The Union Budget 2018-19 which held humble expectations and was the first post-GST and the last full Budget of the Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the country goes to polls in 2019 was widely expected to be rural centric and was bang on expectations, the budget laid emphasis on strengthening agriculture and rural economy, provision of good health care to economically less privileged apart from which focus was on senior citizens, infrastructure creation and improvement in the quality of education in the country.
The government is committed towards taking Ease of Doing business further by stress on ‘Ease of Living’ for the common men of this country, especially for those belonging to poor & middle class of society. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, while presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament said that Indian society, polity and economy had shown remarkable resilience in adjusting with the structural reforms.
Finance Minister informed that presently Indian economy is a 2.5 trillion dollar economy and expected to become the fifth largest economy in the world very soon. IMF has projected that India will grow at 7.4% in coming year. He reiterated that India will grow at 7.2-7.5% in the second half of the 2017-18. Exports are expected to grow at 15% in 2017-18.
Markets seem to be comfortable with the revised Fiscal Deficit estimates for 2017-18 of ₹5.95 lakh crore at 3.5% of GDP and the projections of a Fiscal Deficit of 3.3% of GDP for the year 2018-19. The steps taken by the government for reducing the cash economy and for increasing the tax net have paid rich dividends. The growth rate of direct taxes in the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18 has been significant. While last year a growth of 12.6% was registered in direct taxes, in the current year, the growth in direct taxes up to January 15, 2018 has been 18.7%.
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