Sector-based highlights of Union Budget 2017-18

The budget’s thrust has been on stimulating growth, affordable housing, curbing black money and promoting digital economy

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 01 February 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented his fourth annual budget with a focus on how to transform, energise and clean India. Credit: PIB

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017-18 in parliament today. At the onset, he announced that the government’s focus is on spending more on rural areas, poverty alleviation and yet maintain best standards of fiscal prudence. While laying bare his government’s agenda, Jaitley said that the objective of this year’s budget is to transform quality of governance and energise various sections of society.

Here’s a brief rundown on sector-based announcements:


  • Agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1 per cent and the target of agricultural credit has been fixed at Rs 1,000,000 crore
  • The MGNREGA has been reoriented to support the commitment of doubling farmers’ income. About one million farm ponds are expected to be completed by March 2017 against the targeted 500,000 farm ponds.
  • The budgetary provision of Rs 38,500 crore under MGNREGA in 2016-17 has been increased to Rs 48,000 crore in 2017-18, the highest ever allocation for MGNREGA
  • A long-term irrigation fund will be set up. The corpus of the fund is Rs 40,000 crore
  • Micro irrigation fund to get Rs 5,000 crore as initial corpus to get more loans
  • Allocation for rural agricultural and allied sector stands at record Rs 187,223 crore, up by 24 per cent

Physical infrastructure and e-infrastructure for Digital India

  • Allocation for infrastructure sector increased to a record Rs 395,125 crore
  • About 150,000 villages will be connected to high-speed broadband #internet
  • Rs 1000 crore allocated for installing optical fibre network covering 155,000 km
  • For coastal connectivity, government will build 2000-km-long road connecting ports and rural areas


  • Infant Mortality Rate to be reduced from 34 per 1000 births to 28 by 2020
  • The government has prepared action plan to eliminate Kala Azar by 2018, measles by 2020 and tuberculosis by 2025
  • All health sub-centres will be changed to "Wellness Centres"

Skill Development

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Yojana has been extended to 600 districts
  • At least 3.5 crore youth will be provided market-relevant training under Sankalp programme
  • At least 16,000 new enterprises have been created under Stand Up India scheme

Affordable housing

  • Due to surplus liquidity after demonetisation, the banks have started reducing their lending rates, including for housing loans
  • The National Housing Bank (NHB) will refinance individual housing loans of about Rs 20,000 crore in 2017-18


  • Number of doctors in the country to be increased by adding 5,000 seats in post graduation courses in the subject
  • Budget proposes reforms in UGC and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promises emphasis on science education

Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development

  • Government undertake Mission Antyodaya to bring one crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 gram panchayats poverty free by 2019
  • Rs 4,800 crore allocated for achieving 100 per cent rural electrification by 2019
  • We are committed to complete the target of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) by 2019
  • Panchayat Raj institutions still lack human resources for programme implementation 
  • The allocation for the welfare of Scheduled Castes has been increased from Rs 38,833 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 52,393 crore in 2017-18, which is an increase of about 35 per cent
  • The allocation for Scheduled Tribes has been increased to Rs 31,920 crore and for Minority Affairs to Rs 4,195 crore

Women and Children welfare

  • For the welfare of Women and Children under various schemes, the allocation has been increased from Rs 156,528 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 184,632 crore in 2017-18
  • Government will set up Mahila Shakti Kendra at village level with an allocation of Rs 500 crore in 1.4 million ICDS Anganwadi Centres


  • About 500 railway stations will be made disabled-friendly
  • All the trains will have bio-toilets by 2019
  • About 700 railway stations will soon be solar-powered
  • Railway tariff will be fixed taking into consideration competition from other forms of transport
  • Government promises to introduce a safety tax to fund Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh for passenger safety

Digital economy

  • Government has decided that no transaction above Rs 300,000 will be permitted in cash
  • Government will launch two new schemes to promote the usage of BHIM App
  • Aadhar Pay app will be used for those who do not have debit cards or e-wallets to facilitate digital payments
  • A Mission will be set-up with a target of 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards

Curbing black money and bringing transparency in political funding

  • Legislative changes and even new law might be introduced to confiscate assets of big-time financial offenders
  • Maximum amount of cash donation that a political party can receive from a single source will be Rs. 2,000.
  • Donors have to buy financial bonds from banks to ensure greater transparency in political funding


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