As expected, the interim budget for the financial year 2018-19 was comprehensive with an emphasis on farmers, tax payers and infrastructure development. The allocation of Rs 649.70 billion will boost the Indian Railways plans. While the industry laid down a lot of expectations from the interim budget, for instance, aspects such as according Infrastructure status to the industry, and structured single-window clearance among others, which weren’t met, the budget, in its entirety, took into account a host of other issues aimed to propel the economy into a $10 trillion economy, which is a positive sign.
The Most Promising Updates From the Interim Budget:
- Announcing an allocation of Rs 600 billion for MGNREGA for Budget Estimates 2019-20, the Finance Minister said that additional allocations will be made, if required.
- Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is being allocated Rs 190 billion in BE 2019-20 as against Rs 155 billion in RE 2018-19.
- During the period 2014-18, a total number of 15.3 million houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
- By March, 2019, all households will be provided with electricity connection. Till now, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided in a mission mode which has resulted in saving of Rs 500 billion for the poor and middle class.
- Ayushman Bharat, to provide medical treatment to nearly 500 million people in the country, around 10 lakh patients have already benefited through free treatment for medical treatment which would have otherwise cost them Rs 30 billion.
- Under the Ujjwala Yojana aiming delivery of 80 million free LPG connections, more than 60 million connections have already been given and the remaining will get free gas connections by next year.
- The e-Marketplace (GeM), created by the present Government two years ago, resulted in average savings of 25-28 per cent and the platform will now be extended to all CPSEs. Transactions of over Rs 175 billion have taken place so far.
- The air traffic passengers have doubled during the last five years, leading to large number of jobs also being created. The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim. Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India‟s rail map for the first time.
- Capital support from the budget for Indian Railways is proposed at Rs 645.87 billion in 2019-20 (BE). The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs 1.58 trillion.
- India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years.
- Rs 7.23 trillon MUDRA loans given so far
- The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years
- Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra
- India is the fastest highway developer in the world; 27 kms of highways built each day; Stuck projects completed - Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi and Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
- Gone beyond incremental growth in infra
- Vision 2030: Coastline will be the strength of India’s growth – clean rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians