Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley presented general Budget for 2018. Let us know about the budget guided by mission to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education, employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors . This is the first budget after enrollment of GST. GST revenue will be collected for 11 months and that would impact balance sheets. Rs 21.57 lakh crore transferred in the form of net GST against the predicted Rs 21.47 lakh.

It is said that there has been a 12.6% growth in direct taxes in 2017-18; 18.7% growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18. As many as 85.51 lakh new taxpayers filed their tax returns in 2017-18, as against 66.26 lakhs in 2016-17. The number has increased from 6.47 crore in 2016-17 to 8.27 crore by end of 2017.

Some of the key highlights of the budget are given hereby for the reference ;

* PAN to be used as Unique Entity Number for non- individuals from April 1.

* Govt makes PAN mandatory for any entity entering into a financial transaction of Rs 2.5 lakh or more.

* Budget  proposes to tax long term capital gains exceeding Rs 1 lakh at 10 per cent without indexation. Short term capital gains tax to remain unchanged at 15 per cent.

* Electronic IT assessment will be rolled out across the country, leading to greater efficiency and transparency: FM

* Mobile phones set to become costlier as custom duty on them has been increased to 20 per cent.

* Health and education cess has been increased to 4 per cent.

* For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000 as well as exemption of Rs 10,000 on income from Bank FDs and post offices.

* Budget  proposes to introduce tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at 10 per cent.

* Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses: FM

* Companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore to be taxed at 25 per cent: FM

* The government does not propose any changes in tax slabs for the salaried class this year.

* FM proposes a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP for 2018-19.

* FM proposes revising emoluments in budget as per the following structure:

— Rs 5 lakh for the President of India
— Rs 4 lakh for the Vice President
— Rs 3.5 lakh for the Governors

* Budget proposes automatic revision of emoluments of Parliamentarians every five years, indexed to inflation.

* Disinvestment target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore. Target for 2018-19 is Rs 80,000 crore.

* Government will take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are funding illegitimate transactions.

* Airport capacity to be hiked to handle 1 billion trips every year.

* Government to contribute 12 per cent of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors. Women contribution to EPF slashed for initial three years to 8 per cent.

* The budget proposes 10 per cent tax on distributed income by equity-oriented mutual funds as well as 100 per cent deductions for cooperative societies.

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