Arun Jaitley to Present a Toughest Union Budget Document
Considerations of GST Impacts, showcasing benefits of Demonetization, Upliftment measures for Industry, Agriculture, GDP, Educations and also sgtrategic focus towards winning common peoples' heart ahead of elections in various states and the big general elections 2019. So, there will be all in one- Union Budget 2018-19.
In some time from now, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 in the parliament. This union Budget is getting considered as one of the toughest policy document for the Narendra Modi-government. This is going to be the fifth budget of Mr. Arun Jaitley and is likely that he is seeking to address agriculture distress, create jobs and boost growth while at the same time stick to fiscal prudence.
The Budget, in view of upcoming assembly polls in eight states – including three major states ruled by the BJP – and general elections next year, may see new rural schemes and step up of funding towards existing programmes like MNREGA, rural housing, irrigation projects and crop insurance.
With the recent elections in Gujarat indicating a dent in BJP’s rural vote base, Jaitley may also unveil incentives for the farm sector. Small businesses, which have traditionally formed the core support base of the BJP, too may get some sops to ease pain caused to them due to the chaotic rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetization. There is also an expectation that common man may get some relief in income tax by way of a rise in the exemption limit.
Also on Jaitley’s menu may be upping spending on infrastructure projects like highways and modernization of railways to boost economic growth that is at a four-year low. But he has to do all this while sticking to the roadmap of narrowing one of Asia’s largest budget deficits, as failing which, India may fall on the wrong side of global investors and credit rating agencies which had late last year handed out a rare sovereign upgrade.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to have already lowered expectations of mass voter swaying announcements when he indicated that the Budget may not be resort to populism and that it was a myth that common man wants sops. There are talks that tax break on capital gains from stock investments may go and it remains to be seen if Jaitley will finally show some movement on his 2015 promise to lower corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 30 percent over four years.
Some kind of incentives to boost exports of certain sectors may be announced while there may be announcements for start-ups as well as for promoting entrepreneurship. Scrapping the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Budget at the end of February, Jaitley had for the first time presented the annual accounts on February 1 last year.
The Budget presentation was advanced by a month to ensure that proposals take effect from April 1, the beginning of the new financial year. Also, the nearly century-old tradition of having a separate budget for the railways was scrapped and merged with the general budget. The Union Budget 2018-19 would be the last full Budget of the BJP-led NDA government before the 2019 general elections.