The Great Indian BudgetIBTimes India

The finance minister concludes the Union Budget 2018-19 and this is me, Vanilla Sharma, signing out. Stay tuned for budget analysis by International Business Times India.

  • PM Modi has hailed the budget as people friendly and also appreciated the finance ministry's efforts to increase the ease of living 


Income Tax 

  • Education and health cess on IT increased to 4 percent from 3 percent
  • Tax deduction of Rs 100,000 for senior citizens with certain critical illness
  • Personal IT slabs remain unchanged
  • Tax breaks on Fixed deposits interest income increased
  • Deduction of 40,000 in transport allowance and medical expense


For Women 

  • Women's contribution to EPF reduced to 8% for first 3 years
  • Paid maternity leave increased to 26 weeks


  • Increase in customs duties will lead to job creation 
  • Mobile phones customs duty increased to 20 percent from 15 percent 
  • 15 percent tax on distributed income by equity MFs 
  • Long-term capital gains exceeding Rs 1 lakh to attract 10 percent tax 
  • Health Insurance deduction raised to Rs 50,000 for senior citizens. Non-senior citizens will benefit too if they are paying health insurance premiums of their senior citizen parents
  • 25 percent corporate tax extended to firms with a turnover of 250 crore in 2016-17 
  • New employee tax breaks to be expanded to footwear sector to boost job creation 
  • 100 percent deduction to farmer producer companies turnover of Rs 100 cr
  • Personal income tax: 85 lakh new returns filed
  • Increase in number of taxpayers 
  • Direct taxes grew 18.7 percent up to January 15 
  • Revised fiscal deficit for 2017-18 is Rs 5.95 lakh crore or 3.3 percent of GDP
  • 3 government-owned nationalised insurance companies to be merged and listed
  • FM proposes refixing of salaries to MPs, revision every five years 
  • Consumer-friendly gold exchange
  • Introduction of E-office and e-governance
  • Disinvestment target of Rs 80K crore for 2018-19
  • 2 defence industrial production corridors
  • Govt to focus on defence modernisation. private investment open for defence sector
  • Aadhaar like ID for all enterprises 
  • Industry-friendly defence production policy in 2018
  • Bitcoins to come under IT scanner 
  • Rs 10K crore for digital infrastructure
  • Thumbs down to cryptocurrency
  • Rs 3,073 crore for digital India 
  • Niti Aayog to have a programme to direct efforts on AI and IoT
  • Airlines have ordered 900 aircrafts
  • 4000 km new rail track by 2019 
  • 40k crore for Mumbai transport 
  • Expansion of airport capacity to 1 billion air trips a year 
  • Redevelopment of 600 railway stations 
  • 160-kilometre suburban network for Bangalore
  • Escalators in railway stations. All stations and trains to have Wi-Fi
  • Eliminate several unmanned railway crossing 
  • Huge Rs 1. 48 lakh crore investment for railway capacity creation 
  • Seamless connectivity to interiors and border areas 
  • Rs 2.04 lakh crore for smart cities 
  • 8 crore free gas connection soon 
  • 10 iconic tourism destinations to be developed
  • Tunnel under Sela pass to promote tourism; border infra for defence progressing well 
  • All-weather connectivity to Rohtang
  • Training for 50 lakh youth by 2020
  • Rs 7,140 crore for textile sector 
  • Skill centre in every district 
  • 12 percent of wages of new employees to be contributed by the govt to EPF for three years 
  • Additional measures to strengthen environment for VCs and angel investors 
  • Govt to aid the growth of fintech company in India 
  • MSME major element for growth 
  • Rs 3794 crore for MSME sector 
  • Rs 56,000 cr for ST and SC schemes
  • Rs 16,713 crore for rural sanitation 
  • 60 crore bank accounts under Jan Dhan 
  • 37 projects completed 
  • 187 projects sanctioned to clean up Ganga 
  • Fund to manage conversion of cattle dung to biogas 
  • 24 district medical hospitals to be upgraded to govt medical colleges 
  • Rs 600 crore to nutritional support TB patients -- 500 per month
  • 1.5 lakh health centres to be set up
  • Rs 1200 crore for health and wellness sector 
  • National health protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor families to offer 5 lakh cover for hospitalisation expenses per year. Scheme will cover 50 crore people
  • Set up Railway University at Vadodara
  • Two new schools for planning and architecture 18 such new schools in IITs and IIScs
  • Rs 1 lakh crore to revitalise education 
  • Eklavya Vidhyalaya from tribal students
  • Blackboard to digital board: Govet to focus on training and tech to boost education 
  • FM says focus on rural infrastructure and livelihood development 

IBT India view: Finance minister Arun Jaitley has announced some heavily-pro-farmer measures, like an extension of Kisan credit cards to the animal husbandry and fisheries departments, as well as an increase in MSP of crops acquired by the government and a special project to increase onion and potato development.

These are broad-based moves, aimed to promote the BJP's pro-poor and pro-farmer agenda, and are expected to help the party win some more voters int he upcoming Lok Sabha elections. They will also help in Assembly elections in states like Madhya Pradesh, where the ruling BJP has farmer protests in the middle of last year and its image took a beating when protesting farmers were killed in police firing.

  • Affordable housing fund to achieve aim of houses for all
  • 22,000 rural haats to be upgraded to Grameen Agricultural Markets GRAMs
  • 4 crore households to be upgraded
  • Electric connection to all poor households
  • Special scheme to ensure clear air for NCR and other northern states
  • Agri exports to be liberalised 
  • Rs 10,000 crore for animal husbandry and fisheries sector
  • Surplus solar power from states to be bought to help farmers 
  • National bamboo mission to be launched 
  • Kisan credit card to be expanded to animal husbandry and fisheries  
  • Operation Green to boost production of onion and potato, Rs 500 crore investment proposed 
  • Investment in food processing sector to double to Rs 1400 crore in 2018-19
  • FM's budget speech a mish-mash of Hindi and English. Twitter trolls
  • Rs 2,000 crore infra funds for farm sector
  • Target to connect villages and hamlets by all-weather roads advanced 
  • All APMCs to be connected online by 2018 
  • Agriculture sector priority, assures 50 percent Minimal Support Price. MSP for agri products at 1.5 times the market rate 
  • Aims to develop farmer income 
  • Reaffirms commitment to welfare of farmers 
  • No surprises in FM's opening lines, gives a pat on the government's back
  • After ease of doing business, focus now on ease of living for the common citizens
  • India on track to grow at 8 percent 
  • Exports to grow at 15 percent in 2017-18
  • India third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity 
  • FM starts speech listing out the achievements of his government
  • Says structural reforms will prepare Indian economy for a higher growth rate 

11: 04 am IST: Jaitley begins the presentation of Union Budget 2018-19 at the parliament

11.00 am IST: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan arrives 

10.55 am IST: Jaitley to present the budget shortly 

10:46 am IST: In a first, Jaitley will make the budget speech in Hindi 

10.22 am IST: Cabinet to approve the budget shortly. The meeting has begun. 

10.21 am IST:  The budget papers are being checked by security officials 

10.15 am IST: Prime minister Narendra Modi has arrived at the parliament  

Arun Jaitley
The Great India BudgetIBTimes India

9.58 am IST: FM Jaitley has arrived at the parliament to present the Union Budget 2018-19, reported ANI. 

9.52 am IST: Jaitley met President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

9.43 am IST: Jaitley will meet PM Modi in some time. 

9.40 am IST: The budget papers have reached the Parliament and will now need to be approved by the cabinet.

9.36 am IST: Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla has hinted that today's budget will focus on the welfare of the people. "We must fulfil everyone's expectations. The government has already announced PSU banks recap plans and is committed to its focus on rural development," he told CNBC-TV18.

9.15 am IST: Jaitley and his team ahead of the budget presentation

9.00 am IST: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has arrived at the Ministry of Finance.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to present the Union Budget for 2018-19 on Thursday, February 1, and all eyes are on what benefits he brings to the table.

Where to watch the budget on TV and online?

The budget will be telecast live on all TV channels 11 am onwards, but those who prefer to watch it online also have an array of options. The Union Budget 2018-19 will be telecast live on budgetlive.nic.in and on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Finance.

The YouTube channels of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV will also telecast the budget live and the feed will also be available on DD's YouTube channel.

Additionally, International Business Times India will also run a live blog on the Union Budget 11 am onwards.

Here's how the Budget day will unfold

9:00 am IST: Jaitley will leave for Rashtrapati Bhawan from North Block

10:00 am IST: Jaitley will reach Parliament 

10:15 am IST: Cabinet meeting will start at the Parliament

11:00 am IST: Arun Jaitley will present the statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for the year 2018-19.

2: 00 pm IST: FM's interview

4:00 pm IST: Jaitley will address the post-budget press conference at the National Media Centre.

What's so special about this budget?

This will be the first budget after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into force on July 1, 2017, and is also the NDA government's final full budget before the elections are held in 2019. While the budget in 2017 was mostly labelled as a reformist one, the 2018 budget is likely to be for the ordinary people with a focus on the rural sector and generation of employment.

Economic Survey

Meanwhile, the Economic Survey was tabled on Monday, January 29. Prepared by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, it pegged India's GDP growth for the upcoming fiscal at 7 to 7.5 percent.

Interesting Budget traditions

While the budget itself will be the focus on February 1, the traditions leading up to it also are quite interesting. Before the budget is presented in the Parliament, the finance minister and other officials working on it take part in the halwa ceremony. This is based on the belief that every auspicious even must begin with something sweet.

After this, all these officials are locked up in the basement of the North Block and they also have no access to mobile phones or internet. These officials are permitted to go home only after the budget is presented at the Parliament.