and indigenization of hardware and software. This will open up new job opportunities for the youth.
  14. Road Sector - In the road sector, budget allocation for highways is increased from Rs. 57,976 crores in 2016-17 to Rs. 64,900 crores in 2017-18. 2,000 kms of coastal connectivity roads have been identified for construction and development. The total length of roads, including those under PMGSY, built from 2014-15 till the current year is about 1.40 lakh kms.
  15. Multi-modal logistics - An effective multi-modal logistics and transport sector will make our economy more competitive. A specific program for development of multi-modal logistics parks, together with multi-modal transport facilities, will be drawn up and implemented.
  16. Airport in Tier-2 cities - Select airports in Tier-2 cities will be taken up for operation and maintenance in PPP mode. Airport Authority of India (AAI) Act will be amended to enable effective monetization of land assets. The resources, so raised, with be utilized for airport upgradation.
  17. Transportation sector - For transportation sector as a whole, including rail, roads, shipping, govt will provide Rs. 2,41,387 crores in 2017-18. This magnitude of investment will spur a huge amount of economic activity across the country and create more job opportunities.
  18. Telecom sector - Telecom sector is an important component of infrastructure ecosystem. The recent spectrum auctions have removed spectrum scarcity in the country. This will give a major fillip to mobile broadband and Digital India for the benefit of people living in rural and remote areas.
  19. BharatNet Project - Under the BharatNet Project, OFC has been laid in 1,55,000 kms. Govt has stepped up the allocation for this project to Rs. 10,000 crores in 2017-18. By the end of 2017-18, high speed broadband connectivity on optical fiber will be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats, with wifi hotspots and access to digital services at low tariffs. A DigiGaon initiative will be launched to provide tele-medicine, education and skills through digital technology.
  20. Energy Sector - Strategic Crude Oil Reserves - For strengthening Energy Sector, govt has decided to set up Strategic Crude Oil Reserves. In the first phase, 3 such Reserves facility have been set up. Now in the second phase, it is proposed to set up caverns at 2 more locations, namely, Chandikhole in Odisha and Bikaner in Rajashtan. This will take our strategic reserve capacity to 15.33 MMT.
  21. Solar Park - In solar energy, govt now proposes to take up the second phase of Solar Park development for additional 20,000 MW capacity
  22. Electronics manufacturing - Govt is also creating an ecosystem to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Over 250 investment proposals for electronics manufacturing have been received in the last 2 years, totaling an investment of Rs. 1.26 lakh crores. A number of global leaders and mobile manufacturers have set up producing facilities in India. Govt has therefore exponentially increased the allocation for incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF to Rs. 745 crores in 2017-18.
  23. Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) - A new and restructured central scheme, namely, Trade Infrastructure for Export Schemes (TIES) will be launched in 2017-18.
  24. Total allocation of Infrastructure - The total allocation for infrastructure development in 2017-18 stands at Rs. 3,96,135 crores.


  1. FDI Policy - More than 90 % of the total FDI inflows are now through the automatic route, since last two years. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has successfully implemented e-filing and online processing of FDI applications. Govt. has now reached a stage where FIPB can be phased out. Govt. therefore has decided to abolish the FIPB in 2017-18. In the meantime, further liberalization of FDI policy is under consideration.
  2. Commodities Market - The commodity market require further reforms for the benefits of farmers. An expert committee will be constituted to study and promote creation of an operational and legal framework to integrate spot market and derivatives market for commodity trading. e-NAM would be an integral part of such market.
  3. Bill to curtail illicit deposit schemes - The draft bill to curtail the menace of illicit deposit schemes ('Chit funds') has been placed in the public domain and will be introduced shortly after its finalization. 
  4. Bill for resolution of financial firms - The bill relating to resolution of financial firms will be introduced in the current Budget session of Parliament. This will contribute to stability and resilience of our financial system. It will also protect the consumers of various financial institutions. Together with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, a resolution mechanism for financial firms will ensure comprehensiveness of the resolution system in our country.
  5. Amendment to Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 - To streamline institutional arrangements for resolution of disputes in infrastructure related construction contracts, PPP and public utility contracts, govt has decided to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
  6. CERT-Fin for Cyber Security - Cyber security is critical for safeguarding the integrity and stability of our financial sector. A Computer Emergency Response Team for Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) will be established. This entity will work in close coordination with all financial sector regulators and other stakeholders.
  7. Listing of CPSEs on stock exchanges - Listing of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) will foster greater public accountability and unlock the true value of these companies. The govt. will put in place a revised mechanism and procedure to ensure time bound listing of identified CPSEs on stock exchanges. The shares of Railway PSEs like IRCTC, IRFC and IRCON will be listed in stock exchanges.
  8. Mergers and Acquisitions of CPSEs - Govt. sees opportunities to strengthen CPSEs through consolidation, mergers and acquisitions. By these methods, the CPSEs can be integrated across the value chain of an industry. Possibilities of such restructuring are visible in the oil and gas sector. Govt. proposes to create an integrated public sector 'oil major' which will be able to match the performance of international and domestic private sector oil and gas companies.
  9. ETF for disinvestments - Our Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), comprising shares of 10 CPSEs, has received overwhelming response in the recent Further Fund Offering (FFO). Govt. will continue to use ETF as a vehicle for further disinvestment of shares. Accordingly, a new ETF with diversified CPSE stocks and other government holdings will be launched in 2017-18.
  10. Banks - The focus on resolution of stressed legacy accounts of banks continues. The legal framework has been strengthened to facilitate resolution, through the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the amendments to the SARFAESI and Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) Acts. In line with the 'Indradhanush' roadmap, govt has provided Rs. 10,000 crores for recapitalization of banks in 2017-18. Additional allocation will be provided, as may be required.
  11. Trading of Security Receipts - Listing and trading of Security Receipts issued by a securitization company or a reconstruction company under the SARFAESI Act will be permitted in SEBI registered stock exchanges. This will enhance capital flows into the securitization industry and will particularly helpful to deal with bank NPAs.
  12. Double target for PMMY - The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) has contributed significantly to funding the unfunded or the underfunded. Last year, the target of Rs. 1.22 lakh crores was exceeded. For 2017-18, govt. proposes to double the lending target and set it at Rs. 2.44 lakh crores. Priority will be given to Dalits, Tribals, Backward classes, Minorities and Women.
  13. Stand Up India - The Stand Up India scheme was launched in April 2016 to support Dalit, tribal, and women entrepreneurs to set up greenfield enterprises and become job creators. Over 16,000 new enterprises have come up through this scheme of activities, as diverse as food processing, garments, diagnostic centers, etc.


  1. JAM trinity - A shift to digital payments has huge benefits for the common man. The earlier initiative of government to promote financial inclusion and the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Adhaar, Mobile) were important precursors to the current push for digital transactions.
  2. BHIM app - The BHIM app will unleash the power of mobile phones for digital payments and financial inclusion. 125 lakh people have adopted the app so far. The government will launch 2 new schemes to promote the usage of BHIM - Referal Bonus Schemes (for individuals) and a Cashback Scheme (for merchants)
  3. Adhar-Pay - Adhar Pay, a merchant version of Adhar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS) will be launched shortly. This will be specifically beneficial for those who do not have debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones. A Mission will be set up with a target of 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards
  4. Adhar-based PoS - Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh new PoS terminals by March 2017. They will be encouraged to introduce 20 lakh Adhar-based PoS by September 2017.
  5. Digital payment infrastrucuter and grievance handling - The digital payment infrastructure and grievance handling mechanisms shall be strengthened. The focus would be on rural and semi-urban areas through Post Offices, Fair Price Shops and Banking Correspondents. Steps would be taken to promote and possible mandate petrol pumps, fertilizer depots, municipalities, Block offices, road transport offices, universities, colleges, hospitals, and other institutions to have facilities for digital payments, including BHIM app. A proposal to mandate all government receipts through digital means, beyond a prescribed limit, is under consideration.
  6. Financial Inclusion Fund - Govt. will strengthen the Financial Inclusion Fund to augment resources for taking up these initiatives.
  7. Payments Regulatory Board in RBI- The Committee on Digital Payments constituted by Department of Economic Affairs has recommended structural reforms in the payment eco-system, including amendments to the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007. It is proposed to create a Payments Regulatory Board in the RBI by replacing the existing Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems. Necessary amendments are proposed to this effect in the Finance Bill, 2017.
  8. Amendment to NI Act, 1881 for Dishonored Cheques - To ensure that the payees of dishonored cheques are able to realize the payments, government is considering to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 suitably.

  1. Award for e-Market Place - The government e-market place which is now functional for procurement of goods and services has been selected as one of the winners of the South Asia Procurement Innovation Awards of the World Bank.
  2. Head Post Offices to render Passport - Our citizens in far flung regions of the country find it difficult to obtain passports and redress passport related grievances. Govt has decided to utilize the Head Post Offices as front offices for rendering passport services.
  3. Centralized Defence Travel System - A centralized defence travel system has now been developed through which travel tickets can be booked online by our soldiers and officers. They do not have to face the hassle of standing in queues with railway warrants.
  4. Interactive Pension Disbursement System for Defence Pensioners - A comprehensive web based interactive Pension Disbursement System for Defence Pensioners will be established. This system will receive pension proposals and make payments centrally. This will reduce the grievances of defence pensioners.
  5. Two-tier system of examination for govt. recruitment - At present our citizens, especially those belonging to the poor and unprivileged sections, go through cumbersome procedures of government recruitment. There are muliplicity of agencies and examinations. Govt. proposes to introduce a system of single registration and 2-tier system of examination.
  6. Merge Tribunals - Over the years, the number of tribunals have multiplied with overlapping functions. Govt proposes to rationalize the number of tribunals and merge tribunals wherever appropriate.
  7. New legislation for big time offenders - In the recent past, there have been instances of big time offenders, including economic offenders, fleeing the country to escape the reach of law. Govt. is considering introduction of legislative changes, or even a new law, to confiscate the assets of such persons located within the country, till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum. 

  1. Government Expenditures - The total expenditure in Budget for 2017-18 has been placed at Rs. 21.47 lakh crores. With the abolition of Plan-Non plan classification of expenditure, the focus is now on Revenue and Capital expenditure. Govt. has stepped up the allocation for Capital Expenditure by 25.4 % over the previous year. The total resources being transferred to the States and the Union Territories with Legislatures is Rs. 4.11 lakh crores, against Rs. 3.60 lakh crores in BE 2016-17.
    (a) Provisions under Dept. of Economic Affairs - Rs. 3,000 crores
    (b) Defence Expenditure excluding pensions - Rs. 2,74,114 crores (including Rs. 86,488 crores for Defence capital)
    (c) Provision for Scientific Ministries - Rs. 37,435 crores.
  2. Consolidated Budget - For the first time, a consolidated Outcome Budget, covering all Ministries and Departments, is being laid along with the other Budget documents. This will improve accountability of Government expenditure.
  3. FRBM Policy - The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Review Committee has given its report recently. It has favored Debt-to-GDP of 60 % for the General Government by 2023, consisting of 40 % for Central government and 20 % for State governments. Within this framework, the committee has derived and recommended 3 % fiscal deficit for the next 3 years. The committee has also provided for 'Escape Clauses', for deviations upto 0.5 % of GDP, from the stipulated fiscal deficit target.
    Govt. has pegged the fiscal deficit for 2017-18 at 3.2 % of GDP and remain committed to achieve 3 % in the following year.
  4. Market Borrowing and Revenue Deficit - Govt has taken due care to limit the net market borrowing of government to Rs. 3.48 lakh crores after buyback, much lower than Rs. 4.25 lakh crores of the previous year. More importantly, the Revenue Deficit of 2.3 % in BE 2016-17 stands reduced to 2.1 % in the Revised Estimates. The Revenue Deficit for next year is pegged at 1.9 %, against 2 % mandated by the FRBM Act.

Tax Figures -
  • India's tax-to-GDP ratio is very low, and the proportion of direct tax-to-indirect tax is not optimal from the view point of social justice.
  • Formal Sector - As against estimated 4.2 crore persons engaged in organized sector employment, the number of individuals filing return for salary income are only 1.74 crore
  • Informal Sector - As against estimated 5.6 crore informal sector individual enterprises and firms doing small business in India, the number of returns filed by this category are only 1.81 crore.
  • Registered Companies - Out of the 13.94 lakh companies registered in India upto March 31, 2014, 5.97 lakh companies have filed their returns for Assessment Year 2016-17 (AY 16-17).
    Of the 5.97 lakh companies, as many as 2.76 lakh companies have show losses or zero income, 2.85 lakh companies have shown profit before tax (PBT) of less than Rs. 1 crore, 28,667 companies have shown profit between Rs. 1 - 10 crore, and only 7,781 companies have PBT of more than Rs. 10 crores.
  • Individuals - Among the 3.7 crore individuals who filed the tax returns in 2015-16, 99 lakh show income below the exemption limit of Rs. 2.5 lakh p.a, 1.95 crore show income between Rs. 2.5 - 5 lakh, 52 lakh show income between Rs. 5 - 10 lakhs and only 24 lakh people show income above 10 lakh. The number of people showing income more than Rs. 50 lakh is only 1.72 lakh.

Demonetization Figures -
  • During the period Nov 8 to Dec 30, 2016, deposits between Rs. 2 - 80 lakh were made in about 1.09 crore accounts, with an average deposit size of Rs. 5.03 lakh.
  • Deposits of more than 80 lakh were made in 1.48 lakh accounts with average deposit size of Rs. 3.31 crores.

Tax Revenue Figures -
  • The net tax revenues of 2013-14 was Rs. 11.38 lakh crores. This grew by 9.4 % in 2014-15 and 17 % in 2015-16. As per the RE of 2016-17, we will end the year with a high growth rate of 17 % for the second year in a row.

The thrust of the tax proposals in the Budget is stimulating growth, relief to middle class, affordable housing, curbing black money, promoting digital economy, transparency of political funding and simplification of tax administration.
  1. Changes in Affordable Housing Scheme - In order to make the scheme more attractive, govt proposes certain changes. First of all, instead of built-up area of 30 and 60 sq. mtr, the carpet area of 30 and 60 sq. mtr will be counted. Also the 30 sq. mtr. limit will apply only in case of municipal limits of 4 metropolitan cities while for the rest of the country including the peripheral areas of metros, limit of 60 sq. mtr. will apply. In order to be eligible, the scheme was to be completed in 3 years after commencement, but now govt. extend this period to 5 years.
  2. Unoccupied houses tax - At present, the houses, which are unoccupied after getting completion certificates are subjected to tax on notional rental income. For builders for whom constructed buildings are stock-in-trade, govt. proposes to apply this rule only after 1 year of the end of the year in which completion certificate is received so that they get some breathing time for liquidating their inventory.
  3. Changes in Capital Gains Tax - The holding period for considering gain from immovable property to be long term is 3 years now. This is proposed to be reduced to 2 years.
  4. Concessional with-holding rate - A concessional with-holding rate of 5 % is being charged on interest earned by foreign entities in external commercial borrowings (ECB) or in bonds and govt. securities. This concession is available till July 30, 2017, which is now extended to July 30, 2020. This benefit is also extended to Rupee Denominated (Masala) Bonds.
  5. Tax exemptions for Start-Ups - The government gave income tax exemptions to start-ups with certain conditions last year. For the purpose of carry forward of losses in respect of start-ups, the condition of continuous holding of 51 % of voting rights has been relaxed subject to the condition that the holding of the original promoter(s) continues. Also the profit-linked deduction available to the start-ups for 3 years out of 5 years is being changed to 3 years out of 7 years.
  6. Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) - MAT is at present levied as an advance tax. There is a strong demand for abolition of MAT. Although the plan for phasing out of exemptions will kick in from April 1, 2017, the full benefit of revenue out of phase out will be available to government only after 7 - 10 years, when all those who are already availing exemptions at present complete their period of availment. Therefore, it is not practical to remove or reduce MAT at present. However, in order to allow companies to use MAT credit in future years, govt. proposes to allow carry forward of MAT upto a period of 15 years instead of 10 years at present.
  7. Tax reduction for small companies - In order to make MSME companies more viable and also to encourage firms to migrate to company format, govt. proposes to reduce the income tax for smaller companies with annual turnover upto Rs. 50 crore to 25 %. The revenue forgone estimate for this measure is expected to be Rs. 7,200 crore per annum.
  8. Increase of Provision for NPA - In order to give a boost to banking sector, govt. to increase allowable provision for NPA from 7.5 % to 8.5 %. This will reduce the tax liability of banks. Govt. also propose to tax interest-receivable on actual receipt instead of accrual basis in respect of NPA accounts of all non-scheduled cooperative banks also at par with scheduled banks. This will remove hardship of having to pay tax even when interest income is not realized.
  9. Reduction in Custom Duty of LNG - Considering the wide range of use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as fuel as well as feed stock for petro-chemicals sector, govt. proposes to reduce the basic customs duty on LNG from 5 % to 2.5 %
  10. Presumptive Income Tax - There is a scheme of presumptive income tax for small and medium tax payers whose turnover is upto Rs. 2 crores. At present, 8 % of their turnover is counted as presumptive income. Govt. proposes to make this 6 % of turnover which is received by non-cash means.
  11. Cash Expenditure limit - Govt. proposes to limit the cash expenditure allowable as deduction, both for revenue as well as capital expenditure, to Rs. 10,000. Similarly, the limit of cash donation which can be received by a charitable trust is being reduced from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 2,000.
  12. Cash Transaction limit - The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the government for black money has suggested that no transaction above Rs. 3 lakh should be permitted in cash. The govt. has accepted this proposal.
  13. Exemption for cashless transactions - To promote cashless transactions, govt. proposes to exempt BCD, Excise/CV duty and SAD on miniaturized POS card reader for m-POS, micro-ATM standards version 1.5.1, finger-print scanners and iris scanners. Simultaneously, govt. also proposes to exempt parts and components for manufacture of such devices, so as to encourage domestic manufacturing of these devices.
  14. Restrictions in political funding - In accordance with the suggestion made by the Election Commission, the maximum amount of cash donation that a political party can receive will be Rs. 2000 from one person. Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or digital mode from their donors. An amendment is being made on RBI Act to enable the issuance of electoral bonds. Under this scheme, a donor could purchase bonds from authorized banks against cheque and digital payments only. They shall be redeemable only in the designated account of a registered political party, within a prescribed time limit from issuance of the bond.
  15. Personal Income Tax - Govt. proposes to reduce the existing rate of taxation for individual assesses between income of Rs. 2.5 - 5 lakhs to 5 % from the present rate of 10 %. In order not to have duplication of benefit, the existing benefit of rebate (u/s 87 A of I-T Act) available to the same group of beneficiaries is being reduced to Rs. 2,500 (previously Rs. 5,000) available only to assesses upto income of Rs. 3.5 lakh (previously Rs. 5 lakh). The total amount of tax foregone on account of this measure is Rs. 15,500 crores.
  16. Surcharge of 10 % for rich - In order to make good some of this revenue loss on account of the relief, govt. proposes to levy a surcharge of 10 % of tax payable on categories of individuals whose annual taxable income is between Rs. 50 lakhs and Rs. 1 crores. The existing surcharge of 15 % of tax on people earning more than 1 crore will continue. This is likely to give additional revenue of Rs. 2,700 crore.
  17. Simple Single Page ITR Form - In order to expand tax net, govt. also plans a simple, one-page form to be filed as Income Tax Return (ITR) for the category of individuals having taxable income upto Rs. 5 lakhs other than business income.
  18. RAPID - In the Annual Conclave of Tax Officers called 'Rajaswa Gyan Sangam' held in June 2016, the PM had expressed his desire to bring reforms in tax administration in the form of an approach of RAPID which stands for - Revenue, Accountability, Probity, Information and Digitization.

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