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Speech of Arun Jaitley Minister of Finance

Wednesday - February 1, 2017 6:17 pm , Category : BUDGET 2017

Madam Speaker, 

On this auspicious day of Vasant Panchami, I rise to present the Budget for 2017-18. Spring is a season of optimism.  I extend my warm greetings to everyone on this occasion.

2. Madam Speaker, our Government was elected amidst huge expectations of the people. The underlying theme of countless expectations was good governance.  The expectations included burning issues like inflation and price rise, corruption in day to day transactions and crony capitalism. There was also expectation for a major change in the way the country’s natural resources were allocated, processed and deployed.

3.In the last two and half years, it has been our mission to bring a Transformative Shift in the way our country is governed.  We have moved 

• from a discretionary administration to a policy and system based administration;  
• from favouritism  to transparency and objectivity in decision making; 
• from blanket and loose entitlements to targeted delivery; and 
• from informal economy to formal economy.
Inflation, which was in double digits, has been controlled; sluggish growth has been replaced by high growth; and a massive war against black money has been launched.  We have worked tirelessly on all these fronts and feel encouraged by the unstinted support of the people to our initiatives.  The Government is now seen as a trusted custodian of public money.  I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the people of India for their strong support.

4. We shall continue to undertake many more measures to ensure that the fruits of growth reach the farmers, the workers, the poor, the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, women and other vulnerable sections of our society.   Our focus will be on energising our youth to reap the benefits of growth and employment.

5. Madam Speaker, I am presenting this Budget when the world economy faces considerable uncertainty, in the aftermath of major economic and political developments during the last one year.  Nevertheless, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that world GDP will grow by 3.1% in 2016 and 3.4% in 2017.   The advanced economies are expected to increase their growth from 1.6% to 1.9% and the emerging economies from 4.1% to 4.5%.   As per current indications, macro-economic policy is expected to be more expansionary in certain large economies. Growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to recover in 2017, after relatively poor performance in 2016. These are positive signs and point to an optimistic outlook for the next year.
 

6. There are, however, three major challenges for emerging economies.  First, the current monetary policy stance of the US Federal Reserve, to increase the policy rates more than once in 2017, may lead to lower capital inflows and higher outflows from the emerging economies.  Second, the uncertainty around commodity prices, especially that of crude oil, has implications for the fiscal situation of emerging economies.  It is however expected that increase, if any, in oil prices would get tempered by quick response from producers of shale gas and oil.  This would have a sobering impact on prices of crude and petroleum.  Third, in several parts of the world, there are signs of increasing retreat from globalisation of goods, services and people, as pressures for protectionism are building up.  These developments have the potential to affect exports from a number of emerging markets, including India.  
 

7. Amidst all these developments, India stands out as a bright spot in the world economic landscape.  India’s macro-economic stability continues to be the foundation of economic success.  CPI inflation declined from 6% in July 2016 to 3.4% in December, 2016 and is expected to remain within RBI’s mandated range of 2% to 6%.  Favourable price developments reflect prudent macro-economic management, resulting in higher agricultural production, especially in pulses.  India’s Current Account Deficit declined from about 1% of GDP last year to 0.3% of GDP in the first half of 2016-17.  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased from ` 1,07,000 crores in the first half of last year to ` 1,45,000 crores in the first half of 2016-17.  This marks an increase by 36%, despite 5% reduction in global FDI inflows.  Foreign exchange reserves have reached 361 billion US Dollars as on 20th January, 2017, which represents a comfortable cover for about 12 months of imports. 

8. The Government has also continued on the steady path of fiscal consolidation, without compromising on the public investment requirements of the economy. Externally, the economy successfully weathered a number of shocks, the redemption of FCNR deposits, volatility from the US elections and the Fed rate hike.   According to IMF forecast, India is expected to be one of the fastest growing major economies in 2017. 
 

9. A number of global reports and assessments, over the last two years, have shown that India has considerably improved its policies, practices and economic profile.  These are reflected in Doing Business Report of the World Bank; World Investment Report 2016 of UNCTAD; Global Competitiveness Report of 2015-16 and 2016-17 of the World Economic Forum; and several other Reports.  India has become the sixth largest manufacturing country in the world, up from ninth previously.  We are seen as an engine of global growth.
 

10. In the last one year, our country has witnessed historic and impactful economic reforms and policy making.  In fact, India was one of the very few economies undertaking transformational reforms. There were two tectonic policy initiatives, namely, passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for GST and the progress for its implementation ; and demonetisation of high denomination bank notes.  The advantages of GST for our economy in terms of spurring growth, competitiveness, indirect tax simplification and greater transparency have already been extensively discussed in both Houses of Parliament.  I thank all Members of both the Houses for having passed the Constitution Amendment unanimously.   I also thank the State Governments for resolving all relevant issues in the GST Council.   
 

11. Demonetisation of high denomination bank notes was in continuation of a series of measures taken by our Government during the last two years.  It is a bold and decisive measure.  For several decades, tax evasion for many has become a way of life.  This compromises the larger public interest and creates unjust enrichment in favour of the tax evader, to the detriment of the poor and deprived.   This has bred a parallel economy which is unacceptable for an inclusive society.  Demonetisation seeks to create a new ‘normal’ wherein the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real. This exercise is part of our Government’s resolve to eliminate corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terror funding.   Like all reforms, this measure is obviously disruptive, as it seeks to change the retrograde status quo.  Drop in economic activity, if any, on account of the currency squeeze during the remonetisation period is expected to have only a transient impact on the economy.  I am reminded here of what the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, had said: “A right cause never fails”. 

12. Demonetisation has strong potential to generate long-term benefits in terms of reduced corruption, greater digitisation of the economy, increased flow of financial savings and greater formalisation of the economy, all of which would eventually lead to higher GDP growth and tax revenues. Demonetisation helps to transfer resources from the tax evaders to the Government, which can use these resources for the welfare of the poor and the deprived.  There is early evidence of an increased capacity of Banks to lend at reduced interest rates and a huge shift towards digitisation among all sections of society. We firmly believe that demonetisation and GST which were built on the third transformational achievement of our Government, namely, the JAM vision, will have an epoch making impact on our economy and the lives of our people.  
 

13. Madam Speaker, we are at an important turning point in the path of our growth and development.  
 
 
14. The pace of remonetisation has picked up and will soon reach comfortable levels.  The effects of demonetisation are not expected to spill over into the next year.  Thus IMF, even while revising India’s GDP forecast for 2016 downwards, has projected a GDP growth of 7.2% and 7.7% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The World Bank, however, is more optimistic and has projected a GDP growth of 7% in 2016-17, 7.6% in 2017-18 and 7.8% in 2018-19. This pick up in our economy is premised upon our policy and determination to continue with economic reforms; increase in public investment in infrastructure and development projects; and export growth in the context of the expected rebound in world economy.  The surplus liquidity in the banking system, created by demonetisation, will lower borrowing costs and increase the access to credit.  This will boost economic activity, with multiplier effects. 
 

15. The announcements made by Honourable Prime Minister on 31stDecember, 2016 address many of the key concerns of our economy at this juncture, such as, housing for the poor; relief to farmers; credit support to MSMEs; encouragement to digital transactions; assistance to pregnant women and senior citizens; and priority to dalits, tribals, backward classes and women under the Mudra Yojana.  
 

16. My overall approach, while preparing this Budget, has been to spend more in rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation and yet maintain the best standards of fiscal prudence.  I have also kept in mind the need to continue with economic reforms, promote higher investments and accelerate growth.  

17. The last one year was a witness to other major reforms, namely, enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code; amendment to the RBI Act for inflation targeting; enactment of the Aadhar bill for disbursement of financial subsidies and benefits; significant reforms in FDI policy; the job creating package for textile sector; and several other measures.  We will continue the process of economic reforms for the benefit of the poor and the underprivileged.  

18. Madam Speaker, the Budget for 2017-18 contains three major reforms.  First, the presentation of the Budget has been advanced to 1stFebruary to enable the Parliament to avoid a Vote on Account and pass a single Appropriation Bill for 2017-18, before the close of the current financial year.  This would enable the Ministries and Departments to operationalise all schemes and projects, including the new schemes, right from the commencement of the next financial year.  They would be able to fully utilise the available working season before the onset of the monsoon.  Second, the merger of the Railways Budget with the General Budget is a historic step.  We have discontinued the colonial practice prevalent since 1924. This decision brings the Railways to the centre stage of Government’s fiscal policy and would facilitate multi modal transport planning between railways, highways and inland waterways. The functional autonomy of Railways will, however, continue. Third, we have done away with the plan and non-plan classification of expenditure.  This will give us a holistic view of allocations for sectors and ministries. This would facilitate optimal allocation of resources. 
 

19. Madam Speaker, we are aware that we need to do more for our people. Continuing with the task of fulfilling the people’s expectations, our agenda for the next year is : “Transform, Energise and Clean India”, that is, TEC India.  This agenda of TEC India seeks to 
 

• Transform the quality of governance and quality of life  of our people; 
• Energise various sections of society, especially the youth and the vulnerable, and enable them to unleash their true potential; and
• Clean the country from the evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent political funding.  
I propose to present my Budget proposals under ten distinct themes to foster this broad agenda.  The themes are :  

(i) Farmers : for whom we have committed to double the income in 5 years;
(ii) Rural Population : providing employment and basic infrastructure; 
(iii) Youth : energising them through education, skills and jobs;
(iiii) Poor and the Underprivileged : strengthening the systems of social security, health care and affordable housing; 
(v) Infrastructure:  for efficiency, productivity and quality of life;
(vi) Financial Sector : growth and stability through stronger institutions; 
(vii) Digital Economy :  for speed, accountability and transparency;
(viii) Public Service : effective governance and efficient service delivery through people’s participation;
(ix) Prudent Fiscal Management : to ensure optimal deployment of resources and preserve fiscal stability; and
(x) Tax Administration : honouring the honest. 
 

I. FARMERS

20. The Indian farmer has once again shown his commitment and resilience in the current year.  The total area sown under kharif and rabi seasons are higher than the previous year. With a better monsoon, agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1% in the current year.  
 

21. In last year’s Budget speech, I focused on ‘income security’ of farmers to double their income in 5 years.  I had also announced a number of measures. We have to take more steps and enable the farmers to increase their production and productivity; and to deal with post-harvest challenges. 
 

22. For a good crop, adequate credit should be available to farmers in time.  The target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of ` 10 lakh crores.  We will take special efforts to ensure adequate flow of credit to the under serviced areas, the Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir.  The farmers will also benefit from 60 days’ interest waiver announced by Honourable Prime Minister in respect of their loans from the cooperative credit structure.
 
23. About 40% of the small and marginal farmers avail credit from the cooperative structure.  The Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) act as the front end for loan disbursements. We will support NABARD for computerisation and integration of all 63,000 functional PACS with the Core Banking System of District Central Cooperative Banks.  This will be done in 3 years at an estimated cost of ` 1,900 crores, with financial participation from State Governments. This will ensure seamless flow of credit to small and marginal farmers.  
 

24. At the time of sowing, farmers should feel secure against natural calamities.  The Fasal Bima Yojana launched by our Government is a major step in this direction.  The coverage of this scheme will be increased from 30% of cropped area in 2016-17 to 40% in 2017-18 and 50% in 2018-19.  The Budget provision of ` 5,500 crores for this Yojana in BE 2016-17 was increased to ` 13,240 crores in RE 2016-17 to settle the arrear claims.  For 2017-18, I have provided a sum of ` 9,000 crores. The sum insured under this Yojana has more than doubled from ` 69,000 crores in Kharif 2015 to
` 1,41,625 crores in Kharif 2016.

25. Issuance of Soil Health Cards has gathered momentum.  The real benefit to farmers would be available only when the soil samples are tested quickly and nutrient level of the soil is known.  Government will therefore set up new mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and ensure 100% coverage of all 648 KVKs in the country.  In addition, 1000 mini labs will be set up by qualified local entrepreneurs.  Government will provide credit linked subsidy to these entrepreneurs. 
 

26. A Long Term Irrigation Fund has already been set up in NABARD.  Honourable Prime Minister has announced an addition of ` 20,000 crores to its corpus.  This will take the total corpus of this Fund to ` 40,000 crores.
 
27. A dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund will be set up in NABARD to achieve the goal, ‘per drop more crop’. The Fund will have an initial corpus of `5,000 crores.


28. For the post-harvest phase, we will take steps to enable farmers to get better prices for their produce in the markets.  The coverage of National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) will be expanded from the current 250 markets to 585 APMCs.  Assistance up to a ceiling of ` 75 lakhs will be provided to every e-NAM market for establishment of cleaning, grading and packaging facilities.  This will lead to value addition of farmers’ produce.
 
29. Market reforms will be undertaken and the States would be urged to denotify perishables from APMC.  This will give opportunity to farmers to sell their produce and get better prices.

30. We also propose to integrate farmers who grow fruits and vegetables with agro processing units for better price realisation and reduction of post-harvest losses.  A model law on contract farming would therefore be prepared and circulated among the States for adoption.  
 
31. Dairy is an important source of additional income for the farmers.  Availability of milk processing facility and other infrastructure will benefit the farmers through value addition.  A large number of milk processing units set up under the Operation Flood Programme has since become old and obsolete. A Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund would be set up in NABARD with a corpus of ` 8,000 crores over 3 years.  Initially, the Fund will start with a corpus of ` 2,000 crores.  
 
II. RURAL POPULATION 
 

32. I now turn to the Rural Sector, which was so dear to the heart of Mahatma Gandhi. 

33. Over ` 3 lakh crores are spent in rural areas every year, if we add up all the programmes meant for rural poor from the Central Budget, State Budgets, Bank linkage for self-help groups, etc. With a clear focus on improving accountability, outcomes and convergence, we will undertake a Mission Antyodaya to bring one crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 gram panchayats poverty free by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji.  We will utilise the existing resources more effectively along with annual increases.  This mission will work with a focused micro plan for sustainable livelihood for every deprived household.  A composite index for poverty free gram panchayats would be developed to monitor the progress from the baseline. 
 

34. Our Government has made a conscious effort to reorient MGNREGA to support our resolve to double farmers’ income. While providing at least 100 days employment to every rural household,  MGNREGA should create productive assets to improve farm productivity and incomes.  The target of 5 lakh farm ponds and 10 lakh compost pits announced in the last Budget from MGNREGA funds will be fully achieved.  In fact, against 5 lakh farm ponds, it is expected that about 10 lakh farm ponds would be completed by March 2017.  During 2017-18, another 5 lakh farm ponds will be taken up.  This single measure will contribute greatly to drought proofing of gram panchayats. 

35. Participation of women in MGNREGA has increased to 55% from less than 48% in the past.

36. Honourable Members would be happy to note that the budget provision of `38,500 crores under MGNREGA in 2016-17 has been increased to `48,000 crores in 2017-18. This is the highest ever allocation for MGNREGA.  The initiative to geo-tag all MGNREGA assets and putting them in public domain has established greater transparency.  We are also using space technology in a big way to plan MGNREGA works.  
 

37. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is now being implemented as never before.  The pace of construction of PMGSY roads has accelerated to reach 133 km roads per day in 2016-17, as against an average of 73 km during the period 2011-2014. We have also taken up the task of connecting habitations with more than 100 persons in left wing extremism affected Blocks.  We have committed to complete the current target under PMGSY by 2019.  I have provided a sum of ` 19,000 crores in 2017-18 for this scheme.  Together with the contribution of States, an amount of ` 27,000 crores will be spent on PMGSY in 2017-18.
 

38. We propose to complete 1 crore houses by 2019 for the 
houseless and those living in kutcha houses.  I have stepped up the allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin from ` 15,000 crores in BE 2016-17 to ` 23,000 crores in 2017-18.  
 

39. We are well on our way to achieving 100% village electrification by 1stMay 2018.  An increased allocation of ` 4,814 crores has been proposed under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana in 2017-18. 
 

40. I have also proposed to increase the allocations for Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission for promotion of skill development and livelihood opportunities for people in rural areas  to `4,500in 2017-18.  The allocation for Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and credit support schemes has been increased more than 3 times.
 

41. Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) has made tremendous progress in promoting safe sanitation and ending open defecation.  Sanitation coverage in rural India has gone up from 42% in October 2014 to about 60%.  Open Defecation Free villages are now being given priority for piped water supply.  

42. We propose to provide safe drinking water to over 28,000 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations in the next four years.  This will be a sub mission of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).   

43. For imparting new skills to the people in the rural areas, mason training will be provided to 5 lakh persons by 2022, with an immediate target of training at least 20,000 persons by 2017-18. 

44. Panchayati raj institutions still lack human resources for implementing development programmes.  A programme of “human resource reforms for results” will be launched during 2017-18 for this purpose. 

45. The Government will continue to work closely with the farmers and the people in the rural areas to improve their life and environment.  This is a non-negotiable agenda for our Government.  The total allocation for the rural, agriculture and allied sectors in 2017-18 is ` 1,87,223 crores, which is 24% higher than the previous year.
III.​YOUTH

46. Let me now focus on my proposals for the youth.

47. Quality education will energise our youth. In the words of Swami Vivekananda, “The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life ………… is it worth the name?”

48. We have proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in our schools.  Emphasis will be given on science education and flexibility in curriculum to promote creativity through local innovative content.  

49. An Innovation Fund for Secondary Education will be created to encourage local innovation for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement. This will include ICT enabled learning transformation.  The focus will be on 3479 educationally backward blocks.

50. In higher education, we will undertake reforms in the UGC.  Good quality institutions would be enabled to have greater administrative and academic autonomy.  Colleges will be identified based on accreditation and ranking, and given autonomous status. A revised framework will be put in place for outcome based accreditation and credit based programmes.
 
51. We propose to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM platform with at least 350 online courses.  This would enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources; participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades.  Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.  
 
52. We propose to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.   This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.  
 
53. We have a huge demographic advantage.  Skill India mission was launched in July 2015 to maximise the potential of our youth.  
 
54. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) have already been promoted in more than 60 districts.  We now propose to extend these Kendras to more than 600 districts across the country.  100 India International Skills Centres will be established across the country.   These Centres would offer advanced training and also courses in foreign languages.  This will help those of our youth who seek job opportunities outside the country.
 
55. In 2017-18, we also propose to launch the Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion programme (SANKALP) at a cost of ` 4,000 crores.  SANKALP will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth.
 
56. The next phase of Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) will also be launched in 2017-18 at a cost of `2,200 crores.  STRIVE will focus on improving the quality and market relevance of vocational training provided in ITIs and strengthen the apprenticeship programmes through industry cluster approach.
 
57. A special scheme for creating employment in the textile sector has already been launched.  A similar scheme will be implemented for the leather and footwear industries.
 
58. Tourism is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy. Five Special Tourism Zones, anchored on SPVs, will be set up in partnership with the States. Incredible India 2.0 Campaign will be launched across the world.
 
IV. ​THE POOR AND THE UNDERPRIVILEGED

59. Madam Speaker, I now turn to my proposals for the poor and the underprivileged. 

60. Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas begins with the girl child and women.  Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set up at village level with an allocation of

` 500 crores in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres.  This will provide one stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health and nutrition.  A nationwide scheme for financial assistance to pregnant women has already been announced by  Honourable Prime Minister on 31stDecember, 2016.  Under this scheme, ` 6,000 each will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children.
 
61. For the welfare of Women and Children under various schemes across all Ministries, I have stepped up the allocation from ` 1,56,528 crores in BE 2016-17 to ` 1,84,632 crores in 2017-18.
 
62.  We propose to facilitate higher investment in affordable housing. Affordable housing will now be given infrastructure status, which will enable these projects to avail the associated benefits. 
 
63. The National Housing Bank will refinance individual housing loans of about ` 20,000 crore in 2017-18.  Thanks to the surplus liquidity created by demonetisation, the Banks have already started reducing their lending rates, including those for housing.  In addition, interest subvention for housing loans has also been announced by the Honourable Prime Minister.

64. Poverty is usually associated with poor health.  It is the poor who suffer the maximum from various chronic diseases.  Government has therefore prepared an action plan to eliminate Kala-Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018 and Measles by 2020.  Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 is also targeted.  Similarly,   action plan has been prepared to reduce IMR from 39 in 2014 to 28 by 2019 and MMR from 167 in 2011-13 to   100 by 2018-2020.  1.5 lakh Health Sub Centres will be transformed into Health and Wellness Centres.

65. We need to ensure adequate availability of specialist doctors to strengthen Secondary and Tertiary levels of health care.  We have therefore decided to take steps to create additional 5,000 Post Graduate seats per annum.   In addition, steps will be taken to roll out DNB courses in big District Hospitals; strengthen PG teaching in select ESI and Municipal Corporation Hospitals; and encourage reputed Private Hospitals to start DNB courses. We will work with the State Governments to take these tasks forward.  The Government is committed to take necessary steps for structural transformation of the Regulatory framework of Medical Education and Practice in India.
 
66. Two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences will be set up in the States of Jharkhand and Gujarat.
 
67. We propose to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules to ensure availability of drugs at reasonable prices and promote use of generic medicines. New rules for regulating medical devices will also be formulated.  These rules will be internationally harmonised and attract investment into this sector.  This will reduce the cost of such devices. 
 
68. We are keen on fostering a conducive labour environment wherein labour rights are protected and harmonious labour relations lead to higher productivity.     Legislative reforms will be undertaken to simplify, rationalise and amalgamate the existing labour laws into 4 Codes on (i) wages; (ii) industrial relations; (iii) social security and welfare; and (iv) safety and working conditions. The Model Shops and Establishment Bill 2016 has been circulated to all States for consideration and adoption.  This would open up additional avenues for employment of women. The amendment made to the Payment of Wages Act, is another initiative of our Government for the benefit of the labour and ease of doing business.  
 
69. Our Government is giving special importance to implementation of the schemes for welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Minorities.  The allocation for the welfare of Scheduled Castes has been stepped up from `38,833 crores in BE 2016-17 to ` 52,393 crores in 2017-18, representing an increase of about 35%. The allocation for Scheduled Tribes has been increased to `31,920 crores and for Minority Affairs to `4,195 crores. The Government will introduce outcome based monitoring of expenditure in these sectors by the NITI Aayog.  
 
70. For senior citizens, Aadhar based Smart Cards containing their health details will be introduced.  A beginning will be made through a pilot in 15 districts during 2017-18.  The LIC will implement a scheme for senior citizens to provide assured pension, with a guaranteed return of 8% per annum for 10 years. 

V.​INFRASTRUCTURE

71. The fifth component of TEC India agenda is Infrastructure.  
 
72. Railways, roads and rivers are the lifeline of our country.  I feel privileged to present the first combined Budget of independent India that includes the Railways also.  We are now in a position to synergise the investments in railways, roads, waterways and civil aviation. For 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of Railways has been pegged at ` 1,31,000 crores.  This includes ` 55,000 crores provided by the Government.   
 
73. Among other things, the Railways will focus on four major areas, namely :
 
(i) Passenger safety;
(ii) Capital and development works; -WTN
 
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