With less than a fortnight before the start of the budget session of Parliament, here are a few basic facts about the Union Budget, which is being seen as extremely crucial for the Narendra Modi government. The government is expected to move from its pro-infrastructure approach to focus on social welfare, especially ahead of elections in several key Indian states where Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking to make inroads. When will Budget 2016 be presented? The finance minister usually presents the general budget before the fiscal year begins, usually at the end of the month of February, and this year, Arun Jaitley will present Budget 2016 on Feb. 29.The budget session of Parliament will begin on Feb. 23, the Rail Budget will be presented on Feb. 25, and the Economic Survey on February 26. The Economic Survey indicates the direction of the budget and highlights the country’s economic performance. What does the Budget entail?The Budget is a financial statement of the government’s revenue and expenditure for one fiscal year (April to next March), which essentially means it is an account of the finances of the government for a fiscal.The Union Budget consists of two aspects â€” the Revenue Budget and the Capital Budget. The Revenue Budget entails the revenue of the government, mainly from taxes and other sources. The Revenue Budget also looks at the day-to-day expenditure of the government. The Capital Budget entails capital receipts, which cover the loans the government raises and capital payments, which include government expenditure on acquisition of assets.What were the highlights of previous Budgets of the Modi government?The Union Budget 2014-15 was the first budget to be presented by the current government after Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014.One of the major highlights of Arun Jaitley’s 2014 budget was the increase in tax exemption limit to Rs 2.5 lakh, and for investment under Section 80C to Rs 1.5 lakh. The Modi government also raised the cap on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence and insurance sectors to 49 percent each. Read more about the 2014 Budget highlights hereIn Budget 2015, the government increased service tax to 14%, raised the tax devolution to states to 42% of the divisible pool from 2015-16 to 2019-20, and also hiked excise duty on cigarettes and tobacco products. Tax slabs were unchanged, and the government abolished wealth tax. Interesting facts about budgets in historyThe first Union Budget of India was presented in 1947 by the then finance minister RK Shanmukhan Chetty. Here is the documented speech made by the first finance minister of India.Union Budget 1950-51 was the first to give the foundation for the Planning Commission, an institution that formulates five-year economic plans for the country.Union Budget 1991-92 by then-finance Minister Manmohan Singh opened the country to economic liberalisation as the import-export policy was revised and import duties cut.Morarji Desai is the only finance minister to have presented the budget 10 times.
Elderly residents learned how to surf the web and use and understand digital applications and devices on Nov. 9 at the FH Faunteroy Enrichment Center, in the Deanwood neighborhood in Northeast, Washington, D.C. The free event was sponsored by AT&T.About 25 residents attended the class at the center. There are plans for the two entities to hold another class for seniors in 2018, according to a company representative. The class was part of AT&T’s Digital You initiative, which is designed to help wireless users of all ages use their devices safely and responsibly.Senior residents in D.C. attended an event at the FH Faunteroy Enrichment Center in Ward 7, to learn about technology. (Courtesy photo)The Pew Research Center reports that 34 percent of older internet users have little to no confidence using devices to perform tasks online, and many more of them agree they usually need help setting up and figuring out the new applications or devices.That’s why employees from AT&T locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia along with other organizations joined together to show seniors how to use smartphones and tablets and also ways to safely navigate the web.“As technology has become more integral to how we live, it is important that our seniors have the skills and tools to access it. Whether it is staying connected with their children and families, or accessing opportunities, partnerships like this one with AT&T will help our seniors successfully navigate a more technologically connected world,” D.C. Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden said in a statement.During the program seniors were given tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of online fraud and scamsSenior residents in D.C. attended an event at the FH Faunteroy Enrichment Center in Ward 7, to learn about technology. (Courtesy photo)Tony Dixon, president of the Washington, D.C. chapter of The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) said learning the proper way to use devices cuts down on the chances of being scammed.“Wireless phones, tablets, and related technology give people access to more helpful information than ever before. However, when exploited, such technology can also expose individuals to harmful online scams,” Dixon said. “Events like the one organized by the Faunteroy Center and AT&T empower people with the tools and information they need to avoid these scams while educating them on how to protect themselves against becoming unwary victims of such crimes.”