The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 1 February 2018 presented the Union Budget 2018 in the parliament. In the independent India, this will be the 88th budget and the fifth of the Modi Government. Arun Jailtley announced following initiatives:
• National Health Protection Scheme will be launched to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. Under this, up to Rs 5 lakh will be provided to each family per year in secondary and tertiary care institutions. This scheme will have 50 crore beneficiaries.
• This scheme will generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.
• Tuberculosis claims more lives every year than any other disease. The government will provide Rs 600 crore as nutritional support to all TB patients.
• 24 new government medical colleges will be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country. At least one medical college will be there for three parliamentary constituencies.
• Mass formalization of MSME sector is happening after demonetization and GST. Online loan sanctioning facility will be refurbished to speed up the complete process by banks.
• Rs 3 lakh crore is allocated as target for the Mudra Yojana for the year 2018-19. Additonal measures will be taken to boost the growth of venture capital funds and angel investors.
• The government will contribute 12 per cent of wages of new employees for all sectors.
• Woman's contribution to the Provident Fund will be reduced to 8 per cent from now onwards for the first 3 years of her employment with no reduction in employer's contribution.
• Allocation of Rs 7148 crore for the textile sector.
Other Social Welfare Schemes
• 187 projects have been sanctioned under Namami Gange. Namami Ganga programme outlay has been increased with an all round development plan for villages and cities along the river Ganga.
• In previous year, 4465 Ganga gram villages were declared open-defecation free. This year, government has identified more 115 districts and will invest in social services.
• Six crore toilets have been built already, and in the next year, two crore additional toilets will be constructed under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.