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Highlights - India unveils budget for recovery and the poor after cash crunch

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India unveiled a budget on Wednesday to help the poor with hikes in government spending and cuts in taxes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to win back the sympathy of voters hit hard by his recent crackdown on “black money”. [nL4N1FM10J]

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrives at the parliament where he is due to present the federal budget, in New Delhi, India, February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced increases in spending on rural areas, infrastructure and fighting poverty, and sought to assure lawmakers and the country that the economic impact of the government’s cash crackdown would wear off soon.

Here are the highlights of Jaitley’s budget for the 2017/18 fiscal year that begins on April 1.


* Projects 2017/18 fiscal deficit at 3.2 percent of GDP

* Maintains 2016/17 fiscal deficit estimate at 3.5 percent of GDP

* Government remains committed to 2018/19 fiscal deficit at 3 percent of GDP

* The 2017/18 budget seeks to pursue prudent fiscal management to preserve financial stability


* Nominal GDP growth seen at 11.75 pct year on year in 2017/18

* Maintaining 7 to 7.5 percent growth in the current global environment a challenge - Jaitley

* Finance minister says India seen as an engine of global growth


* Estimates 2017/18 total expenditure at 21.47 trillion rupees ($317.65 billion)

* Capital spending raised by 25.4 percent on year in 2017/18

* India estimates 5.23 trillion rupees towards interest expense on debt servicing in 2017/18, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country’s total federal spending

* Revised estimate of 4.83 trillion rupees in 2016/17 towards interest expense on debt servicing


* 2017/18 net market borrowing estimated at 3.48 trillion rupees

* 2017/18 gross market borrowing seen at 6.05 trillion rupees

* Government to switch 250 billion rupees of bonds in 2017/18

* Government to buy back net 750 billion rupees worth bonds in 2017/18


* Consumer price index inflation is expected to remain within the central bank’s mandated range of 2 to 6 percent


* Demonetisation “a bold and decisive measure”, will make GDP bigger and lead to higher tax revenues - finance minister

* Hit to economy from government decision to outlaw high-denomination notes transient, effects not expected to spill over to next financial year

* Pace of remonetisation has picked up and will soon reach comfortable levels

* No transaction above 300,000 rupees to be permitted in cash

* Surplus money in the banking system will lower borrowing costs, increase credit flow


* 2017/18 total tax revenue seen at 12.27 trillion rupees

* 2017/18 total revenue receipts seen at 15.16 trillion rupees

* Proposes cuts in personal income tax for those at bottom end of income scale

* Estimates 675.3 billion rupees in dividend receipts in 2017/18

* Net receipts under market stabilisation scheme in 2017/18 at 1 trillion rupees

* Proposes to reduce income tax rate for medium and small enterprises with annual turnover up to 500 million rupees to 25 percent

* Extends relaxation on withholding tax on foreign investor’s interest income from debt until June 30, 2020

* Proposes change in capital gains tax in real estate, land


* Decides to abolish Foreign Investment Promotion Board

* To exempt some foreign investors from indirect transfer provisions


* With a better monsoon agriculture expected to grow at 4.1 percent in 2016/17

* Agricultural credit target fixed at 10 trillion rupees for 2017/18

* Long-term irrigation fund allocated 400 billion rupees

* Allocates 80 billion rupees for milk processing over 3 years

* Farm insurance to cover 40 percent of net sown area, up from 30 percent last year

* Modern law on contract farming will be drafted and circulated to states


* Allocates 3.96 trillion rupees for infrastructure in 2017/18

* For transport sector, allocates 2.41 trillion rupees in 2017/18

* Proposes 640 billion rupees investments in national and state highways in 2017/18


* To infuse already planned 100 billion rupees of capital into state-run banks in 2017/18

* Proposes to raise allowable provision for bad loans in banks to 8.5 percent from current 7.5 percent

* To introduce legislation changes for confiscating assets of economic offenders


* 2017/18 defence expenditure excluding pensions estimated at 2.74 trillion rupees

* Defence capital outlay at 864.88 billion rupees


* Total disinvestment target fixed at 725 billion rupees in 2017/18

* Proposes revised mechanism for time bound listing of public sector companies


* Food subsidy estimated at 1.45 trillion rupees in 2017/18 versus 1.35 trillion rupees revised estimate for 2016/17

* Fuel subsidy seen at 250 billion rupees in 2017/18 versus 275 billion rupees revised estimate for 2016/17

* Fertiliser subsidy seen unchanged in 2017/18 at 700 billion rupees

* Central government’s pension liabilities seen at 1.31 trillion rupees in 2017/18 versus 1.28 trillion rupees revised estimate for 2016/17

* Budget allocation to health seen at 489 billion rupees in 2017/18 versus revised estimate of 399 billion rupees in 2016/17


* Allocation for rural, agriculture and allied areas to rise 24 percent to 1.87 trillion rupees

* Allocates 480 billion rupees to rural jobs scheme in 2017/18, versus a revised estimate of 470 billion rupees this fiscal year

* Allocates 190 billion rupees for rural road scheme in 2017/18

* On course to complete 100 percent electrification by May 1, 2018, allocating 48 billion rupees for rural electrification scheme


* To invest 1.31 trillion rupees in railways in 2017/18; budget allocates 550 billion rupees

* Dedicated railway safety fund of 1 trillion rupees over next five years

* 3,500 kms of railway lines to be commissioned in 2017/18 versus 2,800 km in 2016/17

* Airports Authority of India to monetize land around certain Tier 2 airports, to fund airport upgrades

* Transformative measures needed to make railways competitive, Jaitley says

* Railways to withdraw service charges on online booking of tickets


* Legislative reforms to be undertaken to simplify, rationalise existing labour laws


* Government taking steps to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing

* India received more than 250,000 proposals last year with an investment value of 1.26 trillion rupees

* Announces new trade infrastructure export scheme


* India to spend more in rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation

* Budget for India’s main health department increased by 28 percent to 474 billion rupees

* The government will continue process of economic reforms for the benefit of the poor

* To allocate 40 billion rupees for market-relevant training for youth

* Total allocation for women and children welfare set at 1.84 trillion rupees

* To double lending target under Mudra Yojana (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) to 2.44 trillion rupees


* Proposes to create integrated oil company

* To set up two more strategic oil storage in 2 states

* Halves import tax on LNG to 2.5 percent

* To integrate stock and derivative markets for commodities trading


* Push for transparency in political party funding; parties will need to file income tax returns

* To limit maximum individual cash donation at 2,000 rupees for political funding

* Proposes to amend central bank act for issue of electoral bonds for political funding


* National housing bank to provide 200 billion rupees for housing loans

* Affordable housing to be given infrastructure status

* Long-term capital gains tax on immovable property levied after 2 years instead of 3 years


* India’s NSE share index rises 1.84 percent by 3.10 p.m IST

* Bonds fall, sending the benchmark 10-year bond yields up 1 basis point at 6.42 percent

* USD/INR eases after budget announcements, trading in a 67.53-67.69 range

* Indian oil stocks rise after government plan to form an integrated oil major


* “This budget is yet again devoted to the well-being of the villages, farmers and the poor.”


* “India stands out as a bright spot in the world economic landscape.”

* “My approach in preparing the budget is to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence.”

* “Signs of retreat from globalisation have potential to affect exports from many emerging economies, including India.”

* “One of the thrust areas of my tax proposals is to stimulate growth, give relief to the middle class, (promote) affordable housing, curb black money, bring transparency in political funding and simplify tax administration.”

($1 = 67.5900 Indian rupees)

Compiled by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Douglas Busvine