Know your budget: Health Sector

Friday, 02 Feb, 2018

With this, the fiscal deficit target is set at 3.5% of GDP by end of current fiscal, while the government expects to bring this target down to 3.3% in the next fiscal (FY19).

Experts had predicted the Budget to be a populist one, as India moves into general elections next year. "But the FM didn't give investment figures for a lot of the programmes he announced".

The government's health, education and social protection expenditure estimate was increased from Rs 1.22 lakh crore last year to Rs 1.38 lakh crore this year.

He also said more than 10 million houses will be built by 2019 in rural areas.

On the employment front, it looks doubtful if all the measures initiated would really create jobs for the qualified youths of the nation as investments in the larger corporate sector may show a sluggish growth with those created in the rural, agri or MUDRA-driven initiatives, including MSMEs/SMEs absorbing only the semi-skilled or unskilled workforce at their own pace.

The scheme allows a bank's customers to deposit their idle gold holdings for a fixed period in return for interest in the range of 2.25 per cent to 2.50 per cent.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley relax for a tea along with Rahul bajaj and other dignitaries at Hotel Tajmahal palace Colaba after the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards on Saturday. Moreover, the government plans to maintain the increase to infrastructure spending on roads and railways. Mumbai suburban rail network will get Rs 11,000 crore to double rail tracks and have certain elevated corridors.

All this expenditure, of course, comes at a cost.

Suvodeep Rakshit, senior economist with Kotak Institutional Equities, says Budget 2018 appeared to be a balanced one. Medical health care is a big jumla. "My sense is there could be a further slippage of 10-20 basis points vis-à-vis the revised fiscal deficit target (of 3.3 percent) for FY19".

The Finance Minister also said that the government will explore Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technology.

However, she adds, numerous initiatives don't seem to be thought through.

Captains of industry like Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group, weren't too impressed.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday raised the target of beneficiaries under Ujjwala scheme to 8 crore, besides proposing lowering female employees' provident fund contribution to 8 per cent for the first three years. According to him, the existing allowances amount to Rs 30,000 so the actual tax benefit here on would be Rs 10,000 more for each taxpayer.

Claiming that the total amount of exempted capital gains has surged to almost Rs 360,000 crore, and that the return on equity is already high, the FM proposed to tax capital gains exceeding Rs 1 lakh at 10%. The capital gains made before January 31, 2018 will be exempt. In his budget speech, Jaitley referred to a special scheme that would be implemented to support the efforts of the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi to address air pollution.