Transform, Energise & Clean Budget: Tax relief for middle class, MSMES; boost for farmers


With the overarching mantra of Transform, Energise and Clean India, Finance Minister ArunJaitley presented the Union Budget 2017 in parliament on February 1. “Our agenda for next year is to transform, energise and clean India,” said Mr Jaitley.

The budget maps the path for India’s economic recovery post-demonetisation and underscores that India will continue to remain the fastest growing major economy amid the gloomy global growth outlook. The budget promises to put more money into the pockets of the country’s poor and middle class by reducing tax rates for individuals with income between Rs 250,000-500,000 and cuts down tax rate for Medium and Small Enterprises by 5 per cent. In a first major step to cleanse the nexus of politics with black money, the budget also unveiled a potentially revolutionary step by putting a cap on cash donations to political parties to Rs 2,000.


Highlights of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech

  • Our agenda for next year is to transform, energise and clean India
  • More steps will be taken to benefit farmers and the weaker sections; budget being presented during weak global economy
  • Pace of remonetisation has picked up; demonetisation effects will not spill over to next year
  • Functional autonomy of the railways to be maintained
  • Demonetisation will help in transfer of resources from tax evaders to government
  • Merger of Railways Budget with General Budget brings focus on a multi-modal approach for development of railways, highways and inland water transport
  • Only transient impact on economy due to demonetisation; long term benefit include higher GDP growth and tax revenue
  • GDP will be bigger, cleaner after demonetisation
  • Effects of demonetisation not expected to spill over to the next year
  • Govt took two tectonic policy initiatives – passage of GST Bill and demonetisation
  • Demonetisation was a continuation of series of measures taken by govt in 2 yrs; it is bold and decisive measure
  • We are seen as engine of global growth; IMF sees India to grow fastest among major economies
  • 36 pc increase in FDI flow; forex reserves at USD 361 billion in January enough to cover 12 months needs
  • CAD declined from 1 pc last year to 0.3 pc in first half of current fiscal: FM
  • Uncertainty around commodity prices, especially oil to have impact on emerging economies
  • Double digit inflation has been controlled; sluggish growth replaced by high growth; war on blackmoney launched
  • We have moved from discretionary based administration to policy based administration: FM Jaitley
  • Agricultural sector is expected to grow at 4.1 per cent this fiscal, says Jaitley
  • Demonetisation was a bold and decisive strike in a series of measures to arrive at a new norm of bigger, cleaner and real GDP
  • Committed to double farm income in 5 yrs
  • Plan, non-plan classification of expenditure done away with in the Budget for 2017-18 to give a holistic picture
  • Mini labs by qualified local entrepreneurs to be set up for soil testing in all 648 krishivigyankendras in the country
  • Budget presentation advanced to help begin implementation of schemes before onset of monsoon
  • We will continue the process of economic reform for the benefit of poor
  • Spend more in rural areas, infra, poverty alleviation, while maintaining fiscal prudence as guiding principle of Budget
  • World Bank expects GDP growth rate at 7.6 pc in FY18 and 7.8 pc in FY19
  • Allocation under MNREGA increased to 48,000 crore from Rs 38,500 crore. This is highest ever allocation
  • Rs 9,000 cr higher allocation for payment of sugarcane arrears
  • Target of agriculture credit fixed at Rs 10 lakh cr in 2017-18
  • Tax administration honouring the honest is one of the 10 pillars of Budget 2017-18
  • National Testing agency to conduct all examinations in higher education, freeing CBSE and other agencies
  • 133-km road per day constructred under Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojana as against 73-km in 2011-14
  • Govt to set up dairy processing fund of Rs 8,000 crore over three years with initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore
  • 1 cr households to be brought out of poverty under Antodya Scheme
  • Participation of women in MNREGA increased to 55 pc from 45 pc in past
  • Modern law on contract farming will be drafted and circulated to states
  • Dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be created with a corpus of Rs 5000 crore
  • Market reforms will be undertaken, states will be asked to denotify perishables from Essential Commodities Act
  • Space technology to be used for monitoring MNREGA implementation

Author Profile

India Writes Network
India Writes Network
India Writes Network ( is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. Centre for Global India Insights is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs.