- Date : 02/02/2017
- Read: 4 mins
Greater investments in infrastructure, addition to the roadways and railways, and more income at your disposal makes traveling more desirable than ever. Excited?!
If you are going to claim that you didn’t feel like planning a trip to Manali post watching Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani then you, my friend, are lying! And if somehow, the said blockbuster movie didn’t give you enough reasons to travel, the Union Budget 2017-18 should. Pack your bags; get your DSLR out; thanks to the Indian government, you can now travel more than ever.
Here are 5 budget highlights that are conducive to your travel plans:
- Say hello to more road trips
The movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, has taken road trip standards to a whole new level. Here’s good news for all you adventurous souls. You now have more roads to hit. For 2011-14, 73 kilometers of roads were constructed in a day under the Pradhan Manti Graham Sadak Yojana. Finance Minister (FM) Arun Jaitley has confirmed the acceleration in construction work. The figure now stands at 133 kilometers of roads per day. Also, to give a boost to the development of the Costal Economic Zones, he proposed the construction of 2000 kilometers of coastal roads. What’s more? The government is all pumped up to set up 5 special tourism zones in the country.
- Enjoy the goodness of railways
“We are aware we need to do more for our people. Our agenda is to transform, energize and clean India – that is, TEC India”, expressed the FM. The government is now focusing on Swachh Railways. By 2019, all the coaches of the Indian railways will have bio-toilets. The government also prioritized the safety of the passengers. In doing so, it proposed to create a rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over the next 5 years. Furthermore, it will also take necessary steps for launching dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism.
- Avail the benefits of cheaper tickets and friendlier stations
The Union Budget 2017-18 is the first budget since the scrapping of a separate railway budget. The FM mentioned the railways several times. With a view to giving a boost to the digital economy, he stated that no service charge will be levied on tickets booked online through IRCTC. You can thus expect cheaper tickets. To make traveling more convenient, the government plans to make 500 stations friendlier for differently-abled people. It plans to achieve this by equipping the stations with lifts and escalators.
- Get your passports with ease
Life is no movie where in you can travel the world without a passport. You need a valid passport to go abroad. Getting a passport, however, has been an ardent task in India since years. You have to wait for days to get an appointment for submitting the documents. The following highlight will cheer you up – the FM announced that Head Post Offices will now also be used for providing passport services. The more number of passport centers, the speedier their customer service.
- Savor the fruits of infrastructural investments
Last, but definitely not the least, the announcements regarding the infrastructure will get a smile on your face. The government announced an expenditure of Rs 3,96,135 crores on the infrastructure. Budget allocations for national highways have been raised to Rs 64,000 crore from Rs 57,676 crore. The transport sector has been allocated Rs 2.41 lakh crore. Selected airports in tier-II cities will be taken up for development. There will be developments in the railway sector too. The government announced the commission of 3,500 kilometers of railway line this year. Also, 25 stations are expected to be redeveloped during 2017-18. The total allocation for the railways is of Rs 1.31 lakh crore. With such colossal investment in the infrastructure of the country, you can expect a better and a more comfortable country tour soon.
If these reasons aren’t enough to stimulate the traveler within you, then you ought to know about the latest tax amendments. If you fall under the lowest income tax slab of Rs 2.5 lakh – Rs 5 lakh, you will now be taxed at 5% instead of 10%. And, if you fall in the higher slabs, your tax liability will reduce by Rs 12,500.
Greater investments in infrastructure, addition to the roadways and railways, and more income at your disposal makes traveling more desirable than ever. Excited, already? So is the rest of the nation. Go, make your bookings today!