(GIST OF YOJANA) Natural Resources and Sustainability  [MARCH-2018]

(GIST OF YOJANA) Natural Resources and Sustainability


Natural Resources and Sustainability

The price and productivity incentivization in Union Budget 2018-19 has been carefully intertwined with an equal focus on modern day sustainability factors. Farmer Producer Organisations are recognised as potent vehicles to usher in initiatives to promote organic farming with a proposed scale of 1000 ha each. The allocation to Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region has been increased by 60 per cent. The North Eastern Region is largely organic by default and offers unique scope for exporting organic produce under ASEAN and Act East policy of the Government. The water positive investments under PMKSY Har Khet Ko Pani and PMKSY-Per drop More Crop has been increased by 38 and 33 percent, respectively for the year 2018-19. The ambit of the PM Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) scheme will be expanded to counter the deteriorating ground water condition by focussing energies on 96 deprived districts where less than 30 percent landholdings get assured irrigation. A special scheme with state level inter-governmental cooperation to subsidise machinery for in-situ management of crop residue has also been declared in response to the deteriorating air quality in Delhi during winters.


The Union Budget has firmly recognised the belief that developing a favourable rural ecosystem is the imperative for agriculture to sustain as an industry. Sufficient continuity can' be seen through inclusion of Command area development projects under the previously announced Long Term Irrigation Fund with initial corpus of Rs 20000 crore. Easier access to electricity, LPG connections, sanitation, housing and health announced through various initiatives through budget proposal cumulatively add to the vision of doubling farmers’ incomes. The increase in allocation to National Rural Livelihood Mission by 28 per cent compared to the previous year and launch of revamped National Bamboo Mission with an outlay of Rs. 1290 crore would play a critical role in augmenting the farm and non-farm income and employment in rural India. The distribution of funds seems to indicate a reorientation of financial resources towards pre-determined, sharp and key actionable initiatives that can yield results in a short period. It has been anchored around the ‘Farmers’ Welfare’ with due focus on inclusion, innovation, employment, and sustainability. The inventiveness of this year’s financial statement is in the careful use of limited funds for an appropriate mix of key initiatives. Grounding these initiatives at the earliest will usher in a new development full of prosperity and inclusiveness in the country.

Highlights of Budget 2018-19

  • MSP for all unannounced kharif crops will be one and half times of their production cost like majority of rabi crops: institutional Farm Credit raised to 11 lakh crore in 2018-19 from 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15.
  • 22,000 rural haats to be developed and upgraded into Gramin Agricultural Markets
  • “Operation Greens” launched to address price fluctuations in tomato, onion and potato for benefit of farmers and consumers.
  • Two new funds of Rs 10,000 crore announced for Fisheries and Animal Husbandry sectors; Re-structured National Bamboo Mission gets Rs. 1290 crore.
  • Loans to Women Self Help Groups will increase to Rs.75,000 crore in 2019 from 42,500 crore last year.
  • Higher targets for Ujjwala, Saubhagya and Swachh Mission to cater to lower and middle class in providing free LPG connections, electricity and toilets.
  • Outlay on health, education and social protection will be 1.38 lakh crore. Tribal students to get Eklavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2022. Welfare fund for SCs gets a boost.
  • World’s largest Health Protection Scheme covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families launched With a family limit upto 5 lakh rupees for secondary and tertiary treatment.
  • Fiscal Deficit pegged at 3.5 per cent, projected at 3.3 percent for 2018-19.
  • Rs. 5.97 lakh crore allocation for infrastructure; Ten prominent sites to be developed as iconic tourist destinations.
  • NITI Aayog to initiate a national programme on Artificial Intelligence (AI); Centres of excellence to be set up on robotics, A1, internet of things etc.
  • Disinvestment crossed target of Rs 72,500 crore to reach Rs 1,00,000 crore.
  • Comprehensive Gold Policy on the anvil to develop yellow metal as an asset class.
  • 100 percent deduction proposed to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies with an annual turnover upto Rs. 100 crore on profit derived from such activities, for five years from 2018-19.
  • Deduction of 30 percent on emoluments paid to new employees Under Section 80-JJAA to be relaxed to 150 days for footwear and leather industry, to create more employment.
  • Proposal to extend reduced rate of 25 percent currently available for companies with turnover of less than 50 crore (in Financial Year 2015-16), to companies reporting turnover up to Rs. 250 crore in Financial Year 2016-17, to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • Standard Deduction of Rs. 40,000 in place of present exemption for transport allowance and reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses. 2.5 crore salaried employees and pensioners to benefit.
  • Relief to Senior Citizens proposed- Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices to be increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50000; TDS not required to be deducted under section 194A. Benefit also available for interest from all fixed deposit schemes and recurring deposit scheme; Hike in deduction limit for health insurance premium and! or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 under section 800; increase in deduction limit for medical expenditure for certain critical illness from Rs. 60,000 (in case of senior citizens) and from Rs. 80,000 (in case of very senior citizens) to Rs. 1 lakh for all senior citizens, under section 80008; Proposed to extend Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March, 2020. Current investment limit proposed to be increased to Rs. 15 lakh from the existing limit of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen.
  • Tax on Long Term Capital Gains exceeding Rs. 1 lakh at the rate of 10 percent, without allowing any indexation benefit. However, all gains up to 31st January, 2018 will be grandfathered.
  • Proposal to introduce tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at the rate of 10 percent.
  • Proposal to increase cess on personal income tax and corporation tax to 4 percent from present 3 percent.
  • Proposal to roll out E-assessment across the county to almost eliminate person to person contact leading to greater efficiency and transparency in direct tax collection.

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Courtesy: Yojana