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Budget 2018
Feb 02, 2018 11:55 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Budget 2018: FM Arun Jaitley addresses India Inc, talks about LTCG, MSP and healthcare programme

The finance minister touched key points during the open house session, including the LTCG tax, the healthcare scheme and the personal income tax slabs.

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Just a day after delivering the 2018-19 Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday addressed business leaders in an open house session.

Jaitley touched key points during the discussion in the session, including re-enacting the Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax, hiking of custom duty, the healthcare scheme and not making changes to the personal income tax slabs.

When asked about not making any changes in the personal income tax slabs, FM Jaitley said that 'India has a serious challenge in terms of compliance and increasing tax base.'

"No other country has 5 percent tax slab and can't get slabs lower than the current ones," he said.

Jaitley said that the proposed healthcare programme would take care of hospitalisation, secondary and tertiary care of 10 crore families.

He added that the programme could be a trust or an insurance model and will commence from April 1 this year.

The Finance Minister  said that the LTCG tax was a "tough call pending for years now", adding that the government thought it was the most appropriate moment to bring it back.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, he said that decision on LTCG tax was taken after much deliberation.

Talking about the Minimum Support Price (MSP), Jaitley acknowledged that stress in the farm sector was real.

However, he said that MSPs have to be reasonable and the agriculture ministry, state governments and NITI Aayog will have to work it out a strategy because the system would be implemented from the coming agricultural season.

He said that hiking the custom duty was important as 'there is a danger of cheaper imports coming into the country', adding that the government had to make sure that domestic manufacturing is protected.

He also reiterated that the government will continue to spend on infrastructure as it remains a priority.

India Union Budget 2018: What does Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have up his sleeve? Click here for live Budget 2018 news, views and analyses.
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