BUDGET INDIA 2014-15


Following are the highlights of the Union Budget 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament today:
* Income tax exemption limit raised by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh and for senior citizens to Rs 3 lakh
* Exemption limit for investment in financial instruments under 80C raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
* Investment limit in PPF raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
* Deduction limit on interest on loan for self-occupied house raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.
* Committee to look into all fresh tax demands for indirect transfer of assets in wake of retrospective tax amendments of 2012
* Fiscal deficit target retained at 4.1 pc of GDP for current fiscal and 3.6 pc in FY 16
* Rs 150 crore allocated for increasing safety of women in large cities
* LCD, LED TV become cheaper
* Cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco, aerated drinks become costlier
* 5 IIMs to be opened in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan
* 5 more IITs in Jammu, Chattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
* 4 more AIIMS like institutions to come up in AP, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP
* Govt proposes to launch Digital India' programme to ensure broad band connectivity at village level
* National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills proposed
* Rs 100 cr scheme to support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations
* Rs 100 cr for metro projects in Lucknow and Ahmedabad
* Govt expects Rs 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes
* Govt's plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5.75 lakh crore and non-plan at Rs 12.19 lakh crore.
* Rs 2,037 crore set aside for Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called 'Namami Gange'.
* Kisan Vikas Patra to be reintroduced, National Savings Certificate with insurance cover to be launched
* FDI limit to be hiked at 49 pc in defence, insurance
* Disinvestment target fixed at Rs 58,425 crore
* Gross borrowings pegged at Rs 6 lakh crore
* Contours of GST to be finalised this fiscal; Govt to look into DTC proposal.
* 'Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme' launched with initial sum of Rs 500 crore
* Govt provides Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants
* Set aside Rs 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalisation
* Govt in favour of consolidation of PSU banks
* Govt considering giving greater autonomy to PSU banks while making them accountable
* Rs 7,060 crore for setting up 100 Smart Cities
* A project on the river Ganga called ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ for inland waterways between Allahabad and Haldia; Rs 4,200 crore set aside for the purpose.
* Govt proposes Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology
* Expenditure management commission to be setup; will look into food and fertilizer subsides
* Impasse in coal sector will be resolved; coal will be provided to power plants already commissioned or to be commissioned by March 2015
* Long term capial gain tax for mutual funds doubled to 20 pc; lock-in period increased to 3 years
* Rs 4,000 cr set aside to increase flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment.
* EPFO to launch the 'Uniform Account Number' service to facilitate portability of Provident Fund accounts
* Mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS (Employee Pension Scheme) raised from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000
* Minimum pension increased to Rs 1,000 per month
* War memorial to be set up along with a war museum; Rs 100 crore set aside for this
* Income from foreign portfolio investors to be treated as capital gains
* Investment allowance to manufacturing companies, to incentivise small entrepreneurs
* Rs 100 crore for development of organic farming
* Indian Custom Single Window Project to be taken up for facilitating trade
* Clean Energy cess increased from Rs. 50/ tonne to Rs 100/tonne
* Excise duty on footwear reduced from 12 pc to 6 pc
* Net effect of direct tax proposals is revenue loss of Rs 22,200 cr
* Tax proposals on indirect tax front would yield Rs. 7,525 crore
* Free baggage allowance increased from Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000
* PSUs to invest to over Rs 2.47 lakh crore this fiscal.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today doled out income tax sops by raising threshold exemption and investment limits by Rs 50,000, raised duties on cigarettes, tobacco, pan-masala and aerated drinks, widened service tax base and announced measures to spur growth manufacturing and revive investor confidence.
Without tinkering with the tax rates and allowing continuing 3 per cent education cess on all tax payers, he provided encouraging signals for domestic and foreign investors offering not to "ordinarily" bring about any tax change retrospectively which creates a fresh liability.
Speaking to PTI after presenting his maiden budget in Parliament, he ruled out resorting to retrospective taxation and said "ordinarily we will not legislate to create fresh liability."
Jaitley said he has taken important steps that were nececssary but not taken in the last 10 years to put the economy back on track.
The budget for 2014-15 raised the threshold income tax exemption limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh and investments under 80C by Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh, and raised interest exemption on housing loan on self-occupied property by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
The exemption limit for senior citizens has been raised from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. The tax sops could leave up to Rs 40,000 in the hands of assessees.
However, there is no change in rate of surcharge either for the corporates or individuals and the education cess of three per cent will also continue.
Baggage allowance for passengers returning from abroad has been raised from from Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000.
The Budget makes cigarettes, tobacco, pan-masala, gutka and cold-drinks costlier by raising excise duties while CRT TVs used by poor, LCD and LED TV panels of less than 19-inches will be cheaper through cuts in customs duties.
Direct tax proposals in the budget involve a sacrifice of Rs 22,200 crore while indirect tax proposals will yield a revenue of Rs 7,525 crore.
Assuaging sentiments of foreign investors deterred by the change brought in 2012, Jaitley announced that all fresh cases arising out of retrospective amendments of 2012 in respect of indirect transfers will be scrutinised by a high level committee to be constituted by the CBDT before any action is initiated.
"I hope the investor community both within India and abroad will repose confidence on our stated position and participate in the Indian growth story with renewed vigour," he said, offering a stable and predictable tax regime.
He also said the government will revive the revised Direct Taxes Code (DTC) taking into account the comments of stakeholders.
The Service Tax net has been widened by inclusion of radio-cabs and online ads to mop up additional revenue by pruning the negative list.
The Finance Minister said government will promote FDI by raising the cap to 49 per cent in Defence and Insurance with full Indian management and control.
The Budget raises defence spending by 12.5 per cent to Rs 2.29 lakh crore. Non-plan expenditure for the current year has been estimated at Rs 12,19,892 crore with additional amount for fertiliser subsidy and capital expenditure for armed forces.
The total expenditure estimates stand at Rs 17,94,892 crore. Gross tax receipts will be Rs 13,64,524 crore, of which Centre's share will Rs 9,77,258 crore. Non-tax revenues for current financial year will be Rs 2,12,505 crore and capital receipts other than borrowings will be Rs 73,952 crore.
The Budget pegs the fiscal deficit for the current fiscal at 4.1 per cent of the GDP and 3.6 and 3 per cent in 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively.
Jaitley said he began working with constraints based on the targets set by his predecessor. In 45 days, this is the best he could do, he said.
The budget made a commitment to undertake an overhaul of the subsidy regime while promising protection to the marginalised sections.
Asked about the budget not giving a clear roadmap for subsidy reforms, Jaitley said an Expenditure Management Commission will be constituted to look in the issue.
In an apparent reference to the previous government, he said slow decision-making had resulted in a loss of opportunity and two years of sub-5 per cent growth in the economy has resulted in challenging situation.
He said government intends to usher in a policy regime that would bring the desired growth, lower inflation, sustained level of external sector balance and prudent policy stance.
The Finance Minister said the present situation presents a challenge of slow growth in manufacturing sector, in infrastructure and also the need to introduce fiscal prudence.
The tax to GDP ratio must be improved and non-tax revenue increased, he said while pruning the negative list for levy of service tax.
"India today needs a boost for job creation. Our manufacturing sector in particular needs a push for job creation," he said.
Jaitley further said growth in infrastructure and construction sectors is necessary to revive the economy and generate jobs for millions of young boys and girls. Manufacturing sector is of paramount importance for the growth of our economy and this sector has multiplier effect on creation of jobs and announced various incentives to facilitate investments in the sector, Jaitley added.
The budget contained a slew of measures to fast-track projects mostly in public-private-public partnerships, which finds renewed focus in the minister's speech.
It also announced proposal for investment of Rs.38,000 crore for fast-tracking highways to augment the country's arterial network.
The real estate sector and infrastructure have got a boost in the budget which has proposed tax incentives for new new investment instruments--Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs)--to help long term funds from foreign and domestic investors.


BUD-PLAN
Plan spending up 26.9% at Rs 5.75 lakh crore in 2014-15
The government today proposed an increase in the Plan expenditure or spending on social sector schemes to Rs 5,75,000 crore for the current fiscal, a 26.9 per cent higher over the actual spent in the previous fiscal. The Plan expenditure is the government spending on social sector schemes such as Bharat Nirman, rural employment guarantee scheme and National Rural Health Mission. Besides, it includes Centre's assistance to various states and Union Territories Plans. "In 2013-14, plan funds to the tune of Rs 4,53,085 crore could be utilised. Plan allocation of Rs 5,75,000 crore in the main Budget 2014-15 marks an increase of 26.9 per cent over actual (spending) for 2013-14," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech in the Lok Sabha. The previous government had cut the total Plan spending to Rs 4,75,532 crore (revised estimates) for 2013-14 compared to the budget estimates of the Rs 5,55,532 crore, for keeping a tab on the fiscal deficit. This was second year in a row when the UPA government cut Plan spending substantially to keep fiscal deficit under control. He said, "While preparing estimates of plan expenditure, attention was paid to the absorptive capacity of the department and on achieving greater outcome with the same financial outlay." According to the Minister, the plan spending has been targeted towards agriculture, capacity creation in health and education, rural roads and national highways infrastructure, railways network expansion, clean energy initiatives, development of water resources and river conservation plans. The Minister also said that thorough convergence of programmes or social sector schemes, greater impact from the money spent will be achieved. The budget estimate for non-Plan expenditure for this fiscal is Rs 12,19,892 crore compared to revised estimates of Rs 11,14,902 crore for 2013-14. Last year, the government had made provision of Rs 11,09,975 crore for non-Plan expenditure for 2013-14 in the budget. The non-Plan expenditure which is recurring in nature includes salaries, payment of interest, defence spending etc. "While preparing Non-Plan estimates, due care has been taken to fully provide for all the essential activities. Additional amounts have been provided for fertiliser subsidy and capital expenditure of Armed Forces," Jaitley said. The total budgeted expenditure estimates including Plan and Non-Plan stand at Rs 17,94,892 crore which are higher than revised estimates for 2013-14 at Rs 15,90,434 crore. Last year, the government made a provision of Rs 16,65,297 crore for total expenditure in the budget.

BUD-RUPEE
For every Re in govt kitty, 24 paise to come from borrowing
For every rupee in government kitty, as much as one-fourth will come from market borrowing in 2014-15 while 20 paise would be spent towards interest payment. The government's dependence on debt has come down from 27 paise in the previous Budget to 24 paise in the coming year, reflecting ease of pressure on revenue collections. As per the proposals presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament today, the gross borrowings of the government in 2014-15 are pegged at Rs 6 lakh crore against Rs 5.63 lakh crore for the last fiscal. On the expenditure side, central plan allocation has been reduced sharply from 21 paise to 11 paise in 2014-15. However, the interest payment would go up to 20 paise compared to 18 paise in the 2013-14. Defence allocation has been maintained at 10 paise. As the single largest source of revenue income, the collection from corporate tax has been maintained at 21 paise as a percentage of every rupee earned. However, income tax mobilisation will go up marginally to 13 paise as compared to 12 paise in 2013-14 indicating more individual tax payers coming under the tax net. Putting stress on raising resources, Jaitley said, "the focus of any tax administration is to broaden the tax base." On indirect tax front mobilisation, excise and customs would earn 19 paise for the government, while the government expects revenue collection from service tax and others to go up to 10 paise against nine paise in 2013-14. "In recent times, among indirect taxes, service tax has shown the highest rate of growth....the twin objectives in this sector of indirect taxes are to widen the tax base and enhance compliance," he said.
Even as the government plans to overhaul subsidy regime, it has been kept intact at 12 paise for year ended 2015. "I also propose to overhaul the subsidy regime, including food and petroleum subsidies, and make it more targeted while providing full protection to the marginalised, poor and SC/STs. A new urea policy would also be formulated," he said. At the same time, other non-plan expenditure is expected to account for 11 paise of every rupee spent by the government in 2014-15, while the states' share of taxes and duties would amount to 18 paise of every rupee earned.
Plan assistance to states and Union Territories has been more than double to 15 paise in 2014-15.

BUDGET-HALT
Presentation of Union Budget in LS halted briefly
Perhaps for the first time, the presentation of Union Budget in the Lok Sabha was halted briefly today as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley felt uncomfortable while reading out his speech and wanted to take a break.
The 61-year-old had a "cramp" in his back after he spoke for about 45 minutes and requested Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for a break. He was advised to do so by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who were sitting next to him, as he looked uncomfortable.
Mahajan adjourned the House for five minutes at 11.45 AM to allow Jaitley to take rest.
Immediately, a medical team came for assistance of the Finance Minister who refused to take it and wanted to just take rest.
Union Ministers Nirmala Setharaman, Prakash Javadekar, Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Ananth Kumar, Lok Sabha Secretary General P Sreedharan and others came to Jaitley and enquired about his health.
Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu went to Opposition benches and explained to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge why Jaitley was taking the break.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and TMC leader Saugata Roy also came to Jaitley and enquired about his health.
Javadekar was also seen explaining to some members, including from Opposition, that Jaitley was having back pain.
When the House reassembled, the Speaker said the break was given since he felt "slightly unwell". She then allowed him to resume the budget presentation while being seated.
Jaitley first stood up and he was grateful to the Speaker and the members for bearing with him. He said he was facing a problem due to "little cramp in the back".
He then went on to speak for over two hours but kept sipping water at regular intervals.

BUD-YELLOW
On budget day, Jaitley family goes for yellow
Yellow was the colour for the Jaitley family when Finance Minister Arun Jaitely presented his maiden budget in Lok Sabha today. While 61-year-old Jaitley wore a yellow Jawahar jacket over his usual off-white kurta pyjama, his wife Sangeeta and their daughter, who were watching the budget presentation from the Speaker's gallery, too came wearing yellow-coloured suits. According to Hindu mythology, Thursday is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Brihaspati, the Guru of Gods, and devotees adorn yellow coloured clothes and offer yellow flowers to propitiate god Vishnu and Brihaspati.

BUD-SUBSIDY
Jaitley raises subsidy bill but promises overhaul of grants
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today raised the subsidy bill marginally by 2.47 per cent to over Rs 2.51 lakh crore for 2014-15, but promised to overhaul the grants for food, fuel and fertiliser to "make it more targetted".
The subsidy bill on food, petroleum and fertilisers is estimated at Rs 2,51,397.25 crore crore for 2014-15, according to the Budget proposals presented by the Finance Minister in Parliament. The bill was Rs 2,45,451.50 crore in the revised estimates for 2013-14.
"I also propose to overhaul the subsidy regime, including food and petroleum subsidies, and make it more targeted while providing full protection to the marginalised, poor and SC/STs. A new urea policy would also be formulated," Jaitley said in his maiden Budget speech.
The allocation for subsidy in the full Budget for 2014-15 is even higher than Rs 2.46 crore proposed by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the interim budget in February.
The increase in overall subsidy bill, though marginal, is bound to have impact on fiscal deficit for this fiscal.
The higher subsidy bill in 2014-15 is on account of increased allocation for fertiliser sector. The government has pegged total fertiliser subsidy higher at Rs 72,970.30 crore for full fiscal than Rs 67,970 crore proposed in the interim budget.
Subsidy for imported urea is pegged at Rs 12,300 crore, domestic urea is Rs 36,000 crore and sale of de-controlled fertilisers (like phosphatic & potassic fertilisers) is Rs 24,670.30 crore.
Jaitley announced Budget estimates with non-plan expenditure for the fiscal at Rs 12,19,892 crore with additional provision for fertiliser subsidy and capital expenditure for the armed forces.
For food subsidy, the government has allocated Rs 1,15,000 crore, which include a provision of Rs 88,500 crore for implementation of National Food Security Act. The food subsidy bill has been kept unchanged from interim budget proposal of Rs 1.15 lakh crore.
The previous government had increased the bill by a whopping Rs 23,000 crore mainly for implementation of the National Food Security law, whose deadline has been now been extended by three months till September 2014.
The petroleum subsidy, given to state-run oil companies for selling fuel, LPG and kerosene below cost, has been pegged lower Rs 63,426.95 crore for 2014-15 against revised estimate (RE) of Rs 85,480 crore in 2013-14.

BUD-INFRA
PPP is new mantra for infra in Jaitley's maiden budget
Asserting that lack of infrastructure will not be allowed to hit growth, government today announced a slew of steps to fast-track projects mostly in public-private-partnerships, which finds renewed focus in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's maiden Budget. "The country is in no mood to suffer ... lack of infrastructure and apathetic governance. The task before me today is very challenging because we need to revive growth, particularly in manufacturing and infrastructure to raise adequate resources for our developmental needs," Jaitley said. Tabling his maiden Budget in Parliament, he said," An institution to provide support to mainstreaming PPPs (public-private-partnerships) called 3P India will be set up with a corpus of Rs 500 crores." He said India has emerged as the largest PPP market in the world with over 900 projects in various stages of development. PPPs have delivered some of the iconic infrastructure like airports, ports and highways which are seen as models for development globally, he added. "But we have also seen the weaknesses of PPP framework, the rigidities in contractual arrangements, the need to develop more nuanced and sophisticated models of contracting and develop quick dispute redressal mechanism," he said. The Finance Minister's concerns come at a time when delays in 110 central infra projects due to regulatory hurdle issues have resulted in over Rs 1.57 lakh crore cost overruns. He said his government was committed to improving infrastructure in all sectors including roads, port, airports, railways, urban, rural and industrial infrastructure besides ensuring adequate flow of funds and financing of projects. "As an innovation, a modified Real Estate Investment Trusts type structure for infrastructure projects is also being announced as Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), which would have a similar tax efficient pass through status, for PPP and other infrastructure projects," he said. These structures would reduce the pressure on the banking system while also making available fresh equity, he said adding "I am confident these two instruments would attract long term finance from foreign and domestic sources including the NRIs." Also, he announced enhancing present corpus of pooled municipal debt obligation facility with participation of several banks to finance infra projects in urban areas on shared risk basis to Rs 50,000 crore. "Present corpus of this facility is Rs 5,000 crores. This Government has a major focus of providing good infrastructure, including public transport, solid waste disposal, sewerage treatment and drinking water in the urban areas. In keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision for urban areas it is proposed to enlarge it to Rs 50,000 Crores with extension of the facility by five years to March 31, 2019," he said.

BUD-TOURISM
Rs 500 cr for creation of 5 tourist circuits
With an aim of boosting tourism, government today announced allocation of Rs 500 crore for creation of five tourist circuits with specific themes in the country. In his maiden Budget speech in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India's rich cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage provides a huge potential for the development of tourism and job creation as an industry. The General Budget 2014-15 proposes to create five tourist circuits around specific themes for which a sum of Rs 500 crore has been set aside in the current financial year.
Jaitley said Sarnath-Gaya-Varanasi Buddhist circuit would also be developed with world class tourist amenities to attract tourists from all over the world. The Finance Minister also announced the launching of National Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for conserving and preserving the heritage characters of these cities.
The programme will be launched in cities such as Mathura, Amritsar, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Vellankani, and Ajmer with a provision of Rs 200 crore in the current Budget. The project will work through a partnership of Government, Academic Institutions and local community combining affordable technologies.
A National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) with an outlay of Rs 100 crore is also proposed to be launched in this financial year.
Jaitley has set aside a sum of Rs 100 crore for the preservation of archaeological sites. Highlighting the importance of Goa emerging as a major international convention centre, the Finance Minister said there is a need to develop world class convention facilities in the state.
Government will fully support this initiative to develop the facilities in PPP mode through VGF scheme, the Minister added.

BUD-REIT
Govt proposes tax incentives for REITs, InvITs
In a major boost for real estate and infrastructure sectors, the government today proposed tax incentives for two new investment instruments -- REITs and InvITs -- to help attract long term funds from foreign and domestic investors, including the NRIs. The new investment products, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), can be listed on stock exchanges like shares of any company and allow retail and institutional investors to buy or sell those securities. Accepting a long-pending demand from the industry and the capital markets regulator Sebi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting Union Budget 2014-15 that REITs have been successfully used as instruments for pooling of investment in several countries. "I intend to provide necessary incentives for REITs which will have pass through for the purpose of taxation. As an innovation, a modified REIT-type structure for infrastructure projects is also being announced as Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), which would have a similar tax efficient pass through status, for PPP (public-private partnership)and other infrastructure projects. "These structures would reduce the pressure on the banking system while also making available fresh equity. I am confident these two instruments would attract long-term finance from foreign and domestic sources including NRIs," Jaitley said. These new products would allow investors to invest in specific products linked to real estate projects and infrastructure projects, while providing necessary safeguards. Besides, these products would also help the corporates raise significant amounts of capital for their projects. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had proposed draft regulations relating to these two categories. These regulations were placed in public domain for comments and the final norms are yet to be notified. Sebi Chairman U K Sinha, last month, had asked government to provide clarity on tax benefits for these products. He had said that regulator was ready with guidelines that would be announced immediately after tax clarity from the government. Noting the importance of certainty in the taxation aspects of REITs and InvITs, the government has proposed "to amend the Act to put in place a specific taxation regime for providing the way the income in the hands of such trusts is to be taxed and the taxability of the income distributed by such business trusts in the hands of the unit holders of such trusts". This amendment would be effective from October 1, 2014.
The Minister said the listed units of a business trust, when traded on a recognised stock exchange, would attract same levy of securities transaction tax (STT), and would be given the same tax benefits in respect of taxability of capital gains as equity shares of a company i.e., long term capital gains, would be exempt and short term capital gains would be taxable at the rate of 15 per cent."
The Finance Minister said: "Income by way of interest received by the business trust from SPV (special purpose vehicle)is accorded pass through treatment i.e. there is no taxation of such interest income in the hands of the trust and no withholding tax at the level of SPV". "However, withholding tax at the rate of 5 per cent. In case of payment of interest component of income distributed to non-resident unit holders, at the rate of 10 per cent, in respect of payment of interest component of distributed income to a resident unit holder shall be effected by the trust," Jaitley said. He said that dividend received by the trust would be subject to dividend distribution tax at the level of SPV but will be exempted in the hands of the trust and the dividend component of the income distributed by the trust to unit holders will also be exempted. The REITs and InvITs are expected to attract more global investment and bring transparency into the real estate and infrastructure sectors, respectively. Commenting on the government's tax incentive for REITs and InvITs, Angel Broking CMD Dinesh Thakkar: "The budget highlighted the new government's rational approach to policies for taxation, government spending and growth." "Infrastructure, Real estate and Finance sectors were amongst the biggest winners, with measures to improve funding availability to infrastructure and low-cost housing and providing a boost to REITs and bank infra lending," he added.

BUD-JOBS
Govt emphasis on job creation to create 5-8 mn jobs in 3-4 yrs
With the government putting strong emphasis on job creation, experts today said measures proposed in the union budget can help create 5-8 million jobs in next 3-4 years across various sectors. "India today needs a boost for job creation. Our manufacturing sector in particular needs a push for job creation," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said.
Human resource experts welcomed the budget and believe the sectors that are likely to see an immediate job creation are infrastructure, transport, power, consumer goods, e-commerce, startups and tourism. "The early indications looks like this budget is pro- reforms and growth focused with a clear long-term strategy for getting back the growth momentum. I expect the budget to have a positive impact on the job market," leading job portal Naukri.com Executive VP and National Head Sales V Suresh said. Jaitley further said growth in infrastructure and construction sectors is necessary to revive the economy and generate jobs for millions of our young boys and girls. Manufacturing sector is of paramount importance for the growth of our economy and this sector has multiplier effect on creation of jobs and announced various incentives to facilitate investments in the sector, Jaitley added. "We believe the budget has addressed a lot of areas that ushers well for the job market. We expect that the new budget will help in the creation of 5-8 million jobs across sectors," Kelly Services India & Malaysia MD Kamal Karanth said. "In budget there has been a boost to the social sector, raised FDI in defense, up gradation of railway system and Infrastructure and this will create large pool of the job opportunity across varios sectors as most of these sectors will have interconnected co-relation with other industries," leading search organization GlobalHunt MD Sunil Goel said.
Goel further said these limited reforms should create more than 5 lakh job across the country in next 1-2 years.
"Infrastructure, power, transport and consumer goods will see an immediate hike in hiring needs. There is increased confidence in these sectors and the sops offered to companies will prop most hiring managers to swoop in on talent quickly," Antal International Network MD Joseph Devasia said.
However, creating jobs is only one part of the equation as workers must also have the skills to perform them and with over 12 million youth joining the workforce each year, bridging the skill gap is a critical issue facing the nation.
The government today announced the launch of a national multi-skill programme -- 'Skill India', that will skill the youth with an emphasis on employability and entrepreneurship.
"The launch of 'Skill India' and setting up of a Rs 10,000 crore fund to boost entrepreneurship will surely yield benefits by promoting inclusive growth," Towers Watson, India Managing Director Vivek Nath said adding the Rs 100 crore allocated for a start-up programme for rural youth is another move in the right direction. "The skill-development and start-up programme for rural youth will not only reap benefits of demographic dividend but also boost inclusive growth," Egon Zehnder Consultant Pallavi Kathuria said. The government today also emphasised on the importance of foreign direct investments in several sectors which in turn would help in promoting domestic manufacture and job creation.
"Liberalisation of FDI in e-Commerce sector will provide much-needed certainty to foreign players and to a sector that has the promise to provide increased commerce and generate employment in the country," PwC India India Technology leader Sandeep Ladda said. Another sector that can be taped for larger number of job creation is tourism, Jaitley said adding that India's rich cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage provides a huge potential for the development of tourism and job creation as an Industry.
"By promoting tourism and agro-based industries, employment opportunities will be expanded. New job hot-spots are being created in the country in the power, banking and infrastructure sector and the demand for temp-force will be go up," ManpowerGroup India Executive Director and President Srikanth Rengarajan said. Moreover, employment exchanges will be transformed into career centres and in addition for providing information about job availability.
"The budget is forward looking and promises to address the investment and industry sentiment that should boost employment opportunities in the immediate term," TeamLease Services Managing Director & Co-Founder Ashok Reddy said adding "overall the budget looks growth oriented, with focus on job creation especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities."

BUD-SANITATION
Govt aims at total sanitation by 2019
Giving high priority to sanitation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government intends to cover every household by total sanitation by 2019 through the
'Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan' programme.
The goal set by the previous UPA government was to achieve 100 per cent access to sanitation for all rural households in the country by 2022 under the programme called Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA). Jaitley said every household is intended to be covered by total sanitation by the year 2019, the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi through Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan.
"Although the Central Government is providing resources within its means, the task of total sanitation cannot be achieved without the support of all," the Finance Minister said.
In the 12th Plan an outlay of Rs 34,377 crores has been provided for rural sanitation as compared to Rs 6540 crores in the 11th Plan, which is a significantly higher allocation (425 per cent higher than the 11th Plan).
The Government started the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) in 1986 to provide sanitation facilities in rural areas. It was a supply driven, highly subsidised and infrastructure-oriented programme. As a result of deficiencies and low financial allocations, the CRSP had very little impact on the gargantuan problem.
The experience of community-driven, awareness-generating campaign based programme in some states and the results of evaluation of CRSP, led to the formulation of Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) approach in 1999. As per the Twelfth Plan Working Group recommendation, the APL-BPL distinction and the very low incentive under the TSC have played havoc with the programme. To accelerate the progress of sanitation in rural areas, Government had revamped the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) in the XIIth Five Year Plan.
NBA is currently being implemented in 607 rural districts across the country. NBA envisages covering the entire community for saturated outcomes with a view to create Nirmal Gram Panchayats.

BUD-ADVANCERULING
Domestic cos can obtain advance ruling on tax liability
With Rs 4 lakh crore locked in litigations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today proposed to allow domestic companies to obtain advance ruling with regard to their direct and indirect tax liabilities. Till now the facility for obtaining Advance Ruling was available to non-residents and public sector undertakings. "I propose to enable resident taxpayers to obtain an advance ruling in respect of their income tax liability above a defined threshold. I also propose to strengthen the Authority for Advance Rulings by constituting additional benches," he said in his Budget speech for 2014-15. Similarly, in indirect taxes, the scheme of Advance Ruling has been expanded to cover resident private companies. "This will allow these companies to seek advance ruling in respect of new activities being proposed to be undertaken by them. The scope of Settlement Commission is being enlarged to facilitate quick dispute resolution," Jaitley added. Tax demand of more than Rs 4 lakh crore is under dispute and litigation before various Courts and Appellate authorities. "This is one of the serious concerns of all taxpayers," he said. The scope of the Income-Tax Settlement Commission would also be enlarged so that taxpayers may approach the Commission for settlement of disputes. This would continue to be once in a lifetime opportunity for any taxpayer.

BUDGET INVESTORS
Liberal tax regime on cards for Foreign Portfolio Investors
To boost overseas investments into Indian capital markets, the government today proposed a liberal tax regime for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) willing to shift their base to India. The proposed move of treating income arising from transactions conducted by FPIs as capital gains, rather than business income that attracts higher taxes, would help remove uncertainties related to characterisation of their income and encourage their fund managers to shift to India. "FPIs have invested more than Rs 8 lakh crore (about USD 130 billion) in India. One of their concerns is uncertainty in taxation on account of characterisation of their income," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the union budget for fiscal 2014-15. "Moreover, the fund managers of these foreign investors remain outside India under the apprehension that their presence in India may have adverse tax consequences. "With a view to put an end to this uncertainty and to encourage these fund managers to shift to India, I propose to provide that income arising to foreign portfolio investors from transaction in securities will be treated as capital gains," he said. FPIs are a newly created category of foreign investors and encompass all existing structures like foreign institutional investors (FIIs), their sub-accounts and qualified foreign investors (QFI). This new regime came into force on June 1. Existing overseas investor classes such as FIIs, sub—accounts and QFIs are in process of converting themselves into FPIs. The new liberal regime divides FPIs into three categories as per their risk profile and the KYC (Know Your Client) requirements. To treat income from FPI as capital gains, the government has said amendments would be made to norms governing FPIs with effect from April 1, 2015. Under the proposed amendments, any security held by FII which would be treated as capital asset only so that any income arising from transfer of such security by FPI would be in the nature of capital gain. As per norms, there are no tax on long term capital gains while short term capital gains are taxable at the rate of 15 per cent.

BUDGET MARKETS
Govt proposes measures to energise capital markets
To energise capital markets, the government today proposed a slew of measures, including tax benefits and easier regulations for foreign investors and corporate bonds besides creating a new instrument Bharat Depository Receipts, helping BSE benchmark Sensex to jump 434 points. Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in his maiden budget also annouced incenvtive for real estate and investment trust (REIT). The government has proposed introducing uniform KYC (Know Your Customer) norms with inter-usability of the KYC records across the entire financial sector and a single demat account so that consumers can access and transact all financial assets through this one account. In his budget presentation for 2014-15 in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced introducing a much more liberal and ambitious Bharat Depository Receipt (BhDR). He also allowed international settlement of Indian debt securities and completely revamped the Indian Depository Receipt (IDR) scheme. Jaitley proposed liberalising the ADR (American Depository Receipt)/GDR (Global Depository Receipt) regime to allow issuance of depository receipts on all permissible securities. He proposed that financial sector regulators to take early steps for a vibrant, deep and liquid corporate bond market and deepen the currency derivatives market by eliminating unnecessary restrictions. The Minister proposed extending a liberalised facility of five per cent withholding tax to all bonds issued by Indian corporate abroad, extending validity of the scheme to June 30, 2017. (At present, the tax rate varies across bonds and could be higher as well). Regarding Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), the Minister said that he intend to provide necessary incentives for REITS. "In innovation, a modified REITS type structure for infrastructure projects is also being announced as Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), which would have a similar tax efficient pass through status, for PPP and other infrastructure projects," Jaitley said. These structures would reduce the pressure on the banking system while also making available fresh equity. These instruments would attract long term finance from foreign and domestic sources including the non resident Indians (NRIs).
The Finance Minister said that he will expeditiously complete the ongoing process of consultations with all the stakeholders on the recommendations of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC). He said suggestions of the FSLRC is necessary for better governance and accountability.
Addressing the tax concerns of Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs), Jaitley proposed to provide that income arising to this class of investors from transaction in securities will be treated as capital gain.
FPI encompasses all foreign institutional investors (FIIs), their sub-accounts and qualified foreign investors (QFI) under a new regime which has been effective from June 1. According to the minister, FPIs that have invested more than Rs 8 lakh crore (about USD 130 billion) in India are concerned over uncertainty in taxation on account of characterisation of their income. Moreover, the fund managers of these foreign investors remain outside India under the apprehension that their presence in India may have adverse tax consequences. "With a view to put an end to this uncertainty and to encourage these fund managers to shift to India, I propose to provide that income arising to foreign portfolio investors from transaction in securities will be treated as capital gains," Jaitley said. To resolve a long-standing problem, the minister also proposed to clarify the tax treatment on income of foreign fund whose fund managers are located in India. Jaitley noted that FIIs have reposed confidence in the Indian market despite global uncertainties. In the past financial year, overseas investors have invested a net amount of Rs 55,814 crore in the Indian equities. To remove tax arbitrage, the minister said that rate of tax on long term capital gains has been increased from 10 percent to 20 percent on transfer of units of mutual funds, other than equity oriented funds. He also proposed to raise the period of holding in respect of such units from 12 months to 36 months for this purpose. Currently, the capital gains arising on transfer of mutual units held for more than a year is taxed at a concessional rate of 10 per cent whereas direct investments in banks and other debt instruments attract a higher rate of tax.

BUD-DTC
Govt to review DTC bill in its present form :Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government will review the ambitious Direct Taxes Code, which proposed overhaul of the six-decade old Income Tax Act in its present shape and take a view on the whole matter.
"On Direct Tax Code (DTC), the Government will consider the comments received from stakeholders. It will review the DTC in its present shape and take a view in the whole matter," he said while presenting the Union Budget for 2014-15.
The Standing Committee on Finance headed by Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had submitted its report on 'The Direct Taxes Code Bill, 2010' in March 2012. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2010.
Among other things, the Committee had suggested raising the income tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh as against Rs 2 lakh proposed in the DTC Bill, 2010.
The Income Tax Act was enacted in 1961. The first draft prepared by Chidambaram in 2009 had proposed a income tax slab from Rs 1.6-10 lakh, Rs 10-25 lakh and Rs 25 lakh and above. Besides, the corporate tax was proposed at 25 per cent.
This was followed by the draft DTC Bill prepared by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in 2010 which proposed the slabs at Rs 2-5 lakh (10 per cent) , Rs 5-10 lakh (20 per cent) and Rs 10 lakh and above (30 per cent). Here the corporate tax was proposed at 30 per cent.
The Standing Committee in its recommendation suggested the slabs in the brackets of Rs 3-10 lakh, Rs 10-20 lakh and Rs 20 lakh and above. On corporate tax, it recommended that the rate be retained at 30 per cent.
The current rates for income tax would continue at 10, 20 and 30 per cent respectively.

BUD-RETROTAX
Retro tax amendment to be undertaken with extreme caution: FM
Assuring investors that retrospective amendments to tax laws will be undertaken with extreme caution, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said all fresh cases arising out of the 2012 amendment of I-T Act will be looked into by a high level CBDT committee.
However, the existing tax disputes, arising out of Retrospective Amendment to the Income tax Act, 1961, and are pending in Courts, will be allowed to reach their logical conclusions, he said.
"The sovereign right of the government to undertake retrospective legislation in unquestionable. However, this power has to be exercised through extreme caution and judiciousness keeping in mind the impact of each such measure on the economy and the overall investment climate.
"This govt will not ordinarily bring any change retrospectively which creates a fresh liability," Jaitley said while presenting the Budget for 2014-15.
He said consequent upon the retrospective amendment of the I-T Act, 1961, undertaken by Finance Bill of 2012, a few cases have come up in various courts and legal fora.
"These cases are at various stages of pendency and will naturally reach their logical conclusion," he said.
He said the BJP-led NDA government is committed to providing a stable and predictable taxable regime which would be investor friendly and spur growth.
"...Henceforth all cases arising out of retrospective amendment of 2012 in respect of indirect transfer and coming to the notice of Assessing Officers will be scrutinised by a high level committee to constituted by the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) before any action is initiated in such cases," he added.
Jaitley hoped the investor community, both within the country and abroad, will repose confidence in India and participate in the growth story with renewed vigour.
Amendment to the IT Act with retrospective effect, undertaken by the UPA government in 2012 to protect revenue, had evoked sharp reactions from domestic as well as global investors.
Following the amendment to the tax laws, the authorities issued a letter to Vodafone International Holdings BV stating that the company was required to pay tax demand of about Rs 11,217 crore along with interest.
Besides, an Income-Tax Department's order in January this year held that Edinburgh-based Cairn Plc made capital gains of Rs 24,503.50 crore when it transferred its entire India business from subsidiaries incorporated in Jersey, a tax haven, to the newly incorporated Cairn India in 2006.

BUD-AVIATION
11.4 per cent hike for Civil Aviation Ministry in budget
Government today announced a new scheme to develop airports in metros and non-metro cities through public-private partnership to enhance air connectivity and hiked allocation for the Civil Aviation sector by over 11.4 per cent to Rs 9,474 crore in the budget. "Despite increase in air connectivity, air travel is still out of reach of a large number of aspirational Indians. Scheme for development of new airports in Tier I and Tier II (cities) will be launched for implementation through Airport Authority of India and PPPs," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech. The Government has been working towards increasing air connectivity in the country and is planning to increase the number of airport in metro and non-metro cities. The Ministry has been allocated Rs 9,474 crore in the General Budget against Rs 8,502 crore provided to it in the last fiscal. Of the Rs 9,474 crore, Rs 6,720 crore is for Plan expenditure whereas Rs 2,754 crore is for non-plan expenditure. Under the Budget, the official airliner Air India has been allocated Rs 7,069 crore for its operations whereas the Airports Authority Limited has been granted Rs 2,134 crore. The allocation for Air India has been increased only by Rs six crore from the last fiscal. Pawan Hans helicopters Limited has got a substantial hike from Rs 8.67 crore last year to Rs 46 crore this year.  


BUD-LOKPAL
Token provision for Lokpal in budget
The Government today earmarked Rs two crore for anti-corruption body Lokpal and deducted about Rs 94 lakh from last fiscal's Rs 21.29 crore allocation to Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in the budget. The allocation of Rs two crore for Lokpal in 2014-15 is to meet its establishment-related expenditure, according to Demand of Grants of the Ministry of Personnel. The CVC, which acts as the government's nodal agency to check corruption and ensure transparency, has been given Rs 20.35 crore to meet its establishment related expenditure. The Commission was allocated Rs 21.29 crore in the revised budget for 2013-14 as against Rs 19.53 crore during 2012-13. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, (also known as Lokpal) provides for the establishment of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries. President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill on January 1, this year. The Bill was passed by Parliament in December last year. The Government is in process of appointment of chairperson and members of Lokpal.

BUD-GANGA
Govt proposes over Rs 2,000 cr for Ganga Conservation Mission
An integrated programme for the conservation of river Ganga with an outlay of Rs 2,037 crores has been proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his maiden budget today. Jaitley said the Ganga Conservation Mission called "Namami Gange" is being launched because a substantial amount of money has been spent in the conservation and improvement of the river, but that has not yielded desired results because of lack of concerted efforts by the stakeholders. To harness the enthusiasm of the NRI community towards the conservation of the river Ganga, an 'NRI Fund for Ganga' will be set up which will finance special projects, he said. A sum of Rs 100 crore has been set aside for Ghat development and beautification of the river front at Kedarnath, Haridwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna and Delhi in the current financial year since river fronts and Ghats are not only places of rich historical heritage but many of these are sacred, he said. The budget also contains the first ever effort to link the rivers across the country with the Finance Minister setting aside a sum of Rs 100 crore in the current budget to expedite the preparation of Detailed Project Reports as a serious move in this direction, he said.

BUD-LD AGRI
Govt announces Rs 7,500cr agri-schemes;vows to reform food mkt
With a drought-like situation looming large and food prices remaining high, government today announced various agri-programmes with an outlay of about Rs 7,500 crore to improve irrigation, soil health, research activities besides promising steps to revamp mandis. It said it will provide cheaper foodgrains through ration shops even if there is marginal decline in farm production due to inadequate rainfall this year, and also restructure Food Corporation of India (FCI) to improve efficiency of PDS. While committing to achieve 4 per cent farm growth, the new government advocated use of new farm technologies to boost crop yields to achieve the 'second Green Revolution' and 'Protein Revolution' amid challenges of climate change. On farm credit front, the government, however, continued interest subvention of 3 per cent for those making timely repayment, and total credit disbursement target of Rs 8,00,000 crore for this fiscal. It also proposed a long-term rural credit fund with an initial corpus of Rs 5,000 crore. Presenting the Budget for 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: "To make farming competitive and profitable, there is an urgent need to step up investment, both public and private, in agro-technology development and creation and modernisation of existing agri-business infrastructure." Of Rs 7,500 crore funds announced for the farm sector, Rs 1,000 crore has been set aside to improve access to irrigation under a scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana' because 60 per cent of the cultivable land is still rainfed. To promote balanced use of fertilisers, Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for a scheme to provide every farmer a soil health card, while Rs 56 crore to set up 100 mobile soil testing labs. The government also promised formation of new urea policy to address imbalanced use of fertilisers. Lauding the measures for the sector, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said: "Till now, agriculture used to be on the sidelines in union budgets but this is the first time that agriculture has been given pride of place in the budget." Taking a dig at Budget, Former Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said, "A slew of announcements have been made. But there is no fuel in the engine to achieve the desired development goals. I am disappointed. I am not satisfied." Noting that climate change is a reality and Indian agriculture is most prone to it, Jaitley proposed an initial allocation of Rs 100 crore to establish 'National Adaptation Fund' for climate change.
Giving thrust to develop agri-warehouse infrastructure in an effort to rein in prices, Jaitely proposed a Rs 5,000 crore fund for building scientific warehousing capacity to increase the shelf life of agricultural commodities. He also announced 'Price Stabilisation Fund' with a corpus of Rs 500 crore check price volatility in agri-produce and said will take steps to set up 'national market' to encourage farmers sell directly outside mandis. "To accelerate setting up of a National Market, the central government will work closely with the state governments to re-orient their respective APMC Acts, to provide for establishment of private market yards/ private markets," Jaitley said. The state governments will also be encouraged to develop Farmers' Markets in town areas to enable the farmers to sell their produce directly, he added. Committing to supply subsidies foodgrains through PDS even if agriculture production drops due to poor rainfall, Jaitley said, "Stocks in the Central pool are adequate to meet any exigency. Government shall, when required, undertake open market sales to keep prices under control." He also said that FCI will be restructured on a priority to improve efficacy of the Public Distribution System (PDS). To encourage farm education and research activities, the Finance Minister proposed Rs 100 crore for setting up of two institutes in Assam Jharkhand on the lines of Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute. An initial sum of Rs 200 crore has been allocated for establishing agriculture universities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, while horticulture universities in Telangana and Haryana. That apart, Rs 100 crore has been set aside for setting up of an 'Agri-tech Infrastructure fund'. For creating awareness about new farm practices, Jaitley allocated Rs 100 crore for launch of a dedicated TV channel on agriculture 'Kisan TV' this year. About Rs 50 crore each has been set aside for development of indigenous cattle breeds and for starting a blue revolution in inland fisheries.

BUD-AGRI
Govt announces Rs 1,500 cr for irrigation, checking prices
Faced with a drought-like situation and high food prices, the government today announced a Rs 1,000 crore scheme to boost irrigation and also set up Rs 500 crore price stabilisation fund to rein in food inflation. In his maiden Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley retained the agriculture credit target of Rs 8 lakh crore for this fiscal set in the interim Budget. He also said the current scheme of interest subvention of 3 per cent for timely repayment of farm loans will continue. Expressing concern over huge farm lands still dependent on monsoon, Jaitley said "there is a need to provide assured irrigation to mitigate risk." "To improve access to irrigation, we propose to initiate the scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana'. I propose to set aside a sum of Rs 1,000 crore," he said. Noting that price volatility in the agriculture produce creates uncertainties and hardship for farmers, he said Rs 500 crore will be provided to set up a Price Stabilisation Fund. On the lines of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), the government will establish two more such institutions of excellence in Assam and Jharkhand with an initial sum of Rs 100 crore this fiscal, Jaitley said. He also proposed Rs 200 crore for setting up of two agri-universities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan and two horticulture universities in Telangana and Haryana. In addition, he said Rs 100 crore would be set aside to establish an 'Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund". Expressing concern over deteriorating soil health, he said the government will launch a scheme with an outlay of Rs 100 crore to provide to every farmer a soil health card.
An additional Rs 56 crore will be provided for setting up 100 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories across the country. To tackle the adverse impact of climate change on agriculture, the government proposed to allocate Rs 100 crore under 'National Adaptation Fund' for this purpose.
It also proposed to set aside Rs 50 crore for the development of indigenous cattle breeds and an equal amount for starting a blue revolution in inland fisheries.

BUD-FARMERTV
Govt to launch Kisan TV this year; sets aside Rs 100 cr
The government will launch a dedicated agri-television channel 'Kisan TV' this year to provide real-time information to farmers and earmarked Rs 100 crore in Budget 2014-15 for this purpose. In his Budget speech today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: "Kisan TV, dedicated to the interests of agriculture and allied sector will be launched in the current financial year. I propose to set aside a sum of Rs 100 crore for this purpose". The proposed channel 'Kisan TV' will disseminate real-time information to farmers regarding new farming techniques, water conservation and organic farming, he added. Prasar Bharati is already working on finalising the plans to launch this new channel, that would be named "DD Kisan", at the earliest, Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar had said earlier this month. The BJP had before the 2014 General Elections declared that if voted to power, it would "explore setting up of regional Kisan TV channels". Earlier, Prasar Bharati had been deliberating whether a single agriculture channel would suffice considering the different languages and requirements in various states and regions of the country. Doordarshan and the All India Radio already have already been running programmes related to agriculture and farming. The Prasar Bharati Act lays down that the public broadcaster should pay special attention to fields of agriculture and rural development along with areas like education and spread of literacy, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology.


BUD-UREA
Govt to formulate new urea policy
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget 2014-15 today announced that a new policy for urea will be formulated. The Economic Survey for 2013-14 tabled in Parliament yesterday lamented the government and farmers were together wasting funds of about more than Rs 8,500 crore on the fertiliser, while pitching for bringing urea under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) regime. Jaitley while presenting the budget speech today said: "A new urea policy would also be formulated." "There have also been growing concerns about the imbalance in the utilisation of different types of fertilisers resulting in deterioration of the soil," he added. The Economic Survey has also asked for paying subsidy directly to farmers and said the fertiliser's highly subsidised price leads to its unbalanced use, which is also a reason for higher food prices and taxes. "The issue is soil degradation due to declining fertiliser-use efficency....while urea needs to be brought under the purview of NBS policy, the recommendation of the task force for direct transfer of subsidy under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani, for phased shifting to direct transfer of fertiliser subsidy to farmers, merits consideration on priority," the survey had said. At present urea in under product based subsidy (PBS), under which for every tonne of urea farmers pay maximum fixed price of Rs 5,360 per tonne, whereas government pays about Rs 11,760 per tonne as subsidy for the same quantity, resulting in wastage of funds on government account. As the urea price, which is the main source of nitrogen (N), is highly subsidised, farmers are using it in place of phosphorous (P) and potassic (K) leading to unbalanced fertilisation in soil. However, subsidies on P and K fertilisers were capped since 2010 after they brought under the NBS regime, and at present farmers pay 61 to 75 per cent of its delivered cost while rest is subsidised by government.

ALLOCATIONS
BUD-RURAL
Jaitley allocates Rs 33,364 cr for MNREGA
The UPA's flagship programme MNREGA was today allocated Rs 33,364 crore, with Narendra Modi Government expressing commitment to carrying it forward, ignoring suggestions including from within for scrapping it. The amount is same as allocated in last financial year during the Manmohan Singh government. In his budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "The Government is committed to providing wage and self-employment opportunities in rural areas". He, however, said that wage employment would be provided under MNREGA through works that are more productive, asset creating and substantially linked to agriculture and allied activities. BJP leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had written a letter to the Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari a few days ago suggesting MNREGA act should be converted into a scheme. Opposing the suggestion, Congress had said yesterday that it would protest against any dilution of the MNREGA and Food Security Act, which are the world's biggest programmes of welfare, which have been started in the UPA rule. Giving a big push to rural road scheme initiated during the NDA-I under the stewardship of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Government has allocated the government has allocated a sum of Rs 14,389 crore for the next fiscal. Hailing the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Jaitley said it has had a massive impact in improvement of access for rural population. "It is time to reaffirm our commitment to a better and more energetic PMGSY under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I propose to provide a sum of Rs 14,389 crore," he said. The government proposed to extend the provision of bank loan for women Self Help Groups at 4 per cent in another 100 districts under Ajeevika, the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). Currently under this mission, Women SHGs are provided bank loans at 4 per cent on prompt repayment in 150 districts and at 7 per cent in all other districts. The programme is aimed at eliminating rural poverty through sustainable livelihood options.

BUD-DEFENCE
Defence Ministry gets Rs 2.29 lakh cr in Union Budget
As part of military modernisation drive, Government today allocated Rs 2.29 lakh crore for the Defence Ministry in the Budget, marking an increase of around 12.5 per cent from the last fiscal as it raised the FDI limit in the defence sector up to 49 per cent from 26 per cent now.
The Ministry was allocated Rs 2,03,672 crore in 2013-14 and was provided Rs 2,24,000 crore in the interim budget presented by the UPA government in February this year.
"There can be no compromise with the defence of the country. I, therefore, propose to allocate an amount of Rs 2.29 lakh crore for the current financial year," Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said, presenting the general budget. For the modernisation of the armed forces, the Finance Minister allocated an additional Rs 5,000 crore above the Rs 89587.95 crore provided for the acquisition of new weapon systems for the Ministry in the interim budget last year. "I propose to increase the capital outlay for the defence by Rs 5,000 crore over the amount provided in the interim budget. This includes a sum of Rs 1,000 crore for accelerating the development of railway system in border areas," Jaitley said adding that acquisition processes would be streamlined for making it speedy and more efficient. The Government has also set aside a sum of Rs 1,000 crore for this fiscal to do away with anomalies in pensions paid to ex-servicemen under the One Rank One Pension policy, which was accepted by the new government. "We propose to set aside a sum of Rs 1,000 crore to meet this year's requirements," he said. Jaitley also announced the construction of a War Memorial and museum at the Prince's Park near the India Gate here and allocated a sum of Rs 100 crore for it as the government also earmarked Rs 1,000 crore for modernisation of border infrastructure.
On increasing FDI limit to 49 per cent through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route in the defence sector with full Indian management and control, Jaitley said, "India today is a largest buyer of defence equipment in the world and domestic manufacturing capabilities in this area are still in a nascent stage.
"We are buying substantial part of our defence requirements directly from foreign players, companies controlled by foreign governments and foreign private parties are supplying our defence requirements to us and at a considerable outflow of foreign exchange," he said.
"Currently, we permit 26 per cent FDI in defence manufacturing. The composite cap of foreign exchange is being raised to 49 per cent with full Indian management and control through the FIPB route," Jaitley said.
The last government had allowed FDI limit to 26 per cent through FIPB approval route and allowed FDI up to 100 per cent through the Cabinet Committee on Security-approval route.
For providing resources to public and private sector companies including small and medium enterprises to support research and development in developing defence systems, Jaitley proposed a Rs 100 crore Technology Development Fund to support the objective.
He said a separate fund in this regard was announced in 2011 by the previous government "but beyond the announcement, no action was taken."
Defence forces are working towards modernising their assets and look towards finalising major deals such as the 126 multi-role combat aircraft contract, which is expected to be worth over Rs 60,000 crore.
The other major acquisitions expected to be finalised in next few weeks include the deals for 22 Apache combat choppers, 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and six mid-air refuelling aircraft.
The ministry has been seeking additional funds of Rs 40,000 crore since last few years.

BUD-POWER
Separate infra for agriculture consumers for 24x7 power supply
Aiming to replicate Gujarat's model of 24x7 power supply by segregating infrastructure for agriculture and non-agriculture consumers, the government today announced Rs 500 crore support for the proposed scheme. "Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for feeder separation will be launched to augment power supply to the rural areas and for strengthening sub-transmission and distribution systems and a sum of Rs 500 crore for this purpose will be given by the government," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech. He added, "Power is a vital input for economic growth and we are committed to providing 24x7 uninterrupted power supply to all homes." This 24x7 electricity supply model by separating the agricultural and non-agricultural feeders (a power line for transmitting electrical power from a generating station to a distribution network) is currently being executed by Gujarat.
The state's Jyotigram Yojana is a scheme to make available 24 hours three-phase quality power supply to rural areas where the feeders have specially designed transformers to supply power to farmers residing in scattered farm houses.
Jaitley said that the National Capital Territory of Delhi is plagued by frequent transmission related problems and issues of water distribution and supply.
"In order to overcome this and make Delhi a world class city, I propose to provide Rs 200 crore for power reforms and Rs 500 crore for water reforms,"
In addition, to solve the long term water supply issues to the capital region, construction of long pending Renuka Dam would be taken up on priority with an initial support of Rs 50 crore by the central government, he said.
Supply of power continues to be a major area of concern for the country, Jaitley said.
"Instead of annual extensions, I propose to extend the 10 year tax holiday to the undertakings which begin generation, distribution and transmission of power by March 31, 2017."
This stability in our policy will help the investors to plan their investments better, he added.

BUD-RENEWABLE
FM allocates Rs 1,000 cr for renewable sector schemes
Calling it a 'high priority' area, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the solar power sector, a move that will boost energy generation from renewable sources.
The government aims to construct Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects or high capacity plants in the radiation rich states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir.
"I have set aside a sum of Rs 500 crores for this as new and renewable energy deserves a very high priority," Jaitley said while presenting Budget, 2014-15.
The minister also announced launching a scheme for solar power driven agricultural pump sets and water pumping stations for energising one lakh pumps.
"I propose to allocate a sum of Rs 400 crore for this purpose. An additional Rs 100 crore is set aside for the development of 1 MW Solar Parks on the banks of canals," he said.
Implementation of the Green Energy Corridor Project will be accelerated in the current financial year to facilitate evacuation of renewable energy across the country.
Green Energy Corridor Project is aimed at synchronising electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.
"We need to maximise our utilisation of solar power. The existing duty structure incentivizes imports rather than domestic manufacture of solar photovoltaic cells and modules," Jaitley said.
He added that flat copper wire used for the manufacture of PV (photovoltaic) ribbons will be exempted from basic customs duty.
"A concessional basic customs duty of 5 percent is also being extended to machinery and equipment required for setting up of a project for solar energy production," he said.
This move aimed at benefiting solar power producers in the country.
The current installed power generation capacity of the country is 2,49,488 MW of which renewables constitute 31,692 MW, according to an official data.

BUD-SMARTCITIES
Govt allocates Rs 7,060 crore for 100 smart cities
The government today proposed an allocation of Rs 7,060 crore in this financial year for developing 100 'smart cities' in the country.
"The Prime Minister has a vision of developing 100 smart cities as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernising the existing mid-sized cities. With development reaching an increasingly large number of people, the pace of migration from the rural areas to the cities is increasing," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said while presenting the Budget for 2014-15.
The new cities should be developed to accommodate the burgeoning number of people, otherwise, the existing cities would soon become unlivable, he added.
"To encourage development of smart cities, requirement of the built-up area and capital conditions for FDI is being reduced from 50,000 square metres to 20,000 square metres and from USD 10 million to USD 5 million, respectively with a three year post completion lock in," the Minister said.
He added that projects committing at least 30 per cent of the total project cost for low cost affordable housing, will be exempted from minimum built up area and capitalisation requirements, with the condition of three year lock-in.



BUD-PENSION
Rs 1K monthly pension a reality now, wage ceiling up at Rs 15K
The minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 under EPS-95 scheme run by retirement fund body EPFO has become a reality and will immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners who get less than this amount at present. While announcing that government is notifying the minimum pension under the Employees' Pension Scheme-1995 (EPS-95), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also stated in his budget speech today that wage ceiling covering organised sector workers under schemes run by EPFO has been raised to Rs 15,000 per month from existing Rs 6,500. "Government is fully committed to the social security and welfare of employees serving in the organised sector. The Government is notifying minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month to all subscriber members of EPS-95 scheme and has made an initial provision of Rs 250 crore in the current financial year to meet the expenditure," Jaitley said. He said, "Further, increase in mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS-95 from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000 has been made and a provision of Rs 250 crore has been provided in the current budget." At present, workers whose basic wage at the time of joining is up to Rs 6,500 per month, including basic pay and dearness allowance, can be subscribers of the EPFO schemes. According to the EPFO's estimates, the raising of wage ceiling to Rs 15,000 per month is expected to bring 50 lakh more workers under the ambit of social security schemes run by it.
Jaitley also said that for the convenience of the subscribers, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will launch the "Uniform Account Number" (UAN) Service for contributing members to facilitate portability of Provident Fund accounts. EPFO has planned to launch the UAN for its over five crore subscribers by October this year. UAN will help EPFO to provide services to the subscribers at par with core banking services. Thereby the subscribers would not have to apply for PF account transfer claim on changing jobs. According to the earlier estimates of the Labour Ministry, the government will have to provide an additional amount of around Rs 1,217 crore to ensure a minimum pension of Rs 1,000 for 2014-15. The decision to provide this entitlement under EPS-95 was taken by the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on February 28 but could not be implemented due to commencement of election process for Lok Sabha. This will immediately benefit about 28 lakh pensioners, including 5 lakh widows. In all, there are 44 lakh pensioners under the EPFO scheme.

BUD-COAL
'Strict mechanism being put in place to control coal quality'
New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Adequate coal will be provided to power plants as extensive measures to augment domestic output and a strict mechanism to control the fuel quality are being put in place to end the impasse in the sector, the government said today.
Power plants across the country are facing fuel shortages and state-owned Coal India Ltd, which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production, and NTPC have locked horns over fuel quality issue.
"Comprehensive measures for enhancing domestic coal production are being put in place along with stringent mechanism for quality control and environmental protection, which includes supply of crushed coal and setting up of washeries," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget for 2014-15.
The minister added that sufficient quantity of coal will be provided to power producers, thereby unlocking the dead investments.
"The existing impasse in the coal sector will be resolved and adequate quantity of coal will be provided to power plants which are already commissioned or would be commissioned by March 2015, to unlock dead investments," he said.
The announcement follows the Coal Ministry earlier rejecting the Power Ministry's request to provide fuel to 9940 MW plants of companies like Essar Power, GMR and Power.
Jaitley further said that an exercise to rationalise coal linkages, which will optimise transport of coal and reduce cost of power, is underway.
Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had also earlier met top officials of both the ministries to thrash out the issues like quality of the fuel.
The quality of coal supplied by state-owned CIL has again become a bone of contention as the Power Ministry has alleged that stones and boulders are still being dispatched in supplies even after the introduction of the third party sampling mechanism.
The mechanism for third party sampling of coal quality, which was introduced in October last year at loading points, could not address the quality issue.
During the sampling of the fuel at the loading point, the stones are separated from the coal.
The issue of coal quality last year had resulted in a standoff between the country's largest power producer NTPC and the world's largest coal producer CIL.
Last year, NTPC had alleged that it was being supplied inferior quality of coal.
This was followed by CIL stopping coal supplies to NTPC's plants saying the state-owned power major owed huge dues to the coal PSU.
Besides, NTPC had refused to enter into fuel supply pacts with CIL.
After the government's intervention it was decided that the third party mechanism would be introduced to check the quality of coal.
Coal India Ltd, meanwhile, had missed its production target of 482 million tonnes (MT) last fiscal and produced just 462 MT.

BUD-SEZ
Govt to take effective steps to revive SEZs: Jaitley
Expressing commitment to revive special economic zones, the government today said it would take "effective steps" to make them instruments of industrial production, economic growth, export promotion and employment generation. While presenting the Budget 2014-2015, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government is committed to revive SEZs and make them effective instruments of industrial production, economic growth, export promotion and employment generation. "For achieving this, effective steps would be undertaken to operationalize the SEZs, to revive the investors' interest to develop better infrastructure and to effectively and efficiently use the available unutilised land," he said. Of the total 47,803 hectares of SEZ land notified, only 17,689 has been put to use so far, according to ministry of commerce and industry data. Once major export and manufacturing hubs, SEZs started losing sheen after the imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in 2011 on them. Industry had asked the government to roll-back the MAT on SEZs. They had said that the levy has suppressed the potential of these zones as a tool to promote exports and generate employment. In 2011, government had imposed 18.5 per cent MAT on book profits of special economic zone developers and units. Although government last year announced an incentive package to revive these zones, several developers have surrendered their projects as imposition of taxes has eliminated the incentives for setting up SEZs and units in those zones. SEZs contribute about one-third to the country's total exports. They provide employment to about 15 lakhs people. The Commerce Ministry is struggling to increase exports as the country’s shipments in the last three years have been hovering around USD 300 billion. Of 566 formally approved SEZs, only 185 are in operation. Exports from these zones increased from Rs 22,840 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 4.94 lakh crore in 2013-14.

BUD-STEEL
Import duty on stainless steel up 7.5%, to help domestic firms
In a major relief to domestic stainless steel industry, reeling under severe under- utilisation of capacity, the government today increased import duty on flat-rolled products from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
Presenting his maiden Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this was done to provide an impetus to domestic stainless steel industry.
"The domestic stainless steel industry is presently suffering from severe under-utilisation of capacity.
"To give an impetus to the stainless steel industry, I propose to increase the basic customs duty on imported flat- rolled products of stainless steel from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent," he said.
The domestic stainless industry has been facing a threat in the form of a sudden and immense surge in imports from various countries, especially China, primarily because of the current import duty which is considered to be on the lower side in comparison to other nations.
China has an average customs duty of 10 per cent and Brazil, 14 per cent.
Taking opportunity of lower customs duty, imports from these countries were on the rise in recent times.
India's imports of stainless steel surged to 307,226 tonnes in 2013-14 from 239,136 tonnes in 2011-12, reporting a growth of nearly 30 per cent.
Domestic makers have been demanding 15 per cent duty. They were also demanding removal of the basic customs duty on key raw materials and on scraps to ensure the domestic stainless steel industry can manifest itself as a globally competitor.
India now ranks as the third largest consumer and producer of stainless steel.
Industry sources said country's stainless steel consumption was expected to grow at 8-9 per annum annually to reach around 3.5 million tonnes by 2015.

BUD-DISINVESTMENT
Disinvestment target revised upwards to Rs 58,425 cr
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today raised the disinvestment target for the current fiscal to Rs 58,425 crore.
The target include Rs 43,425 crore from selling stake in PSUs and another Rs 15,000 crore from sale of residual stake in the erstwhile government companies, as per the Budget document.
This is higher than the Rs 51,925 crore PSU stake sale target estimated in the interim budget presented in February by the UPA government. While a 5 per cent stake sale in SAIL is on the cards, the disinvestment department is also looking at 10 per cent stake sale in Coal India.
Also a Cabinet note has been floated for a 5 per cent stake sale in ONGC which could fetch about Rs 17,000 crore to the exchequer. Besides, another 10.96 per cent stake is likely to be on offer for NHPC and 5 per cent each in PFC and REC. Besides, the department is also looking at residual stake sale in Hindustan Zinc and Balco.
With stock markets on an upturn and Sebi pushing for minimum 25 per cent public holding in PSUs, the disinvestment department has revised the target upwards. There will be some companies in which the stake sale process will be fast tracked in the current fiscal in view of 25 per cent public holding norm, sources said. The stock market barometer BSE Sensex has rallied over 21 per cent so far this year. Sources said the PSUs shares are trading at good valuations and a divestment now would help garner more funds. Disinvestment proceeds are vital to the exchequer to lower the fiscal deficit. The deficit was at 4.5 per cent of GDP in 2013-14 fiscal and targeted to be brought down to 4.1 per cent in current fiscal. Last month, market regulator Sebi said all listed PSUs should achieve a minimum public shareholding of 25 per cent within three years. The decision, aimed at ensuring uniformity among listed entities, would also help the government raise close to Rs 60,000 crore from the sale of shares in around 36 listed PSUs where the public shareholding is less than 25 per cent. Under current norms, government undertakings should have at least 10 per cent public shareholding whereas for non-PSU firms the minimum level is 25 per cent.



BUD-INCOMETAX
Tax exemption limit raised to Rs 2.5 lakh
Salaried class has got something to cheer with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today raising tax exemption limit to Rs 2.5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh, providing a relief of Rs 5,000. "I propose not to make any changes in the tax rate. However, with the view to provide relief to small and marginal and senior citizen, I propose to increase the personal income tax exemption limit by Rs 50,000 from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.50 lakh in case of all individual tax payer who are below the age of 60 years," he said while presenting budget for 2014-15 in the Parliament. The proposal, according to an estimate, is likely to benefit about 2 crore tax payers. Similarly, he raised tax exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh in the case of senior citizens. "I do not propose to make any change in the rate of surcharge for either for corporates or individual. The education cess for all tax payers shall continue at 3 per cent," he said. Thus, tax on income from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh is retained at 10 per cent, up to Rs 10 lakh at 20 per cent and above 10 lakh at 30 per cent. Noting that households are main contributors to savings, he said the investment limit under 80 C has been raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from the existing Rs 1 lakh to encourage savings. Investment in Public Provident Fund up to Rs 1.5 lakh would now be exempt from tax. This was earlier pegged at Rs 1 lakh. He also raised tax deduction limit on account of interest of housing loan in case of self occupied property to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.

BUD-INCOMETAX-TABLE
Following is the table indicating the impact of changes in income tax provisions proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2014-15. Tax exemption limit has been raised to Rs 2.5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh.
INCOME TAX RATE IMPACT
(Individual Tax Payers) 1. Up to Rs 2,50,000 NIL Rs 5,000
(Savings)
Rs 2,50,001 to Rs 5,00,000 10 per cent Do
Rs 5,00,001 to Rs 10,00,000 20 per cent Do
Above Rs 10,00,000 30 per cent Do 2. (For Senior Citizens - above 60 years)
Up to Rs 3,00,000 NIL Rs 5,000
(Savings)
Rs 3,00,001 to Rs 5,00,000 10 per cent Do
Rs 5,00,001 to Rs 10,00,000 20 per cent Do
Above Rs 10,00,000 30 per cent Do

BUD-SAVINGS
Tax exemption limit under 80C raised to Rs 1.5 lakh
Seeking to boost household savings, the government today hiked the exemption limit for investments by individuals in financial instruments to Rs 1.5 lakh.
Presently the investments and expenditures up to a combined limit of Rs 1 lakh get exemptions under Sections 80C, 80CC and 80CCC of the Income-Tax Act.
The announcement to hike tax savings limit was made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his speech while presenting the Union Budget, 2014-15.
There have been demands from bankers and insurers to hike the tax exemption limit from Rs 1 lakh per annum to encourage household savings.
The savings rate has come down from over 38 per cent of GDP in 2008 to 30 per cent in 2012-13.
The hike in the exemption limit would provide much needed relief to the salary earners who are reeling under the impact of high inflation.
The Direct Taxes Code (DTC) too had recommended that the combined ceiling for investments and expenditures be raised to Rs 1.5 lakh per annum.
The financial instruments which enjoy exemption include life insurance premium, public provident fund, employees provident fund, National Savings Certificates, repayment of capital on home loan, equity linked saving schemes sold by mutual funds and bank FDs of five year maturity.

BUD-DIGITAL
Govt allocates Rs 500 cr for Internet connectivity in villages
The government today said it will allocate Rs 500 crore for its 'Digital India' initiative to set up broadband network in villages and promote local manufacturing of hardware and Indian software products. Under the Digital India initiative, National Rural Internet and Technology Mission, the government will focus on setting up broadband in villages, promote local manufacturing of hardware and Indian software products, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said while presenting the Budget for 2014-15. "A special focus will be on supporting software products startups. A national rural Internet and technology mission service in villages and training in IT...I have provided a sum of Rs 500 crore for this purpose," he informed Parliament. Also in what could provide more opportunities for the technology firms, the Minister proposed to set up 100 smart cities for which the government will provide Rs 7,060 crore. Besides, in a bid to boost the earnings of the small and medium enterprises, Jaitley said manufacturing units will be allowed to sell their products through retail and e-commerce platforms.

BUD-GST
Govt hopes to finalise GST contours this year: Jaitley
Committing to expeditiously rolling out Goods and Services Tax (GST), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said a solution to the issues relating to the comprehensive indirect tax regime may be finalised in the current year itself. "I do hope we are able to bring a final solution in the course of this year and approve the legislative scheme which enables introduction of GST. This would streamline tax administration and avoid harassment of business and result in higher tax collection both for centre and states," he said while presenting the Union Budget for 2014-15. The GST regime aims at subsuming most of the indirect taxes at the central as well as states' level. The UPA government in 2011 introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha to pave the way for introduction of GST. The debate on whether to introduce GST must come to an end now, Jaitley said, adding, "we have discussed the issue for past many years. Some states have been apprehensive about surrendering tax jurisdiction others want to be adequately compensated". He assured all states that government would be more than fair in dealing with States.

BUD-DEFICIT
Jaitley retains fiscal deficit target at 4.1%,outlines roadmap
Outlining the roadmap for fiscal consolidation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government will retain the fiscal deficit target for 2014-15 at 4.1 per cent of GDP and reduce it further to 3 per cent by 2016-17.
Presenting his maiden Budget, the Minister said the prevailing economic situation presents a great challenge and there was a need to introduce fiscal prudence that will lead to fiscal consolidation and discipline.
"My predecessor (P Chidambaram) had set up a very difficult task of reducing the fiscal deficit to 4.1 per cent of GDP in current year... the target in indeed daunting.
"Difficult as it may appear, I have decide to accept this target as a challenge," he said.
Outlining the roadmap for fiscal consolidation, Jaitley said fiscal deficit would be brought down to 3.6 per cent in 2015-16 and 3 per cent by 2016-17.
The fiscal deficit which had touched a high of 5.7 per cent in 2011-12, was brought down to 4.8 per cent in 2012-13 and further to 4.5 per cent in 2013-14.
The reduction in fiscal deficit by the UPA government, he said, was mainly achieved by a reduction in expenditure rather than by way of realisation of higher revenues.
Jaitley said there are challenges to lowering the fiscal deficit as the country had two years of low GDP growth, a almost static industrial growth, a moderate increase in indirect taxes, a large subsidy burden and not so encouraging tax buoyancy.
"The task before me is very challenging because we need to revive growth, particularly in manufacturing sector and infrastructure," he said, adding choice has to be made whether or not to be victims of mere populism and wasteful expenditure.

BUD-BANKS
PSU banks to raise Rs 2.40 lakh crore capital by 2018 New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Proposing to provide greater autonomy to public sector banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said these lenders would require Rs 2.40 lakh crore capital by 2018 to meet global Basel III norms. "To be in line with the Basel III norms, there is requirement to infuse Rs 2.40 lakh crore as equity by 2018 in our banks (public sector banks). To meet this huge capital requirement, we need to raise additional resources to fill this obligation," he said in the Budget speech in Parliament. A large part of this fund would be raised through public offers made to retail customers, he said. "While preserving the public ownership, the capital of these banks would be raised by increasing the shareholding of capital in the phased manner through sale of shares largely through retail common citizen in the country," he said. "Thus, while the government would continue to hold majority shareholding, the citizen of India will also get direct shareholding in the bank which they currently hold indirectly," he added. Besides, he said government would look into the issue of providing greater autonomy to the boards of banks. "We will also examine the proposal to give greater autonomy to banks while making them accountable," he said. The interim budget had announced infusion of Rs 11,200 crore in public sector banks to enhance their capital in the current financial year. Presently, there are 27 public sector banks including SBI and its subsidiaries.
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Govt plans to restructure FCI for improving PDS New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The government today said it will give priority to restructuring of state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) for improving the public distribution system (PDS). "Government is committed to reforms in the food sector. Restructuring FCI, reducing transportation and distribution losses and efficacy of PDS would be taken up on priority," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech. The BJP in its manifesto for the 2014 General Elections had promised to unbundle the FCI into three separate entities -- one each for procurement, storage and distribution -- to bring about efficiency in administration and reduce food inflation. In the last week of May, Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan had held a meeting with senior officials of the Corporation to understand its working and role in the PDS, where the issue of unbundling was also mentioned. The FCI was set up under the Food Corporation Act, 1964 to fulfill the objectives of the food policy, which are effective price support operations for safeguarding interests of farmers, distribution of foodgrains throughout the country for public distribution system and maintaining satisfactory level of operational and buffer stocks of foodgrains to ensure national food security. Meanwhile, Jaitley in his budget speech added," The government also intends to overhaul the subsidy regime while providing full protection to the marginalised." The Finance Minister also proposed to overhaul the subsidy regime, including food and petroleum subsidies, and make it more targeted while providing full protection to the marginalised, poor and SCs/STs.

Govt. proposes to resolve current impasse in mining sector New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The beleaguered mining sector is likely to witness improved activity with the government today proposing to resolve the "current impasse" expeditiously aimed at encouraging investment and bridge supply-demand gap.
Paying heed to requests of the states, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his maiden Budget speech also proposed to revise royalty rates on minerals which would help swell their coffers.
"It is my Government's intention to encourage investment in mining sector and promote sustainable mining practices to adequately meet requirements of industry without sacrificing environmental concerns. The current impasse in mining sector, including, iron ore mining, will be resolved expeditiously," Jaitley said.
He also said that changes, if necessary, in the MMDR Act, 1957 would be introduced to facilitate the objective.
India's mining sector, particular mining of steel-making raw material, iron ore, was affected after the Supreme Court imposed ban in Karnataka and Goa on allegations of illegal mining. The Supreme Court had banned iron ore mining in Karnataka in July-August, 2011, and in Goa in October, 2012. Subsequently the ban was lifted with a cap on production.
As a result, both production and exports of iron ore fell drastically. India's share in the iron ore export market fell and domestic steel makers had to undertake a cut in capacity utilisation and resort to imports of iron ore in some cases.
Jaitley also proposed to revise the royalty rates on some minerals which has been pending since 2009.
"There have been requests from several state governments to revise rate of royalty on minerals...Last revision took place in August, 2009. Therefore, another revision, which is due, will be undertaken to ensure greater revenue to the State governments," he said.
The revision in royalty rates is undertaken once every three years. The entire royalty goes to states.
The Mines Ministry has recently floated a draft cabinet note for inter-ministerial discussion to revise the rate of royalty on minerals such as bauxite and iron ore.
If approved by the Cabinet, the annual revenue collection of mineral-bearing states such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Goa would swell cumulatively by 41 per cent to Rs 13,270 crore, according to an estimate by the Mines ministry.

Govt raises foreign investment limit in defence to 49 pc
In order to boost manufacturing and reduce import dependence, the government today proposed to raise the foreign investment limit to 49 per cent in the defence sector. While presenting the Budget 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that India is the largest buyer of defence equipment in the world and the domestic manufacturing capacities are still at a nascent stage. The country is buying substantial part of defence requirements directly from foreign players. "Companies controlled by foreign governments and foreign private sector are supplying our defence requirements to us at a considerable outflow of foreign exchange. "The composite cap of foreign exchange is being raised to 49 per cent with full Indian management and control through the FIPB route," he said. At present, India permits 26 per cent FDI in the defence manufacturing. In April, the Commerce and Industry Ministry has said that companies engaged in the sector were not allowed to further increase foreign portfolio investment beyond August 2013 level. In April, the Ministry had said that "FPI/FII (through portfolio investment) in companies holding defence licence as on 22 August, 2013 will remain capped at the level existing as on the said date. No fresh FPI/FII is permitted even if the level of such investment falls below the capped level subsequently". During 2001 and August 2013, 49 per cent foreign investment (26 per cent FDI + 23 per cent FII) was allowed in this sensitive sector. During this time, India has attracted only USD 5 million investments. India opened up the defence equipment industry to private sector in May 2001.

Govt to raise long-term capital gains tax on debt MF to 20%
In a move that may come as a blow to the mutual fund industry, the government today proposed to raise long-term capital gains tax on debt-oriented mutual funds to 20 per cent from 10 per cent, to bring parity with banks and other debt instruments.
However in the Budget 2014-15, it has proposed to increase the period of holding in respect of long term debt funds units from 12 months to 36 months. In the case of debt mutual funds, the capital gains arising on transfer of units held for more than a year is taxed at a concessional rate of 10 per cent, whereas direct investments in banks and other debt instruments attract a higher rate of tax. This allows tax arbitrage opportunity.
This arbitrage has hardly benefited retail investors as their per centage is very small among such mutual fund investors
"With a view to remove this tax arbitrage, I propose to increase the rate of tax on long term capital gains from 10 per cent to 20 per cent on transfer of units of such (mutual funds other than equity oriented funds) funds," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech in Parliament.
These amendments would be effective from April,1 2015 and will accordingly apply, in relation to the assessment year 2015-16 and subsequent assessment years.
Mutual funds pool together money from many investors can invest it on their behalf, in accordance with a stated set of objectives.
According to industry experts, the increase in long term capital gain tax on debt-oriented mutual funds would impact negatively and the incentives available to bring new investors towards such schemes will get compromised when compared to bank deposits.

Jaitley pushes for housing to all by 2022 scheme
Giving a thrust to government's vision of providing housing for all by 2022, the government today announced extending the additional tax incentive on home loans to encourage people, especially the young, to own houses. Presenting the General Budget 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced setting up a Mission on Low Cost Affordable Housing to be anchored by the National Housing Bank (NHB). The Minister has proposed allocation of Rs 4,000 crore during the current fiscal for NHB with a view to increase the flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment. Further, slum development has been incorporated in the list of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities so that the private sector is encouraged to contribute more towards this activity. Jaitley said the Rural Housing Scheme has benefited a large percentage of population in these areas who have availed credit through Rural Housing Fund. In the light of the above, enhanced allocations to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore has been made for NHB for the year 2014-15 to expand and support Rural Housing in the country. He added that government has already outlined some other incentives such as easier flow of FDI in this sector and is willing to examine other positive suggestions.

Govt allocates Rs 100 crore for war memorial in Delhi
The government today allocated Rs 100 crore for construction of a war memorial and a war museum at Princess Park near India Gate here.
Presenting his first budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the country is deeply indebted to officers and jawans of the armed forces for having made huge sacrifices to defend its honour.
In doing so, a very large number of them gave up their lives. "It is a privilege for the nation to erect a befitting memorial in their memory," said Jaitley.
The Finance Minister also announced the construction of a befitting National Police Memorial and proposed to allocate Rs 50 crore for this purpose.
He said the nation is equally indebted to the officers and the jawans of the police forces, including the central armed police forces, who are constantly engaging with the enemy within and in the process sacrificing their lives in the line of duty.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attacked the then UPA government over lack of a war memorial.
"There is no country in the world where there is not a war memorial. India has fought several wars, thousands of our soldiers have been martyred but there is no memorial to honour their sacrifice.
"Should we not remember them? Should not there be a war memorial? I feel some good things have been left for me to do," he had said.

Jaitley seeks to bridge gap with North East India
With an allocation of Rs 53,706 crore in the ongoing fiscal for the North East, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today sought to end the 'sense of isolation' of the region proposing a slew of proposals, including enhanced road and rail connectivity and fostering of organic farming.
Underlining the importance attached by the Narendra Modi-led government to the region, the finance minister also mooted launching of a 24x7 television channel for the region apart from setting up a sports university in Manipur.
"North Eastern Region has suffered from under development and a sense of isolation due to lack of proper connectivity," Jaitley said while presenting the Budget in Parliament.
Reminding the house that it was the previous NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee which made compulsory 10 per cent allocation of plan funds for North Eastern region and had made them non-lapsable in nature, he said from the current budget the new government has introduced a statement which will separately show plan allocation made for the North Eastern Region.
"In the Financial year 2014-15, an allocation of Rs 53,706 crore has been made for North Eastern region," Jaitley said.
In the Budget for 2014-15, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has been allocated Rs 2,332.78 crore, out of which Rs 2,306 crore is under plan and Rs 26.78 crore non-plan.
Stressing on the need for development of rail system in the region urgently to bridge the gap with the rest of the country, he said: "I intend to expedite the development of rail connectivity in the region and for this purpose I propose to set aside an additional sum of Rs 1,000 crore over and above the amount provided for in the interim Budget."
Giving equal importance to the development of roads, he proposed a total investment in National Highways Authority of India and state roads of an amount of Rs 37,880 crore, which includes Rs 3,000 crore for the North East.
The finance minister also emphasised on the need to tap potential for development of organic farming in India's North Eastern (NE) region.
"With a growing global demand for organic food, people living in the NE states can reap rich harvest from development of commercial organic farming. To facilitate this, I propose to provide a sum of Rs 100 crore for this purpose in the current financial year," he said.
Commenting on the plans to launch a dedicated channel for the region he said TV is a very powerful tool for the expression of cultural identities and for creating awareness of the richness of the diversity of our country.

BUD-AADHAAR
Govt to continue Aadhaar, provides Rs 2K Cr for it in 2014-15
Giving indications that the new government is likely to continue Aadhaar enrollments, a sum of Rs 2,039 crore has been provided in the budget for the Unique Identification Project in the current fiscal. "A sum of Rs 2,039.64 crore has been provided for 2014-15 to execute the task of implementing Unique Identification as entrusted to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)," the budget document tabled in Parliament stated. The amount provided for the project for this fiscal is higher than Rs 1,550 crore provided in the previous year. The UIDAI was set up in 2009 under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani. It comes under the Planning Commission. Media reports suggest that the government wants UIDAI to enroll 100 million more residents. UIDAI has already enrolled about 700 million people and issued Aadhaar cards having unique identification number to 650 million. UIDAI was mandated to collect biometrics of 600 million residents in the country and rest of the population was to be covered under the National Population Register (NPR) project. It was decided by the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI during UPA regime that all residents would be issue National Multi-purpose Identity Cards under NPR and UIDAI would generate Unique identification number for the entire population. Both UIDAI and NPR were to share the biometric data collected by them for issuing NMIC and generating unique identification number. The NPR is a comprehensive identity database maintained by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Home Ministry. Government has initiated the creation of this database, by collecting specific information of all usual residents in the country during the house listing and housing census phase of Census 2011. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with Home Ministry and UIDAI officials to find a way forward. As per media reports, Modi backed Aadhaar enrollments and wanted to restart the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme. The UPA government had to suspend Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfers in view of reservations by it own ministers. The new government has also provided Rs 369.57 crore for public finance management system for tracking and reporting expenditure along with generation of state-wise/district wise reports on the expenditure, outputs and the unutilized amount under each Plan scheme. The UIDAI was to enroll residents in 18 states in the country. Later its mandate was expanded to enroll in four more states--Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh and Uttarakhand.

Govt proposes new legislation to check chit fund frauds
To safeguard investors from fraudulent money pooling schemes, the government today proposed to legislative initiatives to regulate companies engaging in prize chits and money circulation schemes. "As part of the legislative initiatives under financial sector reforms, it is proposed to bridge the regulatory gap under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting Budget for 2014-15. "This step is expected to facilitate effective regulation of companies and entities which have duped a large number of poor and vulnerable people in this country," he said. Last year, Saradha chit fund scam robbed millions of small investors of their life savings. The case was referred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to fix responsibility and prosecute wrong doers. Last month, the CBI registered the 47th case in connection with its probe in the Rs 10,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam naming Trinamool Congress' sitting Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh as one of the accused. The Finance Minister said benefits of insurance in India have not reached a large section of the people as insurance penetration and density are very low. He assured that the government would work towards addressing this situation in a multi-pronged manner with the support of all concerned stakeholders. This would include suitable incentives, using banking correspondents and strengthening micro-offices opened by public sector insurance, among others.

15 pc concessional tax rate on foreign dividends to continue
The government today said the concessional tax rate of 15 per cent on dividends received by Indian companies from foreign subsidiaries will continue without any sunset clause, a move that will ensure a stable tax regime.
The move would help in encouraging Indian firms to repatriate foreign dividends into the country.
In his maiden budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that concessional rate of tax at 15 per cent on dividends received by Indian companies from their foreign subsidiaries has resulted in enhanced repatriation of funds from abroad.
"I propose to continue with this concessional rate of 15 percent on foreign dividends without any sunset date. This will ensure stability of taxation policy," he said.
This amendment will take effect from April 1, 2015 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2015-16 and subsequent assessment years.
According to budget documents, dividend distribution tax (DDT) is proposed to be applied to the amount of dividend distributed to shareholders by grossing up the said amount.
Sandeep Chaufla, Executive Director (Direct Tax) at PwC India said," under the existing law, the DDT - effective tax rate of 16.995 per cent) was applied on net amount of dividends actually paid to the shareholders."
"As per budget proposal, DDT is proposed to be applied to the amount of dividend distributed to shareholders by grossing up the said amount. Effectively this means, amount of dividends actually paid to the shareholder would go down by Rs 2.47 for every Rs 100 to be distributed to shareholder before calculating DDT," he said. Reacting to the proposal, Suresh Surana, Founder, RSM Astute Consulting Group said: "This is very positive step for improving inflow of funds in India. However, taxability of such foreign dividend under Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) may partially negate the benefit of concessional tax rate."

Rs 8,000 cr bridge to reduce gap b/w digital haves & have nots
The government today earmarked more than Rs 8,000 crore to integrate technology across sectors so as to connect rural India via the Internet and increase transparency in its functioning. In his maiden Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed schemes like setting up smart cities, taking internet to rural areas, to promoting start-ups and virtual classrooms in the social media-savvy government's efforts to bridge the divide between "digital haves and have nots". The Minister proposed an allocation of Rs 7,060 crore in the current fiscal for developing 100 'smart cities'. "The Prime Minister has a vision of developing 100 smart cities as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernising the existing mid-sized cities. With development reaching an increasingly large number of people, the pace of migration from the rural areas to the cities is increasing," he said. Welcoming the government's focus on the ICT sector in the Union Budget, IT-ITeS industry body Nasscom, said: "The announcements on a pan India digital initiative, funding for start-ups, district level incubator network and leveraging technology for good governance are welcome steps." Networking giant Cisco said the announcement will give the firm an opportunity to play a deeper role in India's transformation. Its President Sales (India and SAARC) Dinesh Malkani said Cisco has worked on over 100 projects globally and is optimistic about working in India as well. Besides, to encourage development of smart cities, the requirement of the built up area and capital conditions for FDI will be reduced from 50,000 sq m to 20,000 sq m and from USD 10 million to USD 5 million, respectively with a three year post completion lock in. Under the pan-India 'Digital India' programme, Rs 500 crore will be invested for setting up broadband network in villages, bringing in greater transparency in government processes and increasing indigenous production of IT hardware and software for exports and improved domestic availability. On the policy front, Nasscom President R Chandrasekhar told PTI: "Government has addressed many key concerns raised by us on transfer pricing issues. The APA rollback, usage of multi-year data for benchmarking and among others should help to improve the business environment in the country." However, there are certain areas of concern, which could be addressed through guidelines and/or clarifications like those related to royalty definition, Place of Provision of Service Rules, etc, he added. TCS CEO and Managing Director N Chandrasekaran said the government has strongly signalled that one will see lot more reforms across sectors shortly. "This is a positive start to a long term process," he added.

Govt scraps import duty on oil-cakes to check prices
The government today removed customs duty on oil-cake to check its prices as it is used as animal feed. Customs duty on oil cake, which is used as part of the feed/fodder for both cattle and poultry, stood at 15 per cent. Full exemption from customs duty is being granted to de-oiled soya extract, groundnut oil-cake, sunflower oil-cake, canola oil-cake, mustard oil-cake, rice bran oil-cake and palm kenel cake up to December 31 this year, the budget documents showed. Welcoming the move Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) Executive Director B V Mehta said, "...to allow import of oil cakes and rice bran at NIL duty as this would provide raw material to the solvent extraction industry and also the oil meals produced would meet the requirement of the feed industry." Mehta added that the impact on the prices will be marginal but imports are expected to rise. However, association expressed disappointment that there was no change in import duty of vegetable oils. The industry had demanded that import duty on refined oil be raised to create a healthy duty difference of about 15 per cent between crude and refined vegetable oil to save the domestic refining industry from collapse.

BUDGET-PSU
PSUs to invest Rs 2.47lakh crore for capacity building in FY15
The government today said public sector units would invest Rs 2.47 lakh crore during the ongoing fiscal for expansion. "To give a thrust to investment in the economy, PSUs will also play their part constructively. "I am assured that the PSUs will invest through capital investment a total sum of Rs 2,47,941 crores in the current financial year to create a virtuous investment cycle," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech for 2014-15. The investment would help in boosting domestic investment and create more jobs. There are more than 250 CPSEs in the country and collectively they are estimated to have total cash and bank balance of close to Rs 3 lakh crore.

BUD-BLACKMONEY
Black money a curse of economy, says Jaitley New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Describing black money as a "curse" of economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the country will have to address the problem. "We also must address fully the problem of black money which is curse of our economy," he said in his maiden budget speech. The Finance Ministry has already constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court judge Justice M B Shah. The government has been making sustained efforts to obtain information about Indians having black money stashed abroad. Listing out the challenges before the economy, Jaitley said the government will have to bold steps in order to enhance economic activity and spur growth in the economy. "... we are still not out of the woods. Faced with these adversities we have no option but to undertake some bold steps in order to enhance economic activity and spur growth in the economy. These steps are only the beginning of our effort to revive the growth spirit of the Indian Economy. They are directional," he said.

At Rs 6,000-cr, Modi govt grants 50 pc jump in ISRO budget New Delhi, July 10 (PTI) In a major boost for India's space programme, the Narendra Modi government has earmarked Rs 6,000 crore for ISRO in its maiden budget, which is a whopping 50 per cent jump in the agency's funding over last year. In 2013-14, although the Department of Space was initially given Rs 5,615 crore, that allocation was later revised to Rs 4,000 crore. A major chunk of the allocation in the new budget, Rs 3,545.63 crore, is for space technology while Rs 1,412.98 crore has been set aside for the INSAT project. "Several major space missions are planned for 2014-15, including the experimental flight of India's future heavy- capacity launcher, GSLV Mk-III, one commercial launch of PSLV and two more navigational satellites," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today in his budget speech. While Rs 378.76 crore has been extended for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s GSLV Mk-III project, Rs 60 crore has been earmarked for Chandrayaan I and II, India's lunar mission. "Our Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in its 300-day-long voyage to Mars along the designated helio-centric trajectory. Mars Orbiter Spacecraft is expected to be orbiting Mars on September 24, 2014," Jaitley said. The Orbiter Mission has been given Rs 65.93 crore in the latest budget. The space department has taken several strides in the last year, launching the country's first inter-planetary project, the Mars Orbiter Mission, and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5). Prime Minister Modi had last month witnessed the launch of five foreign satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. He had said then that the successful launch of the foreign satellites was a "global endorsement" of India's space capabilities developed by "our brilliant scientists". Noting that India had the potential to be a "large service provider" in this area, Modi had said that efforts must be made to construct new infrastructure and upgrade to launching heavier satellites.

Department of Atomic Energy gets Rs 10,446 cr New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) With Kudankulam unit 2 likely to become operational in this financial year, the government has allocated Rs 10,446 crore to the Department of Atomic Energy for power generation and research. For power generation, Rs 1709 crore has been allocated to the department. This includes Rs 30 crore for India's first Prototype Bast Breeder reactor at Kalpakkam at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). The government also intends to invest Rs 203 crore and Rs 440 crore in NPCIL and Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI), two PSUs under DAE. Rs 8737 crore has been allocated for research in the field of nuclear energy. There are several research centres under the DAE, major being Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology and IGCAR and Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER). The allocation also includes provisions for projects such as survey, prospecting, and exploration by AMDER and setting up a Centre for Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership in Haryana. In last budget, the department had been allocated Rs 8,449 crore for Atomic Energy Research, but it was revised to Rs 6,969 crore. For research in the field of Earth Science, Ocean activities and Meteorology, the Ministry of Earth Science has been alloted Rs 1699 crore. In the field of Ocean Research, the government has alloted Rs 629 crore, Rs 661 for Meteorology and Rs 380 crore for other earth science related projects. This also includes ambitious projects like procuring new vessels for ocean research, studying seismological patterns and polar sciences.

Govt unveils steps to revitalise MSME sector
New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today unveiled a slew of measures to revitalise the micro, small and medium enterprises sector, laying special thrust on promotion of start-ups.
Presenting the Budget 2014-15 proposals in Parliament, he said Rs 10,000 crore venture capital fund is to be set up for the sector.
MSMEs form the "backbone" of the country's economy, Jaitley said, adding that "financing to this sector is of critical importance, particularly as it benefits the weakest sections.
"There is need to examine the financial architecture for this sector. I propose to appoint a committee with representatives from the Finance Ministry, Ministry of MSME, RBI to give concrete suggestions in three months".
Jaitley also announced that the definition of MSME will be reviewed to provide for a higher capital ceiling.
Acknowledging that promotion of entrepreneurship and start-up companies remains a challenge, Jaitley said: "In order to create a conducive eco-system for the venture capital in the MSME sector it is proposed to establish a Rs 10,000 crore fund to act as a catalyst to attract private capital by way of providing equity, quasi equity, soft loans and other risk capital for start-up companies."
Jaitley also proposed a technology centre network to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and agro-industry by setting up a fund with a corpus of Rs 200 crore.
To further promote SMEs, Jaitley said an entrepreneur friendly legal bankruptcy framework will be developed for SMEs to enable easy exit. Moreover, he said, a nationwide 'District level Incubation and Accelerator Programme' would be taken up for incubation of new ideas and providing necessary support for accelerating entrepreneurship.
National Small Industries Corporation CMD H P Kumar said: "The definition of MSME was last fixed in 2006. Over the last 8 years, the investment limit was required to be changed because of the increase in prices."
Founder & CEO of Power2SME R Narayan said: "The Budget is extremely encouraging for the start-ups and the SMEs. The proposal of establishing a Rs 10,000 crore venture capital fund for start-up firms will act as a catalyst to attract private capital by way of providing equity, quasi equity, soft loans and other risk capital for start-up companies."
"The revision of the MSME definition for high capital ceiling, will enable the SMEs to get greater credit from the market, in turn helping them to grow and expand," he added.

Ministry of Minority Affairs gets higher outlay in budget
New Delhi, July 10 (PTI) The budget of BJP-led NDA government today announced a higher outlay of Rs 3,734.01 crore for the Ministry of Minority Affairs and announced schemes for skill upgradation of minorities and Rs 100-crore for modernisation of madrasas.
The outlay of the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the union budget presented today in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is 5.75 per cent higher than Rs 3,530.98 crore announced by the previous Congress-led UPA government in the last budget.
BJP had promised equal opportunities for minorities in its manifesto for Lok Sabha elections and said that it "would ensure a peaceful and secure environment where there is no place for either the perpetrators or exploiters of fear".
Introduction of a national Madrasa modernization programme was also one of the poll promises made by the party.
"A programme for the upgradation of skills and training in ancestral arts for development for the minorities called “Up gradation of Traditional Skills in Arts, Resources and Goods” would be launched to preserve the traditional arts and crafts which are rich heritage.
"An additional amount of Rs 100 crores for modernization of madarsas has been provided to the Department of School Education," Jaitley said in his budget speech.
The BJP manifesto said that it is committed to the preservation of the rich culture and heritage of India's minority communities, alongside their social and economic empowerment.

Govt proposes to set up 5 IITs, 5 IIMs New Delhi, July 10 (PTI) The Centre has proposed to set up five IITs and as many IIMs in the country to give a boost to education sector for which Rs 68,728 crore has been allocated in the 2014-15 general budget, a hike of 11 per cent over the last fiscal. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will be set in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala while the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech, proposing Rs 500 crore for the purpose. The move would end a long standing demand of these states but ensure that most of them would have one of these prestigious institutes. Setting up of an IIT entails an investment of roughly Rs 1,800 crore while an IIM requires around Rs 1,200 crore. To infuse new training tools and motivate teachers, Jaitley also proposed to launch 'Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme'. He also proposed to set up a Jai Prakash Narayan National Centre for Excellence in Humanities in Madhya Pradesh. The education sector this year got a plan outlay of Rs 68,728 crore, an 11.10 per cent jump as compared to the revised plan outlay of Rs 61,857 crore in the last fiscal. The hike is 12.3 per cent when both plan and non-plan expenditure is taken into account. Out of the total plan outlay this year, department of school education and literacy has got Rs 51,828 crore and higher education has been allocated Rs 16,900 crore. Stating that elementary education was one of the major priorities of the Government, Jaitley said his "government would strive to provide toilets and drinking water in all the girls school in first phase". He proposed Rs 28,635 crore for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rs 4,966 crore for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). Besides, he announced launching of a School Assessment Programme which would be initiated at a cost of Rs 30 crore. Hailing the allocation for the education sector, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the emphasis on girl child education in the budget in particular was noteworthy. "The Budget highlights the resolve to construct one lakh toilets and drinking water facilities in schools for girls. This would enable girls to not only enrol in schools but also stay in schools. When girls get the needed sanitation facilities in schools, they would demand similar facilities at home, leading to a cleaner India," she said.

Government to implement Indian Financial Code
New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Emphasising the need for a stronger legislative regulatory framework, the government today committed to bringing a new code for streamlining various regulations in the financial sector.
Indian Financial Code (IFC), suggested by the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), lays out clear objectives for financial regulations.
"There are some important recommendations of the FSLRC like the enactment of the IFC which is considered necessary for better governance and accountability.
"It will be my endeavour to complete the ongoing process of consultations with all the stakeholders expeditiously on this," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget 2014-15 speech.
Noting that the financial sector is at the heart of growth engine, the minister said it was essential to strengthen and modernise the legislative regulatory framework.
The draft IFC sought to address present weaknesses of the country's financial system.
The code focuses on the formal process through which the legislative, executive and judicial functions take place in financial regulators.
Besides, it provides clear objectives for financial regulation where government intervention is required and the areas include consumer protection, systemic risk reduction, debt management, capital controls and micro-prudential regulation.
FSLRC submitted its report to the government in March 2013.

Govt to set up NICA to look at development of ind corridors New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The government today announced setting up of a National Industrial Corridor Authority (NICA) with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore to coordinate the development of all the industrial corridors. To boost manufacturing, the government has proposed several corridors including Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor, Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor, Bengaluru Mumbai Economic Corridor and Vizag-Chennai corridor. "A National Industrial Corridor Authority, with its headquarters in Pune, is being set up to coordinate the development of the industrial corridors, with smart cities linked to transport connectivity, which will be the cornerstone of the strategy to drive India's growth in manufacturing and urbanisation," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget 2014-15. The Minister has provided an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore for this purpose. He said the Amritsar Kolkata Industrial master planning would be completed expeditiously for the establishment of industrial smart cities in seven states - Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The master planning of three new smart cities in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor region - Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka - will also be completed, he added. "The perspective plan for the Bengaluru Mumbai Economic corridor and Vizag-Chennai corridor would be completed with the provision for 20 new industrial clusters," he said. The government's ambitious USD 90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project is under implementation. The project is aimed at creating mega industrial infrastructure along the Delhi-Mumbai Rail Freight Corridor. Japan is giving financial and technical aid for the project, which is developed on either side of a 1,483-km stretch running across seven states. Further, the Minister added that Kakinada, its adjoining areas and the port will be developed as the key drivers of economic growth in the region with a special focus on hardware manufacturing.

Govt to form Expenditure Mgt Commission to bring in reforms New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The government today announced setting up an Expenditure Management Commission (EMC) to bring in reforms related to spending for achieving maximum output. "To achieve this goal, time has come to review the allocated and operational efficiencies of government expenditure to achieve maximum output," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting his first budget in Parliament today. He said the government is committed to its principle of 'Minimum Government Maximum Governance', and the EMC will look into various aspects of expenditure reforms to be undertaken by it. Jaitley said the government will overhaul the subsidy regime, including that on food and petroleum, while making it more targeted and providing full protection to marginalised, poor and SCs/STs. He also said a new urea policy will be formulated. "The Expenditure Management Commission will give its interim report within this financial year," he added.

Jaitley proposes 6 more mega textile clusters
New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today unveiled a host of proposals, including setting up of more mega-clusters, to boost the textile sector.
"I propose to set up a Trade Facilitation Centre and a Crafts Museum with an outlay of 50 crore to develop and promote handloom products and carry forward the rich tradition of handlooms of Varanasi, where I also intend to support a Textile mega-cluster," Jaitley said in his maiden Budget speech.
"I also propose to set up six more Textile mega-clusters at Bareily, Lucknow, Surat, Kuttch, Bhagalpur, Mysore and one in Tamil Nadu. I am allocating a sum of Rs 200 crore for this purpose," Jaitley said in his budget speech.
Terming the budget as "forward looking", Union Minister Santosh Gangwar today said it recognises the core strengths of the textile sector and aims to promote them with a strong human emphasis.
"The Budget recognises the aspirations of a new India which is looking towards the government for decisively moving towards high growth, low inflation and more jobs. I welcome the proposals for the textile sector which include setting-up of mega textile clusters at Varanasi, Bareilly, Lucknow, Surat, Kuttch, Bhagalpur, Mysore and one in Tamil Nadu with a sum of Rs 200 crore," Textile Minister Gangwar said.
Jaitley also proposed to set up a Hastkala Academy for the preservation, revival, and documentation of the handloom/handicraft sector in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode in Delhi.
He further unveiled a proposal to start a Pashmina Promotion Programme and a programme for the development of other crafts of Jammu & Kashmir, setting aside a sum of Rs 50 crore for the purpose.
To encourage exports of readymade garments, the Finance Minister proposed to increase the duty free entitlement for import of trimmings, embellishments and other specified items from 3 per cent to 5 per cent of the value of their exports. Apart from it, faster clearance of import and export cargo will also be implemented to reduce transaction costs and improves business competitiveness.
The textile industry, which plays a pivotal role in the economic life of India, also majorly contributes to industrial output, employment generation and the export earnings of the country.
It contributes 14 per cent to the industrial production, 4 per cent to the GDP and 11 per cent to the country's export earnings. The textile sector is the second largest provider of employment after agriculture.

Jaitley raises exemption limit,introduces KVP to boost savings
New Delhi, July 10 (PTI) Encouraging household savings, the government today raised tax exemption limit on investments in financial instruments to Rs 1.5 lakh, re-introduced Kisan Vikas Patra and hiked the PPF investment ceiling.
In his maiden Budget 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also proposed higher exemption limit for re-payment of interest on loans of self-occupied houses from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.
These instruments, along with rise in I-T exemption limits by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 2.5 lakh can yield a maximum saving of Rs 39,655, according to expert estimates.
"To address the concerns of decline in savings rate and improving returns for small savers, I propose to revitalise small savings," Jaitley said.
As regards the Public Provident Fund, an individual can invest up to Rs 1.5 lakh, as against Rs 1 lakh presently. PPF is a 15-year investment scheme, which attracts tax exemption.
Currently, investments and expenditures up to a combined limit of Rs 1 lakh get exemptions under Sections 80C, 80CC and 80CCC of the I-T Act. Now, it has been hiked to Rs 1.5 lakh.
There have been demands from bankers and insurers to hike the tax exemption limit from Rs 1 lakh per annum to encourage household savings.
With regard to Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), Jaitley said it was a very popular instrument among small savers. "I plan to reintroduce the instrument to encourage people, who may have banked and unbanked savings to invest in this instrument."
The KVP was discontinued by the UPA government in 2011 following the Shyamala Gopinath Committee report. It had suggested that KVPs may be discontinued as they are prone to misuse being a bearer-like instruments.
He also proposed to launch National Savings Certificate (NSC) with insurance cover to provide additional benefits for the small saver.
Jaitley further said a special small savings instrument to cater to the requirements of educating and marriage of the girl child will be introduced.
India's savings rate has come down from over 38 per cent of GDP in 2008 to 30 per cent in 2012-13.
The hike in the exemption limit under 80C would provide much needed relief to salary earners who are reeling under the impact of high inflation.
The financial instruments which enjoy exemption include life insurance premium, public provident fund, employees provident fund, National Savings Certificates, repayment of capital on home loan, equity linked saving schemes sold by mutual funds and bank FDs of five year maturity.
Commenting on Budget, Tapati Ghose, Partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells said: "With a maximum savings of Rs 36,050 (where surcharge not applicable) and maximum tax saving of Rs 39,655 where surcharge is applicable, the FM has done a fair bit in keeping the sentiments positive".
The direct tax proposals taken together are expected to result in a revenue loss of Rs 22,200 crore.

Govt widens service tax base; includes radio-cabs, online ads New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Various services including radio- cabs and online ads are set to become costlier as government today widened the service tax base to mop up an additional Rs 7,525 crore from indirect taxes this fiscal. Presenting his maiden Budget for 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also withdrew exemptions given to services of air-conditioned contract carriages and testing of new drugs on human participants to broaden the tax base. Advertisements on online/mobile media have also been brought under the services tax net. However, sale of space for ads in print media has been excluded. Besides, services provided by radio-taxis would now come under the indirect tax on par with services of rent-a-cab. In the current fiscal, government envisages to collect about Rs 2.16 lakh crore from taxes on services, up about 31 per cent from Rs 1.65 lakh crore in 2013-14. "In recent times, among indirect taxes, service tax has shown the highest rate of growth... To broaden the tax base in service tax, it is necessary to prune the negative list and exemptions to the extent possible. Accordingly, the negative list has been reviewed." Jaitley said. However, to promote growth in transport of goods through coastal vessels, tax has been reduced on them. Besides, giving in to demand of tourism sector, Indian tour operators have been exempted from the tax net for extending services outside the country to foreign tourists. "A long standing demand of this sector has been to allow Cenvat credit for services of rent-a-cab and tour operators. I now propose to allow credit in the same line of business," the Finance Minister said. Also, amongst other exemptions, services such as loading, unloading, storage, warehousing and transportation of cotton would not attract any tax. "Managing service tax has become a major area of concern for the industry, and a lot was being expected in terms of measures aimed at tax certainty and simplicity," said Siddharth Mehta, Partner – Indirect Tax, KPMG in India. "While the Finance Minister did not elaborate on these aspects in his speech, one hopes they will find place in the fine-prints," he said. Services provided by common bio-medical waste treatment facilities have also been kept out of tax net.

Major steel PSUs to invest over Rs 15,000 cr in FY'15 New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Metal and mining PSUs SAIL, NMDC and RINL plan to invest Rs 15,069 crore this fiscal towards modernisation and expansion, Rs 700 crore less than the actual outlay for the last financial year, the government said today. According to the "broad plan" prepared by the respective firms, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) will spend Rs 9,000 crore in current fiscal, followed by iron ore miner NMDC Rs 4,345 crore and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) Rs 1,724.17 crore.
The three firms, under the Steel Ministry, had spent Rs 15,769 crore towards modernisation and expansions in 2013-14, Budget documents showed.
In 2014-15, SAIL plans to spend Rs 3,300 crore on its Bhilai Steel Plant, as part of its ongoing Rs 72,000 crore modernisation and expansion programme to take its capacity to 24 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 14 mtpa now.
The company also plans to invest Rs 2,234 crore in its Rourkela Steel Plant, Rs 1,280 crore in IISCO plant, Rs 800 crore in Durgapur plant and Rs 860 crore in the Bokaro plant among others. Meanwhile, close to achieving the 24 mtpa capacity, SAIL has recently unveiled plans to take it to 50 mtpa by 2025 entailing another Rs 1.5 lakh crore investment.
The proposed expansion to 50 mtpa is in line with the Government's vision of enhancing country's steel - making capacity to 300 mtpa by 2025-30, from around 100 mtpa now.
Managanese ore producer MOIL Ltd plans Rs 192 crore investment in the current fiscal. Overall, PSUs under the steel ministry are planning to invest Rs 15,393 crore in current fiscal.

All depts to integrate with eBiz platform by December end' New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) To provide one-stop clearance platform for investment proposals, the government today said all central government departments and ministries will integrate their services with the 'eBiz platform' on priority by December end. The eBiz platform aims to create a business and investor friendly ecosystem in India by making all business and investment related clearances and compliances available on a 24x7 single portal, with an integrated payment gateway. "All Central Government Departments and Ministries will integrate their services with the eBiz platform on priority by 31 December this year," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting Budget 2014-15. The eBiz project is one of the integrated mission mode projects under the National e-Governance Plan of the government. The project also aims at improving India's ranking in ease of doing business. As many as 26 central and 24 state services were integrated with the portal, but the Environment and Forest Ministry and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) had some reservations about the project. According to a World Bank report, India ranks at 134th position out of 189 economies.

Malnutrition problem to be tackled in "Mission Mode"
New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Expressing concern at the deteriorating malnutrition situation in India, Government today said that the problem needs to be tackled in a "Mission Mode". "A national programme in Mission Mode is urgently required to halt the deteriorating malnutrition situation in India, as present interventions are not adequate" said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as he presented the Union budget today. "A comprehensive strategy including detailed methodology, costing, time lines and monitorable targets will be put in place within six months," he said. According to the report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation - Children in India 2012 - 48 per cent children under the age of five are stunted (too short for their age), which indicates that half of the country's children are chronically malnourished. The report states that malnutrition is higher among children whose mothers are uneducated or have less than five years of education. Similarly, the percentage of underweight children in lowest wealth index is three times higher than higher wealth index. Further, according to a report prepared by Naandi Foundation that covered 112 districts across India, 42.5 per cent of children under five years of age are underweight (low weight for age), 58.8 per cent are stunted (low height for age), and 11.4 per cent are 'wasted' (low weight for height). The World Bank report described malnutrition as India's silent emergency and stated that the rate of malnutrition cases among children in India is almost five times more than in China, and twice than in Sub-Saharan Africa. For the past nine years, the government in India has not collected national-level data on nutrition as the last National Family Health Survey conducted in 2005-06, showed that 42.5 percent of children under the age of 5 were underweight. To tackle the problem of malnutrition, Congress-led government had restructured the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme. The revised programme focused on providing supplementary foods to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under three years of age. It also worked towards improving mothers' feeding and caring practices as well as promoting immunization and growth monitoring of children among people.

Cos to mandatorily adopt new accounting standards by 2016-17 New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Companies should mandatorily follow the new accounting standards that are converged with international norms from FY'17 while timelines for financial services sector entities would be announced later, the government said today. "There is an urgent need to converge the current Indian accounting standards with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget. "I propose for adoption of the new Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) by the Indian companies from the financial year 2015-16 voluntarily and from the financial year 2016-17 on a mandatory basis," Jaitley added. However, the Finance Minister said that timelines for implementation of Ind AS for the financial services sector, including banks and insurance companies would be separately notified by the respective regulators. "Based on the international consensus, the regulators will separately notify the date of implementation of AS Ind for the banks, insurance companies etc," Jaitley said. "Standards for the computation of tax would be notified separately," he added. While hailing the government's move to execute the new standards, experts said various challenges involved in the implementation would have to be taken into account. "By moving forward with the implementation, India can play a significant role in accounting standard setting globally," KPMG Accounting Advisory Services-Global Head Jamil Khatri said. "While preparing the detailed implementation plan, the pitfalls that resulted in unsuccessful implementation of Ind AS in 2011 should be avoided and proactively addressed," Khatri added. KPMG India Accounting Advisory Services-Head Sai Venkateshwaran said "the government should finalise the roadmap for implementation (of Ind AS) immediately". "This roadmap should consider implementation in a phased manner, taking into account various challenges involved in the implementation, including sectoral issues, as well as wider issues around capacity building," Venkateshwaran added. Noting that the government's intent to move towards global best practices has been established, Ernst & Young Global Partner Pankaj Chadha said, "Corporate world would need to gear up for changes which application of Ind AS would entail, particularly new generation sectors like ITES and telecom". PWC Partner Harinderjit Singh said: "I am yet to read the fine print but hope that the earlier hurdles such as impact on taxation and fair value have been sorted out. Also the road map will take care of enough time being given to SME for preparation". In the past, the government had set the deadline of April 2011 for adopting the converged Ind AS with IFRS standards.

Free drugs, diagnosis to ensure 'Health for All' priority:Govt New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) With an aim to ensure "Health for All," the Government today promised to take up on priority key health initiatives of providing free drugs and free diagnostic services besides earmarking Rs 500 crore to set up four more AIIMS-like institutes in the country. In his maiden budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government has also decided to set up 15 model rural health research centres in states for better health care facilities in rural India. Jaitley said Rs 500 crore has been allocated for a plan to set up four more AIIMS-like institutes in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in Uttar Pradesh. The Minister also proposed to add 12 government medical colleges, where dental facilities would also be provided. At present, 58 government medical colleges have been approved. "In order to achieve universal access to early quality diagnosis and treatment to TB patients, two National Institutes of Ageing will be set up at AIIMS, New Delhi and Madras Medical College, Chennai. A national level research and referral Institute for higher dental studies would be set up in one of the existing dental institutions," Jaitley said. For the first time, the Government will provide central assistance to strengthen the States' Drug Regulatory and Food Regulatory Systems by creating new drug testing laboratories and strengthening the 31 existing State laboratories, he said. "In keeping with the Government's focus on improving affordable health care and to augment the transfer of technology for better health care facilities in rural India, 15 Model Rural Health Research shall be set up in the states, which shall take up research on local health issues concerning rural population," Jaitley said enumerating steps for the health sector in the budget.

Govt's new scheme on girl child
New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Taking into account the apathy towards the girl child, Government today introduced a new scheme called "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" and allocated Rs 100 crore for this in the union budget. Presenting the union budget 2014-15 in the parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that it is a "shame that while the country has emerged as a major player amongst the emerging market economies, the apathy towards girl child is still quite rampant in many parts of the country". The scheme, he said, will help in generating awareness and improve the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women. "Government would focus on campaigns to sensitize people of this country towards the concerns of the girl child and women", he said. The process of sensitization must begin early and therefore the school curriculum must have a separate chapter on gender mainstreaming," Jaitley said in his budget speech. At a time when the country is confronted with women safety issues, government proposed Rs 150 crore to be spent by Ministry of Home Affairs on a scheme to increase the safety of women in large cities. The budget also proposed that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will spend Rs 50 crore on pilot testing a scheme for safety of women on Public Road Transport. Further, government proposed setting up "Crisis Management Centres" in all the districts of Delhi this year in all government and private hospitals, funding for which will be provided from the Nirbhaya Fund, the Minister added.









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