Aiming at the general election next year, the Modi government on Thursday focused on agriculture, health, rural India and poor people, as the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced major allocations for these sectors in the Annual Budget for Financial Year 2018-19.
But he did not give any relief on the personal income tax while presenting the annual budget for the Financial Year 2018-19 in the Lok Sabha.
The Finance Minister in his almost two-hour-long budget speech announced relief to corporates as he proposed to extend the lowered 25 per cent corporate tax to the companies having annual turnover of Rs 250 crore which was Rs 50 crore till date.
He announced the world's largest government-funded health programme 'National Health Protection Scheme' which will cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families by providing up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year.
Jaitley said, 'The Government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage.' Members welcomed the health flagship programme of the Centre by thumping of desks.
'We will provide them with up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year in secondary and tertiary care institutions,' he said, adding this will cover 50 crore beneficiaries.
These schemes will generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women as the government was progressing towards universal health coverage, Jaitley said.
'Tuberculosis claims more lives every year than any other disease. The government will provide Rs 600 crore for nutritional support to all TB patients which works out to Rs 500 for each patient per month during the course of treatment ,' the Finance Minister said.
He also announced that one government medical college will be ensured for every three parliamentary constituencies by upgrading 24 district-level colleges.
Jaitley said, 'The Jivan Bima Yojana has benefited 5.22 crore families. A total of 187 projects have been sanctioned under Namami Gange. All 4,465 Ganga gram villages have been declared open-defecation free.'
The government has identified 115 aspirational districts and will invest in social services, the Finance Minister added.