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Taking stock of Budget promises

Arup Roychoudhury & Jayshree P Upadhyay 

Ahead of for 2015-16, to be announced on Saturday, Arup Roychoudhury & Jayshree P Upadhyay look at some of the key announcements made in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's maiden Budget, in July 2014, and assess their progress so far. Two of Prime Minister's pet programmes - the and 'Make in India' - are not covered here, as these were announced after the Budget, on August 15.

SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAAN
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Formal launch: Oct 2
Investment plan: Nearly Rs 2 lakh crore over five years to build 120 million toilets
Status check: A total of 3.18 million toilets built between Apr 2014 and Jan 2015
FY15 target: Building 12 million toilets; appears set to be missed
2015: Big allocation expected

INTEGRATED GANGA CONSERVATION MISSION
Story so far: In 2014, Rs 2,037 crore was set aside for cleaning the Ganga within two years
2015: More concrete announcements expected

EXPENDITURE MANAGEMENT COMMISSION

  • Plan: To overhaul the central government's spending and subsidy regime, a panel was set up in September under former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan
  • Terms of reference: Reviewing the government's major expenditure items and Budget-making, and suggesting ways to improve resource allocation
  • Status check: The commission gave its first interim report in January; final report expected before announcement of the for 2016-17
  • 2015: Some of the interim report suggestions could be incorporated

KISAN VIKAS PATRA
History: Originally launched in 1988, it was disbanded in November 2011, despite being a popular small savings scheme (gross collections of Rs 21,631.16 crore in 2009-10)
Relaunch: The scheme was relaunched in November at an interest rate of 8.7% a year; expected to remain popular
Issues: Concerns over money laundering, given the lack of clarity on 'know your customer' norms

SMART CITIES
Infra push: Seen as the govt's most ambitious infrastructure drive
The plan: Developing 100 smart cities as satellite towns of larger cities by modernising the existing mid-sized ones. A smart city is to be built at each of India's 12 major ports, at a total investment of Rs 50,000 crore.
Allocation: Jaitley had provided Rs 7,060 crore for the programme in his July 2014 Budget
2015: The allocation is expected to see a huge jump

3P INDIA
Infra think-tank: Meant to provide support to major projects
  • Allocation: Rs 500 crore was allocated in the for the current financial year
  • Status check: The finance ministry was in discussions with other departments to hire private-sector experts and set up offices in one of the govt buildings but nothing as been heard since

GOODS & SERVICES TAX
Breakthrough: 2014 announced the govt's intent to find a solution to the Centre-state standoff over GST through approving the necessary plans
Status check: In December, the Cabinet approved the constitutional amendment Bill for the rollout of GST, after securing a consensus among states. Though the Centre made concessions in the form of a 1% supply-side tax and compensation for states, it gave India and industry the GST they wanted
Likely rollout: April 2016

TAX REFORMS
Committee: A panel was set up to scrutinise cases arising out of retrospective amendment to tax laws in 2012
promise: The government had in 2014 promised the investor community a stable tax regime
  • Status check: Tax authorities' fresh demand for minimum alternate tax is not an encouraging sign. The govt, which in 2014 promised to review and form an opinion on the direct taxes code, is yet to do so

First Published: Mon, February 23 2015. 00:57 IST