Record Rs. 48,000 Crore For MGNREGA In 2017-18

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is presenting his fourth Budget, the first after the notes ban. He began his Budget speech after obituaries were read out in Parliament for Lok Sabha member and former union minister E Ahamed, who died last night.

Here are the live updates:

11:56 a.m.: Railways to focus on passenger safety, cleanliness, developmental works, says Arun Jaitley

11:54 a.m: Rs. 1.31 lakh crore for Railways for developmental work, which includes Rs. 55,000 crore from Budget, says Arun Jaitley

11:53 a.m.: 500 stations will be made differently-able friendly, says Arun Jaitley

11:52 a.m.: For passenger safety, Arun Jaitley announces safety fund of Rs. 1 lakh crore

11:50 a.m.: Feel privileged to present first Budget of independent India that contains railways also, says Arun Jaitley

11:49 a.m.: Affordable housing projects to be given infra status, says says Arun Jaitley

11:48 a.m.: Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat, says Arun Jaitley

11:47 a.m.: Decided steps to create additional 5,000 postgraduate seats per annum for medical education

11:42 a.m.: National Housing Bank will refinance loans worth Rs. 20,000 crore

11:39 a.m.: Hope to provide safe drinking water to 28,000 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations, says Arun Jaitley

11:38 a.m.: Swachh Bharat mission made tremendous progress and sanitation coverage has gone up to 60 per cent now, says Arun Jaitley

11:37 a.m.: Agri-related stocks gain as Arun Jaitley announces steps in Budget 2017 to help farmers

11:34 a.m.: MGNREGA allocation increased to Rs. 48,000 crore, this is the highest ever allocation, says Arun Jaitley

11:33 a.m.: Government has made conscious effort to redirect MGNREGA, says Arun Jaitley

11:32 a.m.: We also propose to integrate farmers with processing industry, says Arun Jaitley

11:32 a.m.: Over 3 lakh crore spent in rural areas every year, says Arun Jaitley

11:31 a.m.: Long term irrigation fund has been set up under NABARD, corpus now stands at Rs. 40,000 crore

11:30 a.m.: Striving to ensure farmers to get better price for their produce

11:28 a.m.: Early budget will help departments start schemes right from the start of the fiscal year, says Arun Jaitley

11:27 a.m.: Agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1 per cent, says Arun Jaitley

11.26 am: Markets move higher, Sensex rises 91 points to 27,747 and the Nifty trades 25 points higher at 8,586 led by gains in state-owned banks. Bank of Baroda was up 3 per cent followed by SBI, which was up 2.6 per cent.

11:24 a.m.: Merger of rail budget a historic step, the autonomy of Railways will be maintained, says Arun Jaitley

11:23 a.m.: The Budget 2017-18 contains 3 reforms. 1) Presentation has been advanced which would allow new schemes right from financial year, 2) Merger of the railway budget with general budget is a historic step and brings railways to centre stage of government policy and 3) We have done away with planned and non-planned classification of expenditure, says Arun Jaitley.

11:22 a.m.: My approach to this Budget – spend more but keep fiscal position in mind, says Arun Jaitley

11:21 a.m.: The impact of demonetisation on economy is not likely to spill over into the next fiscal, says Arun Jaitley

11:19 a.m.: Pace of remonetisation has picked up, says Arun Jaitley

11:19 a.m.: India has become the sixth biggest manufacturing nation, from the ninth position, says Arun Jaitley

11:19 a.m.: For many tax evasion had become a way of life, says Arun Jaitley

11:17 a.m.: Emerging market economies face 3 challenges: Fed rate hike, uncertainty of oil price, protectionism, says Jaitley

11:13 a.m.: Growth has been restored and measures taken against black money, says Arun Jaitley

11:12 a.m.: Inflation which was in double digits has been controlled, says Arun Jaitley

11:10 a.m.: Spring is a season of optimism, I want to extend my warm greetings, says Arun Jaitley as be begins Budget speech

11:09 a.m.: Finance Minister begins Budget speech

11:05 a..m.: I would’ve adjourned proceedings but proceedings have been called by President for presentation of Budget. So presentation will go on. But will be adjourned tomorrow, says Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan

11:02 a.m.: Parliament house condoles death of member of parliament E Ahamed

11:01 a.m.: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to present Union Budget 2017 shortly

10:58 a.m.: Government should not overreact to demonetisation and sacrifice macro-economy stablity, says Sajjid Chinoy of JP Morgan

10:54 a.m.: Goldman Sachs expects Arun Jaitley to announce measures to boost demand in the economy

10:49 a.m.: Stock markets continue to trade on a cautious note. IT stocks fall for second day after a legislation was introduced in the US House of Representatives which calls for doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000.

10:48 .am.:
Analysts expect increase in service tax to 16 per cent from 15 per cent currently

10:46 a.m.: Government should boost public investment, says Sajjid Chinoy, chief India economist at JP Morgan

10:45 a.m.: Expect a popular not a populist Budget, says Nomura

10:43 a.m.: Analysts expect corporate tax rate to be cut to 28.5-29 per cent from 30 per cent.

10:38 a.m.: Expect government to unveil new medium-term fiscal path in Union Budget 2017, says JP Morgan.

10:37 a.m.: Kotak Securities expect Arun Jaitley to focus on simple and stable taxation.

10:31 a.m.: PSU banking shares were witnessing buying interest on hopes of capital infusion which could be announced in the Budget speech by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The sub-index of PSU Banking shares on the National Stock Exchange rose 2 per cent; Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, Federal Bank and Canara Bank were among the top losers.

10:25 a.m.: Stock markets trade with caution ahead of Union Budget 2017. Sensex slips 16 points to 27,640 and Nifty declines 9 points to 8,552.

10:19 a.m.: The Finance Minister has reached parliament house to present his first Budget after notes ban.