Daily : February 6, 2018

Budget 2018-19

Central Budget, 2018-19

Question- Consider the following statements in regards to the Central Budget, 2018-19 presented on February 1st, 2017-
(i) Fiscal Deficit pegged at 3.5 % for year 2017-2018, projected at 3.3 % for 2018-19.
(ii) Proposal Tribal students to get Ekalavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2019.
(iii) Proposal to change the name of Central Board of Trade and Customs (CBEC) to central indirect tax and customs board.
(iv) Institutional Farm Credit raised to 11 lakh crore in 2018-19 from 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15.
Which of the aforesaid statements is/are correct?
(a) Only (i), (iii) and (iv)
(b) only (i) and (iv)
(c) only (ii), (iii) and (iv)
(d) All of the above

Answer- (a) 
related Facts:

  • On February 1st, 2018, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget for the year 2018-19.
  • The Important points of budget 2018-19 are as follows:
  • Budget guided by mission to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education, employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors.
  • The Finance Minister has announced several new schemes and measures, mentioning the commitment of the government to double the income of the farmers till 2022.
  • Through this budget a series of structural reforms will propel India among the fastest growing economies of the world. Country firmly on course to achieve over 8 % growth as manufacturing, services and exports back on good growth path.
  • MSP for all unannounced kharif crops will be one and half times of their production cost like majority of rabi crops: Institutional Farm Credit raised to 11 lakh crore in 2018-19 from 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15.
  • 22,000 rural haats to be developed and upgraded into Gramin Agricultural Markets to protect the interests of 86% small and marginal farmers.
  • “Operation Greens” launched to address price fluctuations in potato, tomato and onion for benefit of farmers and consumers.
  • Two New Funds of Rs1 57500,000 crore announced for Fisheries and Animal Husbandry sectors;   Re-structured National Bamboo Mission gets Rs.1290 crore.
  • Loans to Women Self Help Groups will increase to Rs.75, 000 crore in 2019 from 42,500 crore last year.
  • Higher targets for Ujjwala, Saubhagya and Swachh Mission to cater to lower and middle class in providing free LPG connections, electricity and toilets.
  • Outlay on health, education and social protection will be 1.38 lakh crore.
  • Tribal students to get Ekalavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2022.
  • World’s largest Health Protection Scheme covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families launched with a family limit up to 5 lakh rupees for secondary and tertiary treatment.
  • Fiscal Deficit pegged at 3.5 % for 2017-2018, projected at 3.3 % for 2018-19.
  • Central Government TB During the period of their treatment, all patients suffering from Rs. 500 per month have been given an additional amount of Rs. 600 crores for providing nutrition assistance.
  • Proposal to establish of 24 new government medical colleges and hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country.
  • This is to ensure at least one medical college and at least one government medical college in every state of the country for every 3 parliamentary areas.
  • For the year 2018-19, a target of `3 lakh crore has been set under ‘Money Scheme’.
    Central government will contribute 12 percent of the salaries of new employees in EPF for all sectors for next 3 years.
  • Proposal of expenditure of 7148 crores in textile sector year 2018-19.
  • Proposal for allocation of Rs 5.97 lakh crore on infrastructure in the year 2018-19. Railway expenditure of Rs. 1, 48,528 crore has been fixed for 2018-19.
  • 4,000 km during the year 2017-18 has started the electric railway network.
  • 11 thousand crore with the cost of 90 km of local railway network in Mumbai Until long lines will be doubled.
  • Apart from an additional 150 km at the cost of 40 thousand crores the suburban rail network is being planned.
  • 5.97 lakh crore allocations have been made for infrastructure.
  • NITI Aayog to initiate a national programme on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Centres of excellence to be set up on robotics, AI, Internet of things etc
  • Disinvestment crossed target of Rs 72,500 crore to reach Rs 1, 00,000 crore
  • 100 percent deduction proposed to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies with an annual turnover up to Rs. 100 crore on profit derived from such activities, for five years from 2018-19.
  • Deduction of 30 percent on emoluments paid to new employees Under Section 80-JJAA to be relaxed to 150 days for footwear and leather industry, to create more employment.
  • No adjustment in respect of transactions in immovable property where Circle Rate value does not exceed 5 percent of consideration.
  • Proposal to extend reduced rate of 25 percent currently available for companies with turnover of less than 50 crore (in Financial Year 2015-16), to companies reporting turnover up to Rs. 250 crore in Financial Year 2016-17,  to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • Standard Deduction of Rs. 40,000 in place of present exemption for transport allowance and reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses. 2.5 crore salaried employees and pensioners to benefit.
  • In the Public sector, three insurance companies, National Insurance Company Ltd., United India Assurance Company Ltd. and Oriental India Insurance Company Ltd. will be merged to form an insurance company.
  • In Budget the President’s salary has been proposed to be 5 lakh rupees, Vice President’s salary of 4 lakh rupees and Governor’s salary of 3.5 lakh rupees per month.
  • 150 crore rupees have been allocated in the budget for the various programs being organized on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices to be increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000.
  • TDS not required to be deducted under section 194A.
  • Benefit also available for interest from all fixed deposit schemes and recurring deposit schemes.
  • Hike in deduction limit for health insurance premium and/ or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 under section 80D.
  • Increase in deduction limit for medical expenditure for certain critical illness from Rs. 60,000 (in case of senior citizens) and from Rs. 80,000 (in case of very senior citizens) to Rs. 1 lakh for all senior citizens, under section 80DDB.
  • Proposal to extend Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March, 2020.
  • Current investment limit proposed to be increased to Rs. 15 lakh from the existing limit of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen.
  • In view of the possibility of export of agricultural products, proposal for setting up of state-of-the-art testing facilities in 42 mega food parks.
  • Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and NCR (National Capital Region) (NCR) announced a special plan to support the government’s efforts to tackle the problem of pollution in Delhi.
  • More concessions for International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), to promote trade in stock exchanges located in IFSC.
  • To control cash economy, payments exceeding Rs. 10,000 in cash made by trusts and institutions to be disallowed and would be subject to tax.
  • Tax on Long Term Capital Gains exceeding Rs. 1 lakh at the rate of 10 percent, without allowing any indexation benefit. However, all gains up to 31stJanuary, 2018 will be grandfathered.
  • Proposal to introduce tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at the rate of 10 percent.
  • Proposal to increase cess on personal income tax and corporation tax to 4 percent from present 3 percent.


informal WTO Ministerial meet in March

WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting

Question: Where will the WTO informal ministerial meeting be held between March 19-20, 2018?
(a) Davos
(b) Hamburg
(c) New Delhi
(d) Vienna
Answer: (c) 
Related Facts: 

  • India will host the WTO informal ministerial meeting in March, 2018.
  • This meeting will be held in Delhi during March 19-20, 2018.
  • On 27th January, 2018 India’s offering to host the meeting was made after trade ministers from various countries including Australia, Japan and Switzerland met for an informal WTO ministerial gathering in Davos to discuss the way forward for the global trade organization.
  • Indian Ambassador and Standing Representative of WTO Deepak Jagdish Saxena participated in this informal meeting held during the annual conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos.


International spice conference

International Spice Conference

Question: Where is the third edition of the International Spice Conference is being organized between February 4th-7th, 2018?
(a) Kochi
(b) Thiruvananthapuram
(c) Jaipur
(d) Hyderabad
Answer: (c) 
Related Facts: 

  • From February 4th-7th, 2018, the third edition of the International Spice Conference is being held in Jaipur.
  • More than 750 delegates participated from different countries including international Spice associations, policy makers and representatives of farmers.
  • The main theme of this conference is ‘Management Disruptions & through Transformation and Collaboration’.


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