Budget 2018: Insights and impact on education, skilling and jobs


Allocations to different domains in Budget 2018 creates direct or indirect opportunities for workforce training, basic skilling and upskilling, creation of jobs, promoting entrepreneurship and creating livelihoods. While in skilling sector, outlay for the aspirational PMKK is raised to Rs. 3,400 crores in 2018-19, the budget also continues to with  focus on apprenticeship training to 50 lakh apprentices by 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore. Here is a summary of key points for Education, Healthcare, Digital Economy, Agriculture and allied sectors, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Infrastructure*. We wish thank Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO, LabourNet and Dr. Satender Arya, CEO, Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) for sharing their insights on the budget.

Education Sector

The focus on Education Sector in Budget 2018 is a welcome move to initiate positive changes in improving infrastructure, quality, adopting digital technologies, promoting research, sports and teacher development.

  • Setting up of Ekalavya Model Residential School on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment by 2022 in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons with special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.
  • To step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions, a major initiative named ‘‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022’’ with a total investment of Rs.1,00,000 crore in next four years was announced .
  • To improve the quality of teachers an integrated B.Ed. programme for teachers called Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF)’’ would be launched this year. Under this, 1,000 best B.Tech students will be identified each year from premier institutions and provide them facilities to do Ph.D in IITs and IISc, with a handsome fellowship.

Budget 2018 Skills and jobsLivelihood opportunities in rural areas

  • Loans to Self Help Groups of women, will increase to Rs.75,000 crore by March, 2019, considering the yearly growth rate with increased allocation of National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs 5750 crore in 2018-19.
  • For creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas, total amount to be spent by the Ministries will be Rs.14.34 lakh crore, including extra-budgetary and non-budgetary resources of Rs.11.98 lakh crore.
  • Apart from employment due to farming activities and self employment, this expenditure will create employment of 321 crore person days, 3.17 lakh kilometers of rural roads, 51 lakh new rural houses, 1.88 crore toilets, and provide 1.75 crore new household electric connections besides boosting agricultural growth.

Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO, LabourNet.

“Apart from setting up model aspirational skill centre in every district under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) Programme and proposed raising of outlay to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to Rs 3,400 crore in 2018-19, the budget also reiterates the focus on apprenticeship training to 50 lakh apprentices by 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore. In MSMEs, there is scope for new jobs in textiles, leathers, etc. where contractual labour will get formalised. This will fundamentally influence the type of contract, which could mean upskilling of the current workforce.

With clear focus on agriculture, there could be skilling opportunities in food processing;  Bamboo and Animal Husbandry may need core skilling. The key to achieving apprenticeship target through NAPS lies in understanding what the industry wants. There may also be the need for training in healtcare, once the proposed Health Insurance schemes get implemented. The budget also shows scope for improvement of overall quality of education, digital technologies, teacher qualifications etc.” Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO, LabourNet.

Agriculture and allied sectors

With commitment to the welfare of farmers and doubling farmers’ income by 2022, the government will take up the following initiatives:

  • MSP for all unannounced kharif crops atleast one and half times of their production cost after declaring the same for the majority of rabi cops.
  • Setting up a Fisheries and Aqua culture Infrastructure Development Fund (FAIDF) for fisheries sector and an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) for financing infrastructure requirement of animal husbandry sector with a total corpus of Rs.10,000 crore for the two new funds.
  • Develop and upgrade existing 22,000 rural haats into Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) to take care of the interests of more than 86% small and marginal farmers.
  • Bamboo, the ‘Green Gold’, gets special focus with restructuring of National Bamboo Mission with an outlay of Rs.1290 crore to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner.
  • Under Prime Minister Krishi Sinchai Yojna-Har Khet ko Pani, 96 deprived irrigation districts will be taken up with an allocation of Rs 2600 crore. The Centre will work with the state governments to facilitate farmers for installing solar water pumps to irrigate their fields.
  • It is also proposed to extend the facility of Kisan Credit Cards to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital needs.
Dr Satender Arya ASCI

Dr. Satender Arya, CEO, Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI)

“This is the first time, the budget focuses on the allied sectors in agriculture, which is very crucial for doubling farmers income. Support for Animal Husbandry is much-needed since income from livestock has proven to save the farmers during distress. Focus on aquaculture will help build infrastructure for inland fisheries and tap its potential.

While we await more clarity on the allocations, the need for capacity building through skilling and upskilling will be an integral to implementing various schemes. For example, training for bamboo growers and digital and financial literacy for upskilling the farmers to use e-markets etc may become focus areas for skill development. Since budgets are directional in nature, the implementation of schemes through allocation of funds will determine the training and indicate scope of job creation as we go along.” Dr. Satender Arya, CEO, Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI)


  • The world’s largest government funded health care programme titled National Health Protection Scheme to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Rs 1200 crore for the National Health Policy, 2017, which with 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people.
  • Setting up 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country.

Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) and Employment

To boost employment and economic growth through Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) . A sum of Rs. 3794 crore has been provided for giving credit support, capital and interest subsidy and for innovations.  It is proposed to set a target of Rs.3 lakh crore for lending under MUDRA for 2018-19 after having successfully exceeded the targets in all previous years.

Highlights of the Union Budget 2018 for Ministry of MSME

Below is a compilation of points shared by Ministry of MSME, Government of India.

1.The 2018-19 Budget has given a big thrust to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector to boost employment and economic growth. The budgetary allocation has gone up from Rs 6481.96 crore in 2017-18 to Rs.6552.61 crore in 2018-19. The allocation for individual Schemes (apart from CGTMSE) has gone up by 59%, from Rs.3680 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 5852.61 crore in 2018-19.

2.The allocation for National Manufacturing Competitiveness Program has gone up from Rs 506 crore in 2017-18 to Rs. 1006 crore in 2018-19. This scheme will help technology up-gradation in the MSME sector.

3.Allocation under Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme has gone up from Rs. 1024.49 crore in BE 2017-18 to Rs. 1,800 crore in BE 2018-19 for generating self employment opportunities through establishment of about 88,000 micro enterprises in the non-farm sector, providing employment to around 7 lakh people.

4.The Credit Guarantee Fund has already been enhanced from Rs.2500 crore to Rs. 7500 cr. This enhancement along with other structural reforms in the Scheme will boost credit growth and employment generation in the MSE sector in a very big way.

5.There has been more than a threefold increase in the allocation for setting up of the state-of-the-art Technology Centres from Rs.150 crore in BE 2017-18 to Rs. 550 crore in BE 2018-19.

6.Allocation under Khadi Grant has been enhanced significantly from Rs.265.10 crore in BE 2017-18 to Rs. 415 crore in BE 2018-19. A new scheme of Solar Charkha Mission has also been proposed to harness non-conventional solar energy to further employment generation.

7.Under Scheme for Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), the budgetary allocation has increased from Rs.10 crore in BE 2017-18 to Rs. 125 crore in BE 2018-19. This will give an unprecedented boost to employment generation in the traditional and rural industries.

8.The allocation under ASPIRE (A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship) has been raised from Rs. 50 crore in BE 2017-18 to Rs. 232 crore in BE 2018-19 with an aim to set up 100 livelihood business incubators and 20 technology business incubators. This will accelerate entrepreneurship and employment generation.

9.The allocation for National SC/ST Hub has been raised from Rs. 60 crore to Rs 93.96 crore with a view to giving an impetus to the growth of the business of SC/ST entrepreneurs. The overall allocations for the north-eastern region, for SC/ST components under various schemes have also witnessed significant increase.

There have also been other announcements which would give a boost to the MSME Sector.

  • Extension of reduced rate of 25 percent currently available for companies with turnover of less than 50 crore to companies reporting turnover up to Rs. 250 crore in Financial Year 2016-17, to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • Contribution of 8.33% of Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for new employees by the Government for three years.
  • Contribution of 12% to EPF for new employees for three years by the Government in sectors employing large number of people like textile, leather and footwear.

Digital Economy

  • NITI Aayog will initiate a national program to direct efforts in artificial intelligence.
  • Department of Science & Technology will launch a Mission on Cyber Physical Systems to support establishment of centres of excellence for research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, quantum communication and internet of things.
  • The Budget doubled the allocation on Digital India programme to Rs 3073 crore in 2018-19

Infrastructure and Financial Sector Development

  • To further boost tourism, the Budget proposes to develop ten prominent tourist sites into Iconic Tourism destinations by following a holistic approach involving infrastructure and skill development, development of technology, attracting private investment, branding and marketing.
  • Under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, about 35000 kms road construction in Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs.5,35,000 crore has been approved.

(*Source of reference: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=176062)

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