FY19 Budget to have rural, infra focus: Jaitley

FY19 Budget to have rural, infra focus: Jaitley

Infrastructure creation and rural development will be the two focus areas of the Union Budget next year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday, two months ahead of its presentation in February.

"A lot of concentration needs to be given to infrastructure and rural development and I think whatever additional resources we get, will go into that," Jaitley said addressing a media event here.

The finance minister said the government will also start a comprehensive employment survey soon to address the problem of unemployment in a better way.

He said since a bulk of job creation in India is done through the informal sector unlike in the developed countries and that is probably one of the reasons why the country historically did not have regular employment surveys.

"Sure, we will start a job survey exercise soon, because we can't continue groping in the dark when it comes to this. Unemployment creates social unrest," he said.

To a question on multiple rates of GST, Jaitley said merging tax rates under the GST will happen in coming times once the government's taxation revenues go up.

"You earlier had 17 taxes, now it's only one tax. We had an atrocious tax system pre-July one. These brackets would not have been possible if everyone were not on the same page. Let me make it clear, though, a single rate GST is not possible in India. We cannot have a tax system which has the same rate for a hawai chappal and Mercedes car," he said.

Jaitley, however, said that the highest bracket of 28% tax rate would eventually apply only for luxury goods and the rest of all items will be would be withdrawn from that rate structure.

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