The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday presented the last full Budget of its five-year term, before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Budget envisioned a healthcare plan for 50 crore Indians, revised the minimum selling price for crops, and increased customs duties on some items, apart from other measures.
While he announced a corporate tax cut, Jaitley said there will not be any changes in individual taxes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Budget and said it was friendly for farmers, businesses as well as the common man. He said the Budget would boost growth and bring new opportunities to rural India.
However, Opposition parties criticised the Budget, calling it disappointing and “unconnected to ground realities”. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor questioned the source of funds for the healthcare plan. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that there was nothing in the Budget for the middle class and traders.
Here are 11 Scroll.in articles that analyse the Union Budget 2018:
- Budget 2018 talks big on rural economy and agriculture. But where is the money?: Many crucial schemes have been allocated less than last time and what the finance minister announced in Parliament.
- Barring expansion of loans for institutions, Budget 2018 is a non-starter for education, say experts: Government support for education up 3.8% over 2017-2018 revised estimates.
- Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian explains the Indian economy’s Twin Balance Sheet Challenge: And the government’s response – the four Rs: recognition, recapitalisation, resolution, and reform
- Jaitley’s farm-inclined Budget promises new agricultural schemes – but not the funds for them: The agriculture budget grew more than the actual budget in 2018-19.
- With all its weight behind Modicare, Budget 2018 offers little for public health system: The health insurance plan promising Rs 5 lakhs per family per year is an ambitious version of a 2016 scheme that never took off.
- Globalisation in Davos, protectionism in Delhi – Budget hikes customs duty to boost Make in India: Will this really help the Indian industry find its feet?
- No income tax relief and a new capital gains tax – Budget 2018 has shortchanged the middle class: With an eye on the next Lok Sabha election, the BJP government has tapped the middle class to appease rural India.
- Centre will crack down on cryptocurrency, says Arun Jaitley in Budget speech: The virtual currencies are being used to sponsor illegal transactions, the finance minister said.
- MSPs, ModiCare and Hinglish – Jaitley’s Budget speech tries to shore up Modi’s rural credentials: Whether they will be able to deliver on promises is another matter, but Modi and Jaitley are clearly concerned about rural votes.
- Rs 575 crore for Khelo India, nothing for promoting sports among the disabled: The Union government allocated a total of Rs 1,425.50 crore for sports in its 2018-’19 budget.
- Arun Jaitley delivers Budget speech in Hinglish, draws criticism on Twitter: Many believe this was a strategic attempt to reach out to the BJP’s core constituency in India’s northern states.