"Rural infrastructure and livelihood expenditure will be Rs 14.34 lakh cr in 2018-19".
Hailing Finance Minister for focusing on strengthening agriculture sector; besides ease of doing business, Khandu said that this budget signifies that the Union Government is committed to double farmers income by 2022. There was also an expectation that the Budget would extend the Madhya Pradesh government's Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana - according to which the government pays farmers the difference between MSP and marketing prices - to all states. "This budget will accelerate economic growth and it is focused on all sectors". It has allocated Rs1.38 lakh crore in FY19 for government health and education programmes. "Something to help construction of new hotels should have been included in the Budget". "Around 70 lakh formal jobs have been created this year", he said. Moreover, the government plans to maintain the increase to infrastructure spending on roads and railways.
"A mere 11.5 per cent increase in budgetary allocations for health from Rs 47,353 crore from previous year to Rs 52,800 crores is disappointing and discouraging especially with the announcement of schemes that require large sums of money", said Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India (PFI).
All this expenditure, of course, comes at a cost.
But Jaitley said the Indian economy is expected to clock 7.2% to 7.5% growth in the second half of this year, and as per International Monetary Fund's projection, he sees it reaching 7.4% in the next financial year. Again to say, this budget was also an agrarian one, to be precise. Medical health care is a big jumla. The High Rates of GST on hotel tariff have not been addressed by the Government. "My sense is there could be a further slippage of 10-20 basis points vis-à-vis the revised fiscal deficit target (of 3.3 percent) for FY19".
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Jaitley said, "The Prime Minister and the Government have always attached utmost priority to prudent fiscal management and controlling fiscal deficit".
The FM mentioned one of his government's most successful initiatives, UDAN.
Captains of industry like Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group, weren't too impressed.
Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday called Modi government's budget defeatist and said there was nothing in it to boost private investment. Jaitley has announced that only companies with a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore will now be taxed at 25%. However, if the investor exits it before 1 year then they attract STCG (short term capital gain tax) of 15% on the returns. "This change is, in effect, is a retrospective amendment since only capital gains made till January 31, 2018, will not attract this new tax".