The Budget 2016-17 of India was presented on February 29 2016 by the Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley, in the Lok Sabha. This year, the budget was focused on offering widescale development and included contributions in the sector of Agriculture, Infrastructure development, loan facilitation and promoting entrepreneurship. Some of the key highlights of this year’s budget are as follows:
Growth and Statistics
The introductory part of the Budget 2016-17 looked forward to offer an insight into the development which India has achieved in the past year. With an economy growth rate of 7.6% in 2015-16, India has become one of the fastest growing economy in the world. The achievement was made in the midst of hostile conditions for two continuous year as monsoon was shortfall by 13%. The foreign reserve of India has reached its all-time highest at USD 350 billion, even though devolution continued to haunt India from time to time.
For the Agriculture sector
A budget of INR 35,984 crore was set aside to foster development in the Agricultural sector. The PMKSY (Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana) came into focus as it looks forward to bring in 28.5 lakh hectares of land under the purview of irrigation. A dedicated LTIF (Long Term Irrigation Fund) would also be setup under NABARD with an investment of 20,000 crore. The much talked about- PMFBY (Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana) was also taken into consideration and a fund of INR 5,500 crore was allocated for the same. Apart from these major developments, dairy projects, Agricultural e-marketing and promotion of organic farming were also discussed.
For Social Sector
A budget of INR 1,51,581 crore was set aside for focus into development of social sector. To start off, INR 2,000 was allotted to a program which would offer LPG to families who are below the poverty line. A new form of health protection scheme was launched which will offer coverage upto INR 1 lakh per family. In case, the family has senior citizens, an additional benefit of INR 30,000 would be added to the total benefit. Stand Up India Scheme was also launched, which offers funding of minimum INR 2.5 lakhs for two projects by every bank branch.
Education and job creation was one of the primary focus of the Budget 2016-17. During the preentation some notable developments were hinted by the Finance Minister. To begin with, Novadaya Vidyalayas would be initiated all over India, the number being 62. The education system would be focusing on creating world class Teaching and Research centres among 10 private and 10 public institutions. A digital portal would be created for offering Education Degrees, Mark Sheets, Academic Awards and other certificates. INR 1000 crore has been allocated for the development of Higher Education Financing Agency.
For Rural Development
For the purpose of Rural Development, a fund of INR 87,765 crore was allocated. Out of this sanctioned amount, a sum of INR 38,500 was allocated towards the development of MGNREGS. The budget also promised that rate of electrification in villages would reach 100% by May 2018. An amount of INR 2.87 lakh crore would be handed over to Panchayats and Municipality as the same was recommended by the 14th Finance Commission. Additionally, INR 655 crore has been allocated towards a RGSA (Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan) project.
For Infrastructure Development
For the purpose of Infrastructure Development, a fund of INR 2,21,246 crore was allotted. This fund would be used to create highways which would run more than 10,000 kms. INR 55,000 crore would be allocated towards development of road. Apart from the proposed, there would also be amendment of Motor Vehicle Act and other policies for future planning.
For Employment and Taxation
The most concerning section of the budget 2016-17 was the employment and taxation section. There has no changes in the taxation slab. New startups would get tax holiday for the first three years from the date of its incorporation. From the perspective of the individuals, EPF would be available @ 8.33% for the first three years (for new employees only). Exemption on payment of housing loans has been offered at INR 50, 000 for a value equivalent to 50 lacs or lower.
- INR 3,000 crore allocated towards nuclear power generation
- INR 27,000 crore on roadways
- INR 9,500 crore on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
- INR 1,700 crore on development of 1500 multi-skill development centres
- INR 500 crore for boosting entrepreneurship among ST/SC.