Budget 2014-15 Highlights:

The much-awaited budget for 2014-15 has finally been announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday. While some industry-people welcomed the budget with open heart, many criticised it to be a ‘budget for the rich’. While there were several highs in this year’s budget, there were a few lows as well. We present you few of the pointers catering to various industry segments from the budget 2014-15.

Information Technology:

• Pan India programme “Digital India” to with an outlay of Rs 500 crore to be launched.

• Programme for promoting “Good Governance” to be launched. A sum of Rs 100 crore provided.

• 5 IITs, 5 IIMs, 4 AIIMS, 12 medical colleges, 2 agriculture universities to be set up.

• Government allocates Rs 500 crore for internet connectivity in villages

• Government imposes tax on import of telecom, IT products

Aviation:

• Scheme for development of new airports in Tier I and Tier II Cities to be launched.

• Free baggage allowance increased from Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000

• e-Visas to be introduced in phased manner to encourage tourism in 9 airports

• Air India to get Rs 6500 crore allocation

• 11.4 per cent hike for Civil Aviation Ministry in budget

Oil & Natural Gas:

• Production and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane reserves will be accelerated.

• Possibility of using modern technology to revive old or closed wells to be explored.

• Usage of PNG to be rapidly scaled up in a Mission mode.

• Proposal to develop pipelines using appropriate PPP models.

• Govt to cut duty on premium petrol

• LNG exports to Pakistan to be exempt from import duty

• Branded petrol price cut by over Rs 5 per litre

• Government to de-regulate diesel prices, reduce subsidised LPG cylinders this fiscal.

Retail:

• Processed food may bite a bit less

• Startups & entrepreneurs get Rs 10,000 crore backup

• Government allows manufacturers to retail on e-commerce platforms

• -19 inch LED TVs to cost less up to 5% while 3D TVs and imported durables to go up by 3%

• Excise duty on footwear slashed

• Govt surprises by keeping gold import duty at 10%

• Prices of fizzy drinks, flavoured water, juices & energy drinks to increase by 5%

• Excise duty on cigarettes, cigars, cheroots and cigarillos increased by 11%-72%

Health and Pharma:

• Free Drug Service and Free Diagnosis Service to achieve “Health For All”.

• Two National Institutes of Ageing to be set up at AIIMS, New Delhi and Madras Medical College, Chennai.

• A national level research and referral Institute for higher dental studies to be set up.

• AIIMS like institutions in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP. A provision of Rs 500 crores made.

• 12 new government medical colleges to be set up.

• States’ Drug Regulatory and Food Regulatory Systems to be strengthened by creating new drug testing laboratories and strengthening the 31 existing State laboratories.

• 15 Model Rural Health Research Centres to be set up for research on local health issues concerning rural population.
• A national programme in Mission Mode to halt the deteriorating malnutrition situation in India to be put in place within six months.

Well presenting the budget is like laying the foundation, implementation is the tough part, which will eventually ensure if the budget stuck true to its spirit of ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas’ or not. We keep our hopes high till then.

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