The Budget 2016-17 was announced in the Lok Sabha on February 29 2016. The presenter of the budget was the Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley. Some of the biggest announcements which were made during his speech are as follows:
1) The Tax Slab Remains Unchanged
The common man felt relieved on hearing the fact that the income tax slab will remain unchanged for 2016-17. The announcement was made during the early hours of the presentation and the tax slabs would continue to hold their existing proportion. However, additional benefits were also given to people who were subject to house rent allowance and payment of house loan (upto INR 35 lacs).
2) Service Tax Increased from 14.5% to 15%
The rate of service tax has been lifted slightly. Earlier, the rate was 14.5% and the same has now been shifted to 15%. The increase has come as a result of steady growth rate in the service industry of India.
3) Economy Growth rate of 7.6%
In 2016, the first major impact was made by India in the international world by claiming the status of the fastest growing nation worldwide. China was shifted to the second position with a growth rate of 6.9%, whereas Indian reserved the first position with the growth rate of 7.6%. The same was confirmed by Arun Jaitley during the Budget speech.
4) Health Protection Scheme to offer INR 1 lakh per family
An interesting introduction was made with a view to help the poor. The Government has started a new scheme whereby every family would be assisted with INR 1 lakh for the purpose of meeting medical needs during an emergency. If the family has senior citizens, an additional amount of INR 30,000 would be added to the total benefit.
5) INR 500 crore allocated for promoting entrepreneurship among SC/ST
With a view to promote entrepreneurship among SC and ST, the Government has allocated INR 500 crore for setting up of institutes which will help people to understand the prospects and participate in the entrepreneurial form of business.
6) INR 1700 crore for multi-skill development project
With a high demand for multi-skilled people, the Government has allocated 1700 crore for development of centres which would facilitate people to develop multi skills and implement the same in the work field. The multi-skill centres would be opened all over India and would help people to acquire skills as well as experience of the required work.
7) INR 3000 for development of Nuclear Power generation
India has recently been involved in a lot nuclear power generation program. The budget offered a clear insight into the fact that the same will go on and continue to contribute towards the growth of the nation.
8) Motor Vehicle Act to be amended
The Motor Vehicle Act would be amended and new provisions would be brought under the purview so that innovations gets facilitated. Though there hasn’t been any specific declaration regarding the same, sooner or later, changes would be announced.
9) 100% FDI on marketing of food/ dairy products
Focus on investments continue to make a major mark as 100% Foreign Direct Investment has been allowed on marketing of food products made in India. The initiative will allow the domestic industry to grow and create a stronger niche of Indian Products worldwide.
10) CPI inflation reduced to 5.4%
The CPI inflation which was previously alarming India at more than 9% has come down to 5.4%. Though the rate of inflation is still preferable, the downfall has given the people of India much needed relief from facing serious hike in prices.
11) New 62 Navodaya Vidyalayas
To strengthen the education system, the Budget 2016-17 also proposed to establish 62 units of Navodaya Vidyalayas all over the country. The objective of this establishment is to create a trusted education portal and uplift the education standard of India in the years to come.
12) Stand Up India Scheme
Another glimpse of innovation was seen under the Stand Up India Scheme where new entrepreneurs can avail a loan of INR 2.5 lakhs or more from any bank branch. However, each bank branch is entitled to offer only two such loans.
13) LPG for BPL with allocation of INR 2000 crore
Now every home in India will have access to LPG. The Budget 2016-17 included an announcement where it was mentioned that people belonging to BPL (below poverty line) would be offered cylinders and the same would be replacing stoves from their houses. The LPG would be offered in the name of the women occupying the house and a fund of INR 2000 crore has been allocated for the same.
14) PMKSY to offer irrigation in 28.5 lakh hectare of land
Under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchal Yojana it has been decided that 28.5 lakh hectare of land will be used for the purpose of setting up an irrigation channel. The channel would help the farmers to execute their routine farming and will serve as an alternate to withstand drought.
15) INR 9,500 Crore allocated to Swacch Bharat Abhiyan
A fund of INR 9,500 crore has been allocated to Swacch Bharat Abhiyan where awareness for a cleaner and more hygienic society is being created. The SBA campaign has already received warm appreciation from the people of India and in the coming time the Government will look forward to strengthen the same.
Thus, these were the crucial 15 announcements which were made in the Budget 2016-17. Has this budget been a budget for the common man or is it just another budget with a lot promises only? Do feel free to share your thoughts with respect to this budget in the comment section.