Union Budget 2017 Live Updates

Finance Minister to Announce Finance Budget from 11:00 AM. Get Live Updates from Here.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley is likely to boost spending and ease back on cutting the deficit with the Union budget on Wednesday, as he seeks to lift growth hit by the government’s drive to scrap high-value banknotes in November last year.

The finance minister was expected to present the annual federal budget despite the death of a sitting member of parliament, E Ahamed, an official said on condition of anonymity. Parliament typically adjourns for a day after the death of a member, although TV channels cited a precedent where the budget presentation had still gone ahead in a previous year.

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Here are live updates on the Union Budget 2017/18:

13:10 (IST)
Lok Sabha adjourned after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley concludes his Budget 2017 speech.

‘MSME corporate tax cut a big boost to entrepreneurship’

Reduction in corporate tax for SMEs and increased exemption of profits to 3/7 yrs a big boost to the small and 1st gen businessmen of the nation.

12.58 pm: No scrutiny on first-time taxpayers.

12.54 pm:

— No tax on annual income of Rs 4.5 lakh who use rebates.

— Net revenue foregone on income tax changes is Rs 12,800 crore.

— Surcharge of 10% on annual income of Rs 50 lakh and above.

New Rate for 44Ad – 6%

Government has finally moved one step forward in cleaning a corrupt and non-transparent system of political funding. This was a long-pending demand from the public at large. Though Prime Minister Modi had been talking about it for some time and Election Commission had made certain suggestions to the government, there was a great deal of scepticism on whether or when the Government would actually make a move in this regard.

The popular pressure had grown after demonetisation. It was heartening to hear FM Jaitley talking of brining some amendments to take small but significant steps to cleanse political funding with the admission that political parties continue to accept through anonymous sources and donors fear to entail adverse consequences. The limit for anonymous cash donation has been brought down from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000.

NO CHNAGE IN SERVICE TAX & EXCISE DUTY RATES DUE TO UPCOMING GST

5% TDS on Insurance Agents Removed

12:56 (IST) “No significant loss or gain due to budgetary proposals in the indirect taxation,” says Jaitley

12:52 (IST) Reduction of the existing rate of tax for low tax bracket individuals

“Reduce existing rate for income from Rs 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh to 5 % from 10%. 50% saving in income tax if a person is earning up to Rs 5 lakh,” says Jaitley.

Income Tax limit for individuals – 2.5 Lacs – 5 lacs – Now 5% from earlier 10%

12:49 (IST) NO TRANSACTION OVER RS. 3 LAKH WILL BE PERMITTED IN CASH

12:48 (IST) Donation to political parties, no more than Rs 2,000 in cash 

“Up to Rs 2,000 can be donated in cash by anyone source to a political party. Political parties can receive donations through digital methods and cheques. Donors can buy RBI bonds and would be able to donate to a political party which can redeem within a specified time. The bond can be bought through cheque or by employing any digital method. Every political party has to file its returns as per Income Tax Act,” says Jaitley.

— Limit of Rs 2000 on cash donations to charities. SIT suggests and government has accepted that cash transaction not to be allowed above Rs 3 lakh.

— Basic customs reduced from 5% to 2.5% on LNG terminals.

— Rs 7,200 crore revenue will be foregone on account of tax rebate to MSME.

— Income tax for small companies with an annual turn over of 50 crore, now to pay 25%, a 5% reduction.

–To make MSME companies more viable to pay 25% tax if turnover is up to Rs 50 crore.

–Startups to pay tax on profits for three out of seven years, increased from three out of five years.

-Carry forward of MAT allowed for 15 years

12:42 (IST) Capital gains tax for housing

“Propose to make changes in capital gains tax for housing. Holding period for land and building will be reduced to 2 years from 3 years. Instead of build-up area, carpet area will be counted for affordable housing,” says Jailtley.

12:40 (IST) PM Fasal Bima Yojana: Who is the government insuring exactly — farmers or companies?

Government expenditure has increased substantially from Rs 5,500 crore proposed last year to Rs 13,200. But it seems to have gone in the pocket of private insurance companies. Share of farmers covered has increased from 21% to only 24%. Sum assured has gone up, not the numbers of farmers covered, nor the claim amount. Who is the government insuring exactly: farmers or companies?

12:39 Tax cut for smaller firms

“Propose to cut 5% tax for those firms whose turnovers are below Rs 50 crore. 96% firms of the country would be benefitted,” says Jaitley.

12:36 (IST) ‘New law to confiscate absconders’ overseas properties; need to see the details’

A new law proposed to enable lenders to confiscate assets of absconders living overseas. But existing laws permitted this. Remains to be seen how this new law is drafted and implemented.

Funds for banks at Rs 10,000 cr: Another year of disappointment?

Arun Jaitley said government will infuse Rs 10,000 crore this year in public sector banks, which constitute 70 percent of the industry. This is part of the ‘Indradhanush’ plan to infuse Rs 70,000 crore in PSU banks over five years. Given the mess the banking sector is in, the kind of bad loan problems, analysts were expecting much bigger capital infusion to equip public sector banks, beyond what is already planned. Though the FM has assured that government will make sure banks get additional capital, past evidence shows that capital is yet again going to be a major problem for the sarakari banks.

Consider this: Presently, state-run banks are severely undercapitalised. At least seven of the PSU banks have less than 8.5 percent Tier-I capital adequacy and one bank less than 8 percent. The problem is worsened with their non-performing assets (NPAs) hitting the roof (nearly Rs 6 lakh crore as on September, 2016 or nearly 8 percent of the total bank credit), and total chunk of stressed assets (bad loans and restructured loans together) jumping to 12-13 percent of the total bank credit. Jaitley should have allocated much more for weak state-run banks. Here, there is a bit of disappointment.

12:36 (IST) Post demonetisation deposits go up

“Demonetisation deposits between Rs 2-80 lakh made In 1.09 crore accounts. Post demonetisation deposits above Rs 80 lakh in 1.48 lakh accounts,” says Jaitley.

–Analysis after demonetisation present revealing picture.

— We are largely a tax non-compliant country. Burden of those who evade taxes falls on the honest.

— 24 lakh people show income above Rs 10 lakh.

12:33 (IST) Phasing out of FIPB and the extra push for FDI clears the murk and sends positive signal to foreign companies to invest in India: Mehul Turakhia, Director Finance, Directi

12:32 (IST) The push towards e-transactions through BHIM and Aadhar enabled payments puts India at the cusp of a digital revolution.

12:32 (IST) Revenue deficit pegged at 1.9% of GDP

12:31 (IST) Tax proposal to help middle class

“The thrust of my tax proposal in this Budget is to bring relief to the middle class, boost affordable housing, transparent political funding,” says Jaitley.

12:31 (IST) ‘Fiscal deficit roadmap consistent with promise; but need great effort’

With regard to fiscal deficit roadmap of 3 years, a long-term view has been maintained. This is consistent with promises made. However, it would require great effort to achieve it.

‘Banking recap funds short of expectations’

Rs 10,000 crores for banks recapitalisation is in line, but short of expectations.

1.7 crore people file returns of 4.2 crore salaried people.

Tax-GDP ratio

“Tax-to-GDP ratio very low in India. We are largely a tax non-compliant society. When too many evades tax, the burden falls on those who are honest,” says Jaitley.

12:24 (IST) Fiscal deficit for 2017 at 3.2%

“Total resources to be transferred to states and UTs estimated at Rs 4.11 lakh crore. Allocation of capital expenditure up 25% YoY. Peg fiscal deficit for 2017 at 3.2%,” says Jaitley.

12:21 (IST) Defence expenditure excluding pension at Rs 2.74 lakh crore.

12:20 (IST) Listing PSUs

“Propose revised mechanism for time-bound listing of PSUs. Shift to digital platforms to benefit the common man,” says Jaitley.

12:18 New law to confiscate assets of those who flee country after crimes

“New law to come up to confiscate the assets of those who flee the country including those who commit financial crimes to escape the reach of law. The law will have constitutional safeguards and the assets in India would stand confiscated until the person submits himself or herself to the law,” says Jaitley.

12:15 (IST) Centralised ticket booking system for defence personnel

A centralised ticket booking system for defence personnel. They no longer have to stand in queues with warrants,” Jaitley said.

12:13 (IST) Payment Board to come up in RBI

12:12 (IST) IRCON, IRFC to be listed “IRCON and IRFC to be listed on stock exchanges. There is a proposal to create an integrated PSU oil major. Listing of CPSE will increase accountability,” says Jaitley.

12:09 (IST) The government to set-up new crude oil reserves.

12:08 (IST) Solar power gets more power

“The government to take up second phase of solar power development for additional 20,000 MW. Over 250 proposals for electronics mfg received in last 2 yrs for Rs 1.26 lakh crore,” says Jaitley.

12:04 (IST) FDI policy “New FDI policy under consideration,” says Jaitley.

12:02 (IST) FIPB to be abolished.

12:00 Metro policy and highway allocation “New Metro Rail Policy to be announced. It will open up new job possibilities.National Highway Allocation fixed at Rs 64,000 Crore. Airports Authority of India Act to be amended to enable monetisation of land,” says Jaitley.

12 :00 Housing shares surge up to 11% after rise in housing allocation

The finance minister said the government proposes to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha houses. Towards this, he increased allocation for PM Awas Yojana to Rs 23,000 crore.The shares of Ashiana Housing rose 11%, LIC Housing Fin 1.5%,  Ganesh Housing 1.38% and Ansal Housing 10%.

12:00 (IST) Re-emphasis on cashless economy would boost digital transactions leading to greater financial inclusion, transparency and economic growth: Mehul Turakhia, Director Finance, Directi

11:57 (IST) Aadhaar card to have health details of senior citizens

“A pilot project with Aadhaar cards containing the health details of senior citizens will be started in 15 districts,”says Jaitley.

11:56 Rail passenger safety gets importance

“A Rail Raksha Sanraksha Koch with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh cr in the course of five years. Unmanned railway crossings to disappear by 2020. Railway lines of 3,500 km will be commissioned in 2017-18,” says Jaitley.

“500 stations to be made differently-abled with lifts, escalators. Solar power to lit up more stations,” he said.

“Coach Mitra facility to come up. All trains to have bio-toilets,” Jaitley said.

“Service charge for tickets booked through IRCTC to be withdrawn. Tariffs to be fixed as per competition and quality of service,” said Jaitley.

11:55 (IST) Modi govt addresses its core social constituency

Modi government has used the first half of the budget to address its core social constituency — farmers, rural poor, Dalits, women, youth. Remember, this is the third budget of the Modi government and thus most significant to send out a message to those who looked up to this government with certain hopes and aspirations.

Farmers, rural poor, youth, girls and women, artisans, unprivileged and their concerns of education, infrastructure, loan, jobs and social security were dwelt at length. PM Modi and FM Jaitley realise the burden of expectation that is there on them and it was good to see that FM addressed to that in the beginning.

11:49 (IST) Two new AIIMS  announced

Gujarat, Jharkhand to get an AIIMS each

11:47 (IST) Affordable housing injected with more money

“Allocation increased to Rs 23,000 crore. Banking loan rates coming down in the wake of demonetisation. Affordable housing to get infra status,” says Jaitley.

11:44 (IST) Special effort for farmers to double income to be focused on Eastern States. A hint for UP elections?

MNREGA funds for asset creation, moving out of the old Dole regime. Housing allocation for rural housing grows 50 percent. The focus is on rural income and demand, and formalising rural economy.

11:43 (IST) New fund for secondary education: Jaitley

“Innovation fund for secondary education to be created,” says Jaitley.

11:43 (IST) Modi govt’s political thrust apparent

The political thrust of Modi government in union budget 2017 is clearly apparent from repeated reference to schemes beneficial to farmers, rural poor, infrastructure, dailts women, youth. Rs 10 lakh crore has been earmarked for credit to farmers in eastern Indian and Jammu and Kashmir.

Mudra Yojna gets special mention. Funds for housing to rural poor under Prime Minister Rural Poor Housing scheme, allocation for MGNREGA has been increased to highest ever with the rider that it will be used to create productive assets. Mark the word eastern India, it had loaded political connotation without Uttar Pradesh word used.

11:42 (IST) Roads now made quicker

“Pace of construction of roads has increased to Rs 133 km/day in 2017,” Says Jaitley.

11:37 (IST) Irrigation gets a boost

“NABARD to set up dedicated micro irrigation fund worth Rs 5,000 cr. Focus will be on creating jobs.Long-term Irrigation Fund Set Up In NABARD, Additional Corpus Rs 20,000 crore,” says Jaitley.

11:34 (IST) Agriculture credit increase a good step: Aneja

Increase in agriculture credit and its disbursal along with more coverage of crop insurance scheme is a good step and will be helpful to the farm sector hit by the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

11:32 (IST) Policy moves from favouritism to transparency

Use of Spring festival signals hope. Policy moves from favouritism to transparency and informal to formal. The finance minister is sending a macro message for foreign investors.

11:32 (IST) No demonestisation spill over next year: Jaitley

Not seeing effects of the demonetisation spill over to next year, The effects of demonetisation not expected to spill over to the next year, says the finance minister. However, this goes against the indication in the Economic Survey that was released yesterday. The survey had given a GDP growth projection of 6.75-7.5 pecent for the next year. Experts have been of the opinion that the wide range could be an indication that there could be a spill over effect next year too.

11:30 (IST) Not seeing effects of the demonetisation spill over to next year

The effects of demonetisation are not expected to spill over to the next year, says the finance minister. However, this goes against the indication in the Economic Survey that was released yesterday. The survey had given a GDP growth projection of 6.75-7.5 pecent for the next year. Experts have been of the opinion that the wide range could be an indication that there could be a spill over effect next year too.

11:30 (IST) Farmers to benefit from interest waiver: Jaitley

“Farmers will benefit from 60-day interest waiver announced by the PM. Farm sector to grow 4.1% in the current fiscal. Fasal Bima Yojana to cover 40% of crop area,” said Jaitley.

“Ä dedicated irrigation fund by NABARD for per drop more crop,” he said.

11:27 (IST) “A corpus of Rs 10 lakh cr has been fixed for farmers,” says Jaitley.

11:24 (IST) Surplus cash in the banking system will minimise borrowing: Jaitley

“Surplus cash in the banking system will minimise borrowing,” says Jaitley.

“Discontinued the 1924 British era policy. Brought railways to the fore. Done away with planned and non-planned allocations,”he said.

11:22 (IST) Spending more for underprivileged a target: Jaitley

“My overall approach while preparing this Budget has been to spend more in rural areas, poverty alleviation through fiscal prudence,” says Jaitley.

11:20 (IST) Jaitley resorts to poetry, asks all to embrace the new. This of course celebrates the new thrust towards a cashless economy.

11:19 (IST) Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s summary dismissal of Congress parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge’s appeal to defer the budget session as mark of respect for death of Congress E Ahmed gave enough indication of the belligerence in the treasury benches in the budget session.

Right from the word go, the government gave clear indication that it would not change the schedule of the budget in face of the Congress’s attempt to politicise the death of Ahmed. Given the established principle that the House is the master of its own business, Mahajan made it clear that the norms and precedents set in Parliament could be amended.

In the government circles, the Congress’s persistence to defer the session was seen as continuum of their demand to postpone budget in view of the state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur.

11:18 (IST) Demonetisation is the new normal: Jaitley

“Demonetisation is the new normal. Demonetisation seeks to make our GDP bigger, cleaner.” says Jaitley.

 

11:17 (IST) India seen as an engine of global growth: Jaitley

“According to the IMF, India is going to be the one of the fastest growing economies. Inflation has been controlled. The government has launched a massive war on black money. India seen as an engine of global growth,” says Jaitley.

 

11:15 (IST) CAD going going down: Jaitley

“Growth in a number of emerging economies is likely to recover in 2017 after a poor performance in 2016. Uncertain crude oil prices have had its implication on the emerging economies,” says Jaitley.

“India’s macroeconomic stability continues to be its fountainhead of its growth. CAD has declined by 1%,” says Jaitley.

11:12 (IST) Markets flat ahead of the start of parliament session

At 11 am, the BSE Sensex was at 27691.65, up just 36.69 or 0.13%, and the Nifty 8568.15, up 6.85 points or 0.08%. Will the Budget be markets neutral?

11:11 (IST) Sluggish growth arrested: Jaitley Sluggish growth has been controlled.The government is seen as the trusted custodian of government money: Jaitley

11:10 (IST) Will textile, leather sectors get sops to push job creation?

The Economic Survey may have dropped borad hints at how the governmenet may be planning to push job creation.

“Apparel and Leather & Footwear sectors are eminently suitable for generating jobs that are formal and productive, providing bang-for-buck in terms of jobs created relative to investment and generating exports and growth,” said the survey released yesterday.

The Survey adds that these sectors provide immense opportunities for creation of jobs for the weaker sections, especially for women, and can become vehicles for broader social transformation in the country.

This could be a broad hint at the government’s plans for these sectors, which have large unorganised constituency. Though labour laws have been a major impediment in increasing investment in the sector and it is for the states to breing in reforms in this area now, the Centre could announce sops to boost the sectors. It is also to be remembered that textile was one of the sectors that was hit hard by the demonetisation of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

11:10 (IST) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley begins his fourth Union Budget speech. Wishes the country on the occasion of Vasant Panchami.

11:09 (IST) Uproar in Lok Sabha Opposition leaders are now shouting in the House even as Arun Jaitley begins to speak.

11.08 am: Finance minister Arun Jaitley begins budget speech.

11.07 am: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge says the House should be adjourned today and budget should be presented tomorrow. Speaker overrules him.

11.06 am: House will not sit tomorrow, says Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

11.03 am: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pays obituary to E Ahamed.

10.52 am: Budget has a sanctity, we are already in the eleventh hour. There should be no controversy over it. It’s a constitutional obligation: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu.

10.44 am: Saddened by E Ahamed ji’s death but budget will be presented: Sumitra Mahajan.

10.36 am: The budget will be presented today; it will be formally announced shortly.

10.32 am: Postponement of budget will be no big deal. It’s not as if the secrecy will break: HD Deve Gowda.

10.25 am: It’s neither possible nor correct: Subhash Kashyap, Constitution expert on postponement of budget after papers reach Parliament.

10.19 am: Finance minister Arun Jaitley tweets: “Watch me live presenting the Union Budget 2017 at 11 am, February 1, 2017 http://www.loksabhatv.nic.in/

10.16 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at E Ahamed ‘s residence.

10.14 am: It’s not March 31, there is a lot of time to present the budget. The government can postpone it: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

10.07 am: I think the government already knew that he (Ahamed) had passed away, but they were trying to maybe delay the announcement (of his death): Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

10.07 am: In our opinion, including JDU leaders and former PM Deve Gowda, the budget should be postponed: Congress leader Mallikarjun Khadge.

10.03 am: Finance minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament.

10.02 am: Cabinet meeting to be held shortly in Parliament.

9.49 am: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to visit E Ahamed ‘s residence at 10 am.

9.47 am: Finance minister Arun Jaitley reaches Parliament.

9.28 am: Budget will be presented and Ahamed’s obituary may happen before or after it. The government has spoken to all parties and arrived at a consensus, an official source has told ANI.

9.10 am: Budget 2017 copies reach Parliament. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is meeting President Pranab Mukherjee.

9.01 am: Final decision on Budget to be taken by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan; decision expected by 10 am.

8.22 am: Normally, House is adjourned on death of a sitting MP, so chances are the Budget can be postponed for a day. But Speaker will decide: Santosh Gangwar.