The union Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as the last one for the Narendra Modi government ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. There were high expectations as to what the government would roll out in the election year.
While the budget has garnered mixed reactions , here one takes a look the budget sector wise and find out what all is in store and how much Khushi aur Gham has it given :
The Budget 2018-19 was largely focused on solving agricultural distress. This budget promises to raise the minimum price (MSP) offered to farmers for crops, while investing heavily in agricultural markets across India. It also delivers more money for rural areas, including irrigation projects and aquaculture projects, and directs state governments to purchase extra solar power generated by farmers using solar-powered pumps. Companies that deal with agricultural products may also be benefited.
With the Budget 2018-19, India has proposed the world’s largest government-funded health protection plan, which aims to benefit 10 crore poor families of the nation with medical aid worth Rs 5 lakh each a year. The National Health Policy 2017 indicated that health expenditure would increase to 2.5% of GDP, but the goal is still far (it is 1.2% of the GDP right now). The increase in allocation towards healthcare is a minuscule 2.76 per cent compared to last year’s budget. In fact, just 2.2 per cent of the total spending in budget is towards healthcare.
India’s overall allocation to this important sector in the last decade has hovered between 3.5-4 per cent of total expenditure. Last year, the figure was 3.7 per cent. the government proposed to launch ‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022’ with a total investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in next four years, to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions. A modest 3.84 per cent increase compared to last year can be seen in the education sector allotment.
An amount of Rs 2,150 crore was allocated to the Ministry of Tourism under the Union Budget 2018-19, receiving a 21 per cent jump from the current fiscal. Within these projects, integrated development of tourist circuits has been allocated Rs 1,100 crore, up from Rs 950 crore in the current fiscal. The Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation (PRASAD) scheme was given Rs 150 crore as compared to Rs 100 crore in the last budget announcement.
Defence was allotted 1.58% of GDP, the lowest allocation to the sector since 1962 war with China. The defence budget has been hiked by a measly 7.81% to Rs 2,95,511 crore from Rs 2,74,114 crore last year, once again dashing the hopes for any major jump in military modernization this year despite heightened tensions with both Pakistan and China along the unsettled borders.
The Union Budget proposed an overall allocation of around Rs 14,500 crore for the 2018-19 fiscal to augment telecom infrastructure projects, which include an alternate communication network for defence services. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 10,000 crore for expansion of telecom infrastructure managed by the Department of Telecom. As per the document, the government has proposed to allocate Rs 8,000 crore for Bharat Net project for providing broadband services in 1.5 lakh gram panchayats.