Jaitley promises welware in early Budget speech

Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017,10:35 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi |Finance Minister Arun Jaitley began presentation of the Union Budget for 2017-18. There was doubt cast over presentation of the Budget in the wake the death of former Union minister and Indian Union Muslim League leader E Ahamed early this morning.

Budget Speech Excerpts

* Bank lending rates for housing loans coming down in wake of demonetisation. Will encourage reputed hospitals to start courses. 1.5 lakh health sub-centres to be transformed to health wellness centres.

* Propose to set up national testing agency for entrance exam for higher education. Affordable housing to be given infra status. Have hiked allocation for women skill development to Rs 1.84 lakh crore in FY18.

* Innovation fund for secondary education to be created. Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set up at village level; allocation Rs 500 crore. 5 special tourism zones to be set up in partnership with states. Will set up 100 India-international skill centres.

* Total allocation for rural sector up by 24% AT 1,83000 cr. Allocation for rural, agri & allied ind at Rs 1.87 lakh crore, up 24% YoY. 19000 cr allotted for PM Rural road plan in FY18.
* Will undertake reforms in UGC to improve higher education. Will Achieve 100% Rural Electrification By May 1, 2018. Sanitation coverage in rural areas risen to 60% vs 42% earlier.

* Rs 4,800 crore allocated under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana construction at 133 km per day now vs 73 km per day earlier. Pace Of Construction Of Roads Has Increased To Rs 133 Km/Day In 2017.

* Propose to finish 1 crore houses by 2019 for those living in kachcha houses. Increased allocation to Rs 23,000 crore for PM Awas Yojana.

Double digit inflation has been controlled; sluggish growth replaced by high growth; war on blackmoney launched.

* Moved from discretionary based administration to policy based administration.

* Surplus liquidity in the banking system will aid in lower cost of lending & credit growth. Looking to spend more on rural infrastructure and social spending.

* Budget overall approach has been to spend more with fiscal prudence.

* Committed to double farmer income in five years. Target for agri credit fixed at Rs 10 lakh crore this year. Agriculture expected to grow at 4.1% in the current year. Farmers will benefit from 60-day interest waiver announced.

* Agenda of Budget 2017-18 is transform, energize & tech India. Fasal Bima Yojana coverage will be increased to 40%. Issuance of soil health cards has gathered momentum. To up crop insurance coverage to 50% in FY19.

* 5000 cr worth dedicated micro irrigation fund to be set up by NABARD. Will support NABARD to digitise 63,000 primary agri co-ops. Long term irrigation fund set up in NABARD, additional corpus Rs 20,000 cr. Dairy processing infra fund will be created w/corpus of Rs 8,000 crore in 3 yrs.

* Will bring 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019. Propose to integrate farmers to the agro-processing units. Modern law on contract farming to be prepared.
* MNREGA target at 48000 cr in FY18. Participation of women in MNREGA has increased to 55% from 48% in the past.