The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 1 February 2018 presented the Union Budget 2018 in the parliament. In the independent India, this is the 88th budget and the fifth of the Modi Government. Arun Jailtley announced following initiatives:
• The total expenditure of the Union government is Rs 21.57 lakh crore.
• The projected fiscal deficit of the FY 2018-19 is 3.3 per cent of the GDP.
• In previous years, the growth rate of direct taxes have been significant. Till January 2018, growth rate of 18.7 per cent was recorded. Over 85 lakh new taxpayers filed their returns. The number of effective taxpayers increased from 6.47 lakh crore to 8.27 lakh crore in the previous financial year.
• The excess revenue from personal income tax is Rs 90000 crore.
• No changes in personal income tax slabs.
• Majorly, the personal income tax collection comes from the salaried class. Around 1.89 crore returns were filed in 2017 and Rs 1.44 lakh crore was paid as taxes.
• 100 per cent tax deduction to farmer-producer companies having Rs 100 crore turnover.
• Corporate tax will be reduced to 25 per cent for companies having turnover of up to Rs 250 crore.
• Long term capital gains tax of 10 per cent will be levied for amount exceeding Rs 1 lakh.
• This year budget proposes a standard deduction of Rs 40000 for transport and medical reimbursements. The revenue cost of this reimbursements will be Rs 8000 crore.
• Exemption of interest income for deposits in banks and post offices will be increased from Rs 10000 to Rs 50000 for senior citizens. It applies to all fixed deposit schemes.
• All senior citizens will now be able to claim benefit of a deduction of Rs 50000 for any medical expenditure and can claim deduction of Rs 100000 for critical illnesses.
• Customs duty on mobile phones and parts of televisions will be increased to 20 per cent from 15 per cent.
• Customs duty on raw cashew will be reduced from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
• The name of the Central Board of Excise and Customs will be changed to the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Customs.
• Electronic IT assessment will be rolled out across the country for greater efficiency and transparency.
• No more education cess on imported goods. Education cess will be replaced by social welfare surcharge of 10 per cent.