Budget and Economic Survey - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   As per the budget, a dedicated micro-irrigation fund for More Crop Per Drop will have an allocation of?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. INR 10000 crore
b. INR 5000 crore
c. INR 6000 crore
d. INR 8000 crore
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: INR 5000 crore

Nabard has hailed the increased focus on irrigation and dairy sectors in the Budget. This includes the hike in the corpus of long term irrigation fund by another INR 20,000 crore, taking the total fund size to INR 40,000 crore.

The FM also announced a dedicated micro irrigation fund which will be set up by NABARD to attain the goal, ‘per drop more crop’, with an initial corpus of INR 5,000 crore.

This will increase the area under irrigation and improve the efficiency of irrigation.

Improving irrigation efficiency is critical for agriculture since there is only 2.4 per cent of the world’s total geographical area and 16 per cent of the world’s population, yet only 4 per cent of the world’s total fresh water resources.

FM Jaitley setting up of a dairy processing and infrastructure development fund at NABARD with a corpus of INR 8,000 crore over three years. The fund will start with a corpus of INR 2,000 crore.

The dairy cooperative network includes:

  • 254 cooperative milk processing units,
  • 177 milk unions covering 346 districts and
  • over 1,55,634 village-level societies.
About 15.1 million farmers have been brought under the ambit of village level dairy corporative societies up to March 2013.

Still, about 80 per cent of this milk is being collected and distributed by unorganised sector.

The budget said the government will provide support to NABARD for computerisation and integration of all 63,000 functional primary agriculture credit societies (PACS) with the core banking system of district central cooperative banks.

This will be accomplished in three years at an estimated cost of INR 1,900 crore, with financial participation from state governments.

2)   Which facility was announced for senior citizens in Budget 2017-2018?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. Aadhaar-enabled smart cards
b. BHIM app
c. Shakti Kendras
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Aadhaar-enabled smart cards

The recent Budget development on Aadhaar is that senior citizens would receive Aadhaar-based smart cards for their health and well-being.

Aadhaar-based smart cards would comprise health details of senior citizens.

The FM further said that the pilot service of these cards would take off in 15 cities initially in India beginning this year.

The announcement for this new initiative shows how the government is focused on the path of making Aadhaar the core platform in different services.

The government recently said that as of now more than 111 crore citizens in the country have an Aadhaar number. This unit covers more than 99 percent of the Indian adult population.

Following demonetization, the enrollment for Aadhaar also increased to 7 to 8 lakh per day as against 5 to 6 lakh till October 2016.

The government also reported a rise of 2.69 crore transactions of Aadhaar-based enabled payments in November 2016, which increased to 3.73 crore in December 2016 and 2.06 crore transactions in the first half of January.

3)   Agriculture sector will grow by what percent in 2017-2018, as per Budget 2017?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. 3.8
b. 4.1
c. 4.5
d. 4.6
Answer  Explanation 


The Union Budget was presented by FM Arun Jaitley against plummeting farm incomes despite a good agriculture growth of 4.1 percent and healthy production of rain-fed Kharif crops in 2016-17.

The impacts of demonetization were not that beneficial for the agriculture sector. The incomes of the farm were adversely impacted due to it.

Consequently, it caused a fall in the prices of fruits and vegetables.

Wholesale prices of pulses have fallen below the rate of support prices which are set by the government following a most productive harvest.

The government’s approach of increasing the financing capability of existing institutions by establishing dedicated funds is being seen by experts as good move to secure funds for the government’s farming initiatives without impacting the fiscal roadmap.

The Union Budget 2017 has:

  • Opened the doors for market reforms in agriculture,
  • Set a higher target for farm credit and
  • Increased funding for crop insurance, as the government stepped up to tackle distress in rural India.
The budget for 2017-18 chose National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), for implementing schemes to develop the dairy sector and improve access to irrigation.

To enhance access to irrigation, the budget allocated INR 20,000 crore for the long-term irrigation fund under NABARD under “per drop, more crop” initiative.

Under the “Har Khet Ko Pani” scheme initiative, the budget allocation of INR 5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated micro-irrigation fund under NABARD was made.

Additionally, INR 8,000 crore was allocated for the setting up of a dairy development fund under NABARD.

Overall, NABARD’s refinancing capacity has been increased by almost INR 34,900 crore across numerous initiatives.

The finance minister proposed a model on contract farming to help farmers get enhanced value for their produce.

This model law will be circulated among states across the entire country.

The Budget elaborated the government’s previous goal of bringing in more regulated agriculture markets on the electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform.

In the budget, it is indicated that the coverage of the electronic National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) would be expanded from the current 250 markets to 585 mandis.

Budget by government has asked state governments to delist perishables produce from Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) and allow farmers to sell such items face to face to consumers to get a better price

There is 24 percent increase in the funding for the rural and agriculture sector in fiscal 2017-18 to INR 1.87 trillion.

The government has made efforts to provide the flagship crop insurance to all farmers.

For this, the budget raised the allocation from INR 5,500 crore to INR 9,000 crore in 2017-18 for scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

The government plans to bring 40 percent of cropped area under insurance and take it to 50 percent next year.

Programs such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) witnessed a 12 per cent reduction in allocation from the 2016-17 Budget Estimate of INR 5,400 crore to INR 4,750 crore in Budget Estimate 2017-2018.

The Union Budget increased the allocation of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) by 42.1 per cent in the 2017-18 Budget Estimates. This means INR 7,375.92 crore from INR 5,187.01 crore.

This was done with the purpose to accomplish pending projects and taking up new ones Budget has enhanced the target for agricultural credit allocation, crop insurance, and irrigation.

The government raised allocation under MNREGA increased from INR 38,500 crore to INR 48,000 crore.

The road work under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna is accelerated to 133 km roads per day in 2016-17 from 73 km per day during 2011-14.

Increased allocation as per MNREGA would help in strengthening social safety net in the rural economy.

The rise in construction of rural roads would create a further demand for two-wheelers, especially gearless scooters, in the rural areas.

The entry-level passenger vehicle sector also gets 30 percent of its demand from the rural market and likely it will be able to maintain it in future.

Cabinet approved extending of tenure of loans under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana from 15 to 20 years.

For women empowerment, Mahila Shakti Kendra at village level will be in place in this financial year.

For fulfilling the basic need of electrification, the government has promised to achieve 100 percent village electrification by May 1, 2018.

1,00,00,000 houses will be constructed by 2019 for those residing in kaccha houses.

The union budget announced an extension of tenure of loans under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana from 15 to 20 years.

The government also pledged to double the income of the farmers in 5 years.

4)   Which is true about the BHIM App?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. Cashback scheme has been announced for individuals
b. Referral bonus schemes have been announced for individuals
c. Cashback scheme has been announced for merchants
d. Only b and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only b and c

The BHIM app, or Bharat Interface for Money, is being used by over 125 lakh people, announced Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 2017-2018.

The budget announcement also puts a significant boost to the idea of enhancing digital payments in India. This is an area where the NDA government has put particular focus.

The government will launch two new scheme to promote the use of the BHIM app.

One will be referral payments for individuals, and another will cashback for merchants who accept payments from BHIM.

The Finance Minister also announced that a Merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payments will be launched shortly.

The government has also promised an update to the BHIM app as well in order to boost usage.

BHIM was recently integrated with UID and now allows payments using Aadhaar number.

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based app will get biometric-based Aadhaar Pay option as well, but that feature is yet to be launched. It is expected to launch in the coming weeks.

BHIM also allows payments via UPI using the mobile number or UPI address along with Account and IFSC details.

Currently, the government has 14 banks onboard to enhance payments via Aadhaar Pay, with more to join soon.

How to Use the App

  • To make payments via Aadhaar, a user needs to tap on Send money, then on the three dots at the top of the menu.
  • Options for Aadhaar Pay and Accounts plus IFSC should open up.
  • Tap on Aadhaar as the option, type in the number, then if it is linked to a bank account, they can transfer the required amount.
About the App
  • The digital payments app BHIM from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) was announced by PM Modi on December 30 last year.
  • The digital payments app was downloaded more than 5 million times on Android since then.

5)   Which of the following is correct?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. DigiGaon will provide telemedicine, education and skills through digital technology
b. BharatNet Project allocation has been increased by INR 10,000 crores.
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

FM Arun Jaitley as per Budget 2017 highlighted the importance of India’s telecom sector. The FM announced that the allocation of the aspirational BharatNet project has been raised to INR 10,000 crores.

Additionally, the FM announced that a DigiGaon initiative will be launched that aims for the provision of telemedicine, education and skills with the help of digital technology.

The Finance Minister added that the recently held spectrum auctions have lowered the spectrum scarcity in the country.

Meanwhile, Jaitley said that the government’s agenda for this year will be to modify, energise and enable India (TEC India) and that digital economy will play a huge part in its implementation and achievement.

1. Under the BharatNet Project, OFC has been laid in 1,55,000 km. Allocation for BharatNet Project has been stepped up to INR 10,000 crores in 2017-18.

2. By the end of 2017-2018, high-speed broadband connectivity on optical fibre will be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats, with WiFii hot spots and access to digital services at low tariffs.

3. A DigiGaon initiative will be launched to provide telemedicine, education and skills through digital technology.

4. Telecom sector is an important component of our infrastructure ecosystem.

5. The recent spectrum auctions have removed spectrum scarcity in the country. This will give a major boost to mobile broadband and Digital India for the benefit of people living in rural and remote areas.

6)   Indian Railways will focus on which of the following areas for the coming fiscal, as per the Budget?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. Passenger Safety
b. Cleanliness
c. Women Security
d. Only a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and b

First railway budget in 93 years to be announced as part of the Union budget announced the largest ever allocation of INR. 1.3 trillion to Indian Railways, with a gross budgetary support of INR. 55,000 crore.

National carrier will focus on 4 major areas: passenger safety, capital and development works, cleanliness and finance and accounting reforms—matters traditionally announced by the Union railway minister.


A corpus of INR 1 trillion for a rail safety fund to be spent over five years; solar power for 7,000 railway stations;

Redevelopment of 25 railway stations;

70 projects for construction and development through joint ventures with nine state governments;

Commissioning of 3,500km railway lines in 2017-2018, up from 2,800 km in 2016-17.

The budget also proposed stock market listing of railway enterprises like Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Ircon International Ltd and Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), and end-to-end transport solutions by Indian Railways in selected commodities by partnering logistics companies.

The budget also waived service charges on railway e-tickets to encourage cashless transactions and made AC class tickets cheaper by INR 40 and sleeper class by INR 20.

The solar power which will help Indian Railways accomplish its Mission 41K, a plan to save INR 41,000 crore in next 10 years by electrifying 90 percent of railway lines, and also reduce expenditure on power was announced

Railways’ plans to develop 1,000 mega-watt (MW) solar (power) at 7,000 stations creates distributed solar ecosystem across India.

100 percent electrification of rural areas should also integrate solar distributed generation as part of the scheme for better reliability.

Freight loading is expected at 1,165 million tonnes (MT) in 2017-18, which is 71.50MT over revised estimates 2016-17 and earnings at Rs1,18,998 crore.

Railways is expected to earn Rs50,125 crore in passenger traffic, taking total receipts to Rs1,89,498.37 crore.

7)   Allocation for PM's Employment Generation and Credit Support schemes has been increased by how many times?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5
Answer  Explanation 


Announcements in the Budget 2017 focusing allocation to boost Employment Generation, Skill, and Livelihood initiatives:

INR 17273 crore allocated for Employment Generation, Skill, and Livelihood in Budget 2017.

INR 3016 crores allocated to Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) for 2017-18 which was INR.1804 crores (revised to INR.2173 crores) in 2016-17.

INR.4,500 allocated for Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission for promoting skill development and livelihood opportunities for people in rural areas to in 2017-18.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) have already been promoted in more than 60 districts which will be extended to 600 districts across India.

100 India International Skills Centres will be established across India. These Centres would offer advanced training and also courses in foreign languages. This will help in raising job opportunities in foreign areas.

Mason skill training to 5 Lakh people in rural areas by 2022 with a present target of training at least 20,000 individuals by 2017-18.

3 times increased allocation for Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and credit support schemes.

Launch the Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion programme (SANKALP) at a cost of INR 4,000 crores to provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth in 2017-2018.

INR 2,200 Crore allocated for Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) in 2017-18 to focus on improving the quality and market relevance of vocational training provided in ITIs. It willa also strengthen the apprenticeship programmes through industry cluster approach.

INR 500 crores allocated to establish Mahila Shakti Kendra in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres in rural areas. This will provide one-stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health, and nutrition.

8)   100 percent village electrification is being targeted by the Budget by?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. May 1, 2018
b. May 1, 2019
c. June 1, 2018
d. July 1, 2018
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: May 1, 2019

From poverty free Panchayats to 100 per cent electrification of villages by May 2019 and majorly hiking the MNREGA fund, FM Arun Jaitley focused on rural India in the Budget 2017-2018.

In his Budget speech, the FM said that 100 per cent electrification of villages will be achieved by May 1, 2019.

The government has allocated INR 4,843 crore for electrification in financial year 2017-18.

The Finance Minister also announced 24 per cent hike for Rural Agricultural and allied sectors as compared to last year, allocating INR 1,87,223 crore for financial year 2017-18.

Announcing to build one crore houses in rural areas in the next one year, Jaitley allocated INR 23,000 crore for 2017-18 against RINR 15,000 crore allocated last year.

With one crore households live under poverty, the government aims to make 50,000 Gram Panchayats "poverty free" in next year.

133 km of new rural-roads were paved every day in 2016-17 against 73 km per day during 2011-14. FM Jaitley dedicated INR 27,000 crore for rural roads for financial year 2017-18 against INR 19,000 crore last year.

100 per cent targets for roads were achieved in the Left wing extremist areas during the last financial year.

For MGNREGA, Jaitley informed that participation of women in the scheme has increased from 45 per cent to 55 per cent.

The FM announced that budget for MNREGA has been increased to INR 48,000 crore for 2017-18 from INR 36,500 crore in 2016-17.

He also announced that for better monitoring, geo-tagging of all MGNREGA assets is being done and space technology will be used for better transparency.

He informed that 5 lakh farm ponds and 10 lakh pits were fully achieved in 2016-17 and about 10 lakh farm ponds will be completed by March 2017 under MGNREGA.

9)   What is the percentage of FDI through automatic route at present according to the Budget?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. 60 percent
b. 70 percent
c. 80 percent
d. 90 percent
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 90 percent

Foreign Direct Investment is an investment to own a stake or control ownership in a business linked to one country.
It is made by an individual or company from another country.

FDI offers direct control either ‘organically’- where a company expands the operations of its business in a foreign country, or ‘inorganically’ where a company buys a company in a foreign country.

FDI was first introduced in India under the period of radical economic change, the year 1991, where India saw its economy open under Liberalisation Privatisation and Globalisation.

It was under Manmohan Singh as FM.

It was introduced under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and has since been a critical monetary source for economic development and business expansion.

There are two routes by which India gets FDI:

  • Automatic route, where FDI is allowed without prior approval by the government or RBI
  • Government route, where a prior approval is required– Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) oversees this route.
In 2014, under PM Modi’s Make in India initiative, the FDI policy for 25 sectors was liberalised.

In defence, FDI beyond 49 percent and up to 100 percent has been permitted through the government approval route.

There is 100 percent FDI under the government route for trading, including e-commerce.

The government has permitted 74 percent FDI under automatic route in existing pharmaceutical ventures, after which an approval will be required to continue beyond 74 percent and up to 100 percent.

The government has allowed 100 percent FDI in India-based airlines, but a foreign carrier can only own up to 49 percent stake in the venture and the rest can come from private investors including those overseas.

Last year’s budget allowed 100 percent foreign investment in processed food retailing on the condition that it was manufactured in India.

Budget 2016 eased FDI in the insurance and pension sectors through the automatic route, from 26 percent to up to 49 percent.

Presently, infrastructure, automobile, services, railway, pharmaceuticals, telecom, aviation, computer hardware and software are some key sectors for FDI.

10)   Which national agency will be phased out in the next fiscal, as per the Budget 2017?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. Niti Aayog
b. Foreign Investment Promotion Board
c. Securities Exchange Board of India
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Foreign Investment Promotion Board

FIPB the two-decades-old body that was formed as a leading becon of the economic liberalisation of 1993 will be phased out.

The 93 round of reforms under the P.V. Narasimha Rao regime, for the first time, opened doors to foreign investors.

A major announcement in the budget was the abolition of the FIPB.

Single-window clearance has been put in place for applications of prospective foreign investors in sectors falling in the approval route.

The board has also suggested investment proposals worth up to ₹ 5,000 crore.

FIPB was formed under the PMO in the mid 1990s as part of the leading round of Indian economic reforms.

It was reconstituted in 1996 and transferred to DIPP. It has been under DEA under the Ministry of Finance since 2003.

According to government rules, foreign investments in sectors under the automatic route do not require prior approval from the FIPB and are subject to sectoral rules.

More than 90 percent of the total FDI inflows are now through the automatic route. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has successfully implemented e-filing and online processing of FDI applications.

India has now reached a stage where FIPB can be phased out.

The decision has been made to abolish the FIPB in 2017-2018.

A roadmap for its abolition is to be announced in the next few months.

Government has shown its clear intent towards fast-tracking inflow of FDI, and the scrapping of FIPB is a notable step that would go a long way in improving ease of doing business.

GoI also plans to pursue more radical liberalisation in Foreign Direct Investment norms.

FIPB: Know More

  • The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was a national agency of Government of India.
  • It was with the remit to consider and recommend foreign direct investment (FDI) which does not come under the automatic route.
  • It used to act as a single window clearance for proposals on foreign direct investment(FDI) in India.
  • FIPB is now abolished as announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during 2017-2018 budget speech in Lok Sabha.
  • Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs - Chairman
  • Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion - Member
  • Secretary, Department of Commerce - Member
  • Secretary, (Economic Relation), Ministry of External Affairs - Member

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