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BUDGET 2018: Jaitley Focus on Education, Health and Agriculture

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 at Parliament on Feb. 1, 2018. (Photo: Video Grab/IANS)

In the government’s last full Budget speech Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India is poised to become $5 trillion economy soon. His speech focused more on the education, healthcare and agriculture….reports Asian Lite News

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 at Parliament on Feb. 1, 2018. (Photo: Video Grab/IANS)

In his last full Budget speech Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said India is poised to become $5 trillion economy soon from $2.5 trillion now. His speech focused more on the education, healthcare and agriculture.

“We are now a $ 2.5 trillion economy, and we are firmly on path to achieve 8 per cent plus growth soon,” Jaitley said while delivering his Union Budget 2018-19 speech here.

“We hope to grow at 7.2 per cent to 7.5 per cent in the second half of 2017-18,” he added.

“Rural infra, livelihood expenditure to be Rs 14.34 lakh cr in 2018-“9,” he added.

“From ease of doing business, our govt has moved to ease of living for the poor and middle class,” he said.

Industrialists Sunil Kant Munjal, Rakesh Bharti Mittal with others at CII headquarter watching Union Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on Feb. 1, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Jaitley said the government will set up a Rs 2,000 crore Agri-Market Development Fund.

Planning to boost micro, small and medium entreprises (MSME), the government plans to augment lending capacity under it to Rs 3 lakh crore in 2018-19.

He said two new planning and architecture schools to be set up in IITs. The government would use technology to improve education”from “blackboard to digital”‘oard”‘. It has allocated Rs 1.38 lakh crore in FY19 for government health and education programmes.

Jaitley announced efforts to enhance research in disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics.

“Niti Aayog will establish a national programme to direct research efforts in new-age technologies. The Department of Science will also launch a Mission for Cyberspace,” Jaitley announced in his Budget speech in Parliament.

Key Indian equity indices fell from their highs to trade in the red during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018-19 in Parliament.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during presentation of the Union Budget 2018-19 at Parliament on Feb. 1, 2018. (Photo: Video Grab/IANS)

Heavy selling pressure was observed in consumer durables, metals and healthcare stocks.

At 12.16 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 17.60 points or 0.16 per cent to trade at 11,010.10 points.

On the BSE, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) fell below the 36,000-mark to trade at 35,880.47 points — down 84.55 points or 0.24 per cent from its previous close.

However, the BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,364 advances and 1,161 declines.

On Wednesday, the benchmark indices closed in the negative territory on the back of negative global cues and heavy selling pressure in healthcare, consumer durables and capital goods stocks.

The Nifty50 fell by 21.95 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 11,027.70 points, while the Sensex closed lower by 68.71 points or 0.19 per cent at 35,965.02 points.