Budget and Economic Survey - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   India has leapt by how many ranks over its rank of 130 in Doing Business Report 2017?
- Published on 01 Nov 17

a. 20
b. 25
c. 30
d. 35
Answer  Explanation 


The World Bank, today released the Doing Business (DB) Report, 2018. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is pleased to announce that India ranks 100 among 190 countries assessed by the Doing Business Team.

India has leapt 30 ranks over its rank of 130 in the Doing Business Report 2017.

The DB Report is an assessment of 190 economies and covers 10 indicators which span the lifecycle of a business.

India has improved its rank in 6 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices (Distance to Frontier score).

The credit for this significant improvement is credited to the mantra of “Reform, Perform, Transform” given by the Prime Minister, wherein a strong leadership has provided the political will to carry out comprehensive and complex reforms, supported by a bureaucracy committed to perform.

The Government has undertaken an extensive exercise of stakeholder consultations, identification of user needs, government process re-engineering to match Government rules and procedures with user expectations and streamlined them to create a more conducive business environment.

An extensive exercise is also undertaken to increase awareness among users about reforms to ensure extensive use of newly created systems.

This edition of the report acknowledges India as a top improver, with an improvement of 30 ranks compared to last year’s report, the highest jump in rank of any country in the DB Report, 2018.

India is the only country in South Asia and BRICS economies to feature among most improved economies of the DB Report this year.

Major achievements in the World Bank in the Doing Business Report

The important highlights of India’s performance are:

1. Resolving Insolvency -
a. Rank improved from 136 to 103
b. Distance to Frontier (DTF) score improved from 32.75 to 40.75
c. Strength of insolvency framework index increased from 6 to 8.5
d. Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code created for efficient handling of restructuring & insolvency proceedings
e. Professional institutes set up for handling restructuring & insolvency proceedings

2. Paying Taxes -
a. Rank improved from 172 to 119
b. DTF score improved from 46.58 to 66.06
c. Payments reduced from 25 to 13 in a year
d. Time reduced from 241 to 214 hours
e. Total tax rate reduced from 60.6% to 55.3% (% of profit)
f. Post filing index improved from 4.3 to 49.31
g. Enabled electronic registration, return & payment of ESI & EPF contributions

3. Getting Credit -
a. Rank improved from 44 to 29
b. DTF score improved from 65 to 75
c. Strength of legal rights index improved from 6 to 8
d. Credit bureau coverage increased from 21.4% to 43.5% (% of adults)
e. Increased coverage of security interest registration under SARFAESI Act
f. Secured creditors prioritized over Government dues for purposes of recovery

4. Enforcing Contracts -
a. Rank improved from 172 to 164
b. DTF score improved from 35.19 to 40.76
c. Cost reduced from 39.6% to 31% (% of claim)
d. Quality of judicial process index improved from 9 to 10.3
e. Dedicated commercial courts established
f. National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) to monitor and manage court cases

5. Protecting Minority Investors -
a. Rank improved from 13 to 4
b. DTF score improved from 73.33 to 80
c. Strength of minority investor protection index increased from 7.3 to 8
d. Extent of conflict of interest regulation index increased from 6.7 to 7.3
e. Extent of shareholder governance index increased from 8 to 8.7
f. Greater transparency requirements for interested parties transactions
g. Greater shareholder protection through action against directors & claims for damages

6. Construction Permits -
a. Rank improved from 185 to 181
b. DTF score improved from 32.83 to 38.80
c. Procedures to obtain construction permits reduced from 35.1 to 30.1
d. Time reduced from 190.0 to 143.9 days
e. Cost reduced from 25.9 per cent to 23.2 per cent of warehouse value

2)   Which of the following has been declared an institute of National Importance w.e.f Oct 2017?
- Published on 17 Oct 17

a. Footwear Design and Development Institute
b. Indian Institute of Science Education
c. National Institute of Ayurveda
d. Indian Diamond Institute
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Footwear Design and Development Institute

Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI) has been declared an ‘Institute of National Importance’ under Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

The FDDI bill was passed by the Parliament in July 2017. The Provisions of FDDI Act 2017 have come into force from today, according to the Notification published in The Gazette of India on October 5, 2017.

It is the commitment of the Government to resolve the degree issue has culminated in the grant of the status of ‘Institute of National Importance’ to FDDI.

With this, the government has also ensured upgradation of FDDI to a position of eminence so as to enable the Institute to effectively serve the Sector/Industry.

To empower the youth of the nation and to help them march alongside the Prime Minister’s Skill Development mission and Make in India initiative, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India proposed the FDDI INI bill to Parliament.

FDDI, after becoming an INI, now has the autonomy to design its courses as per the requirement of the industry, and award its own degree to the students.

FDDI can now independently develop and conduct courses leading to graduate and post graduate degrees, doctoral and post-doctoral courses and research in the areas of footwear and leather products design and development and allied fields.

FDDI: Know More

  • Presently FDDI is imparting skill based graduate and post graduate courses in the fields of footwear, leather goods, retail and management to around 2,500 students across eight campuses spread over India.
  • With the enhancement of the status of FDDI as an Institute of National Importance by the virtue of the FDDI Act, 2017, the institute will now be able to enrol around 2,500 more students in the upcoming admission session, across its 12 campuses, out of which four new campuses will become functional with the next academic session.
  • FDDI is a premier Institute, serving as a ‘One stop solutions provider’ in footwear, leather and allied industry.
  • Since its inception in 1986, FDDI has been playing a pivotal role in facilitating Indian industry by bridging skill gaps in the areas of footwear, leather, fashion, retail and management.
  • FDDI has been functioning as an interface between the untapped talent and industry and its global counterparts, by fulfilling the demand of skilled man power with its specific curriculum, state of the art laboratories, world class infrastructure and experienced faculty.

3)   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.

4)   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.

5)   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.

6)   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.

7)   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.

8)   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.

9)   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.

10)   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.

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