Will interim budget give thumbs up for BJP?

Chennai: The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government will present its last budget tomorrow before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It has been clarified the budget will be an interim one rather than a full budget.

The Union Finance Ministry has also stated that Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who has been temporarily been given charge of the Ministry in view of Arun Jaitley’s indisposition, will present the interim budget.

The interim budget is expected to lay the foundation for the economic agenda to be drawn upon the forthcoming general elections for the ruling government.

To serve only for a part of the upcoming fi nancial year, two months to be precise, the budget however will cover important aspects, making provisions on employment, skills, agriculture, startups, real estate, automobile and technology while hinting at the potential of socio-economic growth for the next few years. The government is at pressure to announce a budget that will appeal to the masses as in 2018 it was announced that more than 1.1 crore people lost their jobs in India after demonetisation and GST were implemented. Further, it should also serve its purpose as a factor to bring the NDA government back to power.

The government will hope to strengthen its ties on initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’, as 2018 paved way for such initiatives
to strengthen the economic base of the country by focusing on development at a grass-root level.

While MSMEs were recently given a boost with the announcement of loans up to Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes, the budget will now allocate the necessary funds to deal with the added burden.

The decision by the GST Council to exempt MSMEs with annual turnover under Rs 40 lakhs from registration and payment of GST will also need to be bettered. It is expected that the government might slash corporate tax by 25 per cent to boost growth of such organisations.

Sectors like agriculture will see the government look at loan and interest waivers although Arun Jaitley has been vocally against it. Further, the budget will also look to address issues in the real estate sector which include bringing down cement prices, reducing GST on construction projects and the like. The budget will also make provisions for the rapid growth of gig economy, a market of people offering to work on short term contracts or freelance work, sources state.

NT Bureau