Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018-19 in Parliament on Thursday. This budget, Mr Jaitley’s fifth, is the last full budget of this NDA government before India goes to polls for the General Elections due to take place in 2019. This is the first budget after big-ticket economic reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), dynamic fuel pricing, mega PSU bank recapitalisation and more.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech allocated a substantial sum for the industry comprising yarn spinners, fabric and garment manufacturers and exporters. The Union Budget 2018 also includes the Railway Budget, the latter was presented separately till it was decided to present a joint annual budget in 2017.
This budget session kicked off on January 29 when Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian tabled the Economic Survey 2017-18 in the Lok Sabha. The survey predicted India’s economy to revive after the slowdown of 2017 and pegged India’s GDP growth rate forecast at 7-7.5 per cent. From 2014-15 to 2017-18, the average GDP growth rate was 7.3 per cent. The survey also found that the tax net widened in the 2017 fiscal with a huge increase in individual taxpayers, rollout of GST and demonetisation.
This year’s budget was a kind of give and take; but it was more take than give, especially for the common man. On one hand, Mr Jaitley reintroduced standard deduction, gave senior citizens a few reasons to cheer and increased take-home pay of women in the workforce. While on the other hand, he took away the medical and travel allowances of the salaried class, introduced long-term capital gains tax on equity and even hiked the cess you pay on income tax.
Textiles exports from India, though, are likely to get a boost with the increase in the special package for the financial year 2018-19.
The Finance Minister, in the Union Budget 2018-19 raised special package by 19 per cent to Rs 71.48 billion for the apparel sector, to boost exports. In 2016, the government had announced a special package of ₹60 crores for the same purpose.
From earlier rates of 7.5 per cent duty drawback and 3.5 per cent ROSL on cotton apparel and 9.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent on man-made apparel, the apparel-exporting industry has seen these falling to 2 per cent duty drawback and 1.5 per cent ROSL on cotton apparel, and 2.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent on man-made apparel since the rollout of GST.