Arun Jaitley Addresses Media After Presenting Budget 2018: Highlights

Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley has made no changes in income tax slabs for individuals this year. But all salaried people will get a standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 on their income in lieu of medical and transport reimbursements.

Arun Jaitley Addresses Media After Presenting Budget 2018: Highlights

Budget 2018: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a press conference after presenting the budget.

New Delhi:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his team of ministers and secretaries held a press conference this evening after he presented the Union Budget 2018. The budget focused on farmers and the rural poor, while boosting jobs and private investment. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian also spoke to the media.

Here are the highlights of Arun Jaitley's press conference: 
  • I have already made a detailed comment on TV already
  • The budget keeps in view the requirement and needs of the economy
  • We have tried to maintain the fiscal deficit targets
  • This year there were series of circumstances
  • One factor was we are getting GST revenue for 1 month less
  • The second reason was a set of structural reforms had their own impact
    We covered a lot through direct tax revenue and disinvestment but a small gap was left behind
  • On the expenditure prioritisation, we looked at areas which needed max support
  • The agriculture and rural sector came foremost
  • The announcements were made on the rural sector kept this in view]
  • The other priority was to help those economically weak
  • The government has always tried to help especially this section
  • This includes Increasing Ujjawala Yojana beneficiaries
  • And the mega health scheme is a huge scheme
  • Choosing the 10 crore families will have social and economic criteria
  • This will be expanded in the future
  • Infrastructure is a huge priority too
  • As far as taxation relief is concerned, there are three facets
  • It's not easy to reduce corporate tax rate in one go. That's why we focused on MSMEs this time
  • Bringing back a standard deduction will help the salaried class
  • We announced tax relief and investment benefits to senior citizens as well
  • As the country progrsses, a social security net has to be created
  • The resource needed to build that net is a 1% surcharge
  • The burden is limited but benefits many
  • Long term capital gain was being debated for years
  • We believe that no tax should have retrospective effect thats why we grandfathered all
  • investment till 31 Jan 2018
  • We have been debating salaried members of the legislative body
  • All conceded parliamentarians had important function and bear a large expenditure
  • But it was a class that set its own salary, facing criticism
  • So the decision was taken to link to inflation
  • Arun Jaitley on 3 benefit to middle class:
    -This is the first time the contribution of salaried class has been singled out, in total 2.5 crore people, and given a standard deduction of 40K
    -Our senior citizens, a very imp part of the middle class, have been given additional avenues of investment
    -And finally all businesses up to Rs 250 crore turnover, a key part of middle class, will now pay 5% less tax

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