New Delhi, Feb 1: The Budget 2018-19 was focussed on strengthening the rural economy and on improving healthcare and education, said Arun Jaitley while presenting the Budget 2018. He also added that this year, the government will move from “Ease of Doing Business to Ease of Living” for the poor and middle class. “Budget 2018 will work with states to provide more resources to improve quality of education. The focus is on low-cost farming, higher MSP. Emphasis is on generating farm and non-farm employment for farmers,” he added. (Read: What gets cheaper, what gets costlier in Budget 2018) Also Read - Union Cabinet Approves Launch of Largest Government Funded Health Insurance Scheme Ayushman Bharat

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BUDGET 2018 HIGHLIGHTS

The government allocates Rs 500 crore for the launch ‘Operation Greens’ on the lines of ‘Operation Flood’. Also Read - Railways to Install CCTV Cameras in Every Coach of Shatabdi, Rajdhani, Duronto Trains: All You Need to Know

Rs 1290 crore allocated for a bamboo mission.

The government proposes to increase the target of providing free LPG connections to 8 crore to poor women.

Proposal to construct 2 crore more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission.

2 crore more toilets is the target in the next two years.

Rs 1200 crore allocated for health wellness centres.

Rs 14.34 lakh crore rupees allocated for rural infrastructure.

Allocation to National Livelihood Mission increased to Rs 5000 crore.

Loans to women self-help groups will be increased to 75,000 crore by March 19, 2019.

The Jan Dhan Yojana to be extended to all 60 crore bank accounts.

Rs 56,000 crore allocated for SC welfare programmes; Rs 39,000 crore for STs.

Rs 19,428 core awarded to the water supply contracts for 494 projects worth.

5 lakh Wi-Fi spots to be created in rural areas.

CHEAPER, COSTLIER: Mobile phones will get costlier as the custom duty on the mobile phones have been increased to 20 per cent from 15 per cent.

Custom duty on television sets has also been increased to 20 per cent.

Customs duty on raw cashew will be reduced from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ECONOMY: Focus on generating higher income for farmers and employment on farms.

The government will provide a free gas connection to women. (Also read: Salaries of President, Vice-President, Governors Get a Big Hike; Benefit For MPs Too)

Ujjawala Yojana target has been extended to 8 crore women living below the poverty line. It was earlier set at 5 crore.

Agri-Market Development Fund with a corpus of 2000 crore to be set up for developing agricultural markets.

The Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been set at 1.5 times the production cost for Kharif crops.

Agricultural corpus worth Rs 2000 crore will be set up.

Rs 10 lakh crore to Rs 11 lakh crore as credit for agricultural activities.

The government proposed to raise institutional credit for agriculture to Rs 11 Lakh Crore for the financial year 2018-19.

Rs 5 lakh per family per year for 10 crore poor families. This, Arun Jaitley said, is the world’s largest government-funded program.

The government to develop 22,000 gramin agricultural markets.

Rs 10,000 crore allocated for the fishery, aquaculture development, and animal husbandry, which will be set up with a total corpus.

INFRASTRUCTURE: A total of Rs 50 lakh crore is needed to create world-class infrastructure in India.

The government has selected 99 cities with outlay of Rs 2.09 lakh crore under Smart City programme.

10 prominent tourist sites will be developed into iconic ones to boost tourism.

RAILWAYS: All railways stations with more than 25,000 footfall will have escalators, Wi-Fi and CCTVs progressively.

Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations will be taken up.

Rs 17,000 crore is being set aside for Bengaluru Metro. Rs 11,000 crore allocated for Mumbai locals.

The Budget 2018 focuses on the safety, maintenance of railway tracks, increase in use of technology and fog safety devices.

Special attention has been given to the maintenance of railway track infrastructure.

EDUCATION: Integrated programs for teachers. The government plans to move from Blackboard to digital board.

18 new Schools of Planning and Architecture will be set up in the IITs and NITs.

By 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent ST population will have an Eklavya Model Residential School.

For Education, the government will launch ‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems’ by 2022.

Integrated B-Ed programme for teachers.

The government will set up two new full-fledged Schools of Planning and Architecture.

24 new govt medical colleges and hospitals will be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals.

By 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have ‘Ekalavya’ school at par with Navodaya Vidyalas.

Rs 1 lakh crore to be invested for the next 4 years to boost Research and Development in Education sector.

INCOME TAX: No changes in personal Income Tax slabs.

Relief for salaried taxpayers. Standard Deduction of Rs 40000 under transport, medical reimbursement. Facility extended to pensioners. Revenue cost is Rs 8000 crore.

The government proposes 100 per cent tax rebate for farmer producer companies having a turnover of Rs 100 crore.

The government proposes to extend 25 per cent corporate tax rate to companies with revenue up to Rs 250 crore.

Exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000 for senior citizens.

DEFENCE: Niti Aayog will establish programme to develop artificial intelligence.

Cryptocurrency will not be considered as legal tender.

Industry friendly defence policy will be introduced.

The government proposes to develop two defence industrial production corridors in India to promote domestic production in both public and private sectors.

Arun Jaitley also noted that the nation has transformed into the “fastest growing economy in the world”. “We are a 2.5 Trillion Dollars economy,” he said, adding, “Ujjawala yojana has provided crores of free LPG, Saubhagya Yojana has provided power to 4 crore families. Awas Yojana has provided interest rate relief to mid-level sections of the society. The Indian government has worked without political costs. We have also provided free dialysis facilities for the poor” Jaitley said in Parliament.