Union Budget 2018 Arun Jaitley's budget speech

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This should be distinguished from the Children Education Allowance, said a group of respondents who spoke to the Deloitte Personal Tax Survey 2018.

Since his election four years ago, Indian markets have welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign to mend patchy public finances and develop new areas of growth in Asia's third largest economy. We expect government to increase the exemption limits for deduction of interest from the income of the middle class and salaried homebuyer.

The Union Budget will be presented by the Finance Minister on Feb 1. With the U.S. having reduced rates from 35% to 21% recently, along with a slew of other measures to attract capital flows from overseas, India needs to respond with agility and possibly an absolute rate reduction to retain competitiveness. While Jaitley had introduced the 5% tax slab past year to make the middle-class happy, but in the absence of new jobs and rising inflation, an increase in the investment rebate (which now is Rs 1.5 lakh per annum under section 80C) will go a long way in making this segment happy.

Uncertainty shrouded Budget 2017 as MP E Ahamed, of the Indian Union Muslim League, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in Parliament the previous day. "The housing finance companies like us have a key role to play in boosting the government's efforts towards affordable and low-priced housing in metros as well as in tier-II and III cities", said Monu Ratra, ED and CEO, India Infoline Housing Finance Limited.

He may allocate funds proportionally to irrigation and crop insurance.

- A further reduction in corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent. "GST at the rate of 18 per cent on long term leased land is not healthy for the industry and this anomaly needs to be corrected", said RICS Director Sunil Aggarwal.

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- To boost infrastructure, real estate and construction bigwigs are eyeing an increase in road expenditure by 10-15 per cent.

While every sector is expecting for big announcements in the wake of 2019 polls, experts believe that the Budget 2018 will focus more on the rural economy, generating employment and many sops for the middle-class.

Though the Central Statistics Office (CSO) did not revise the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for 2016-17, the higher growth in gross value added (GVA) in 2016-17 at 7.1%-the same as the GDP figure for the year-means the government exhausted robust indirect taxes collections in paying the subsidy bill.

Motorists across metro cities are yearning for a drop in the sky-rocketing prices of petrol and diesel. "There is no doubt that the finance minister needs to perform a tough balancing act", said Ishita Sengupta, partner at PwC India.

"Also for smaller towns the condition that 80 percent of FSI must be achieved is not practical and should be reduced to about 50 percent". The last such measure came in October, when the Centre dropped the excise duty by Rs 2 per litre.

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