Union Budget 2018: Over to the finance minister

Jon Howard
February 1, 2018

Will the Finance Minister fulfil the wishes of the citizens in the last regular budget of the NDA will be best answered on February 1.

Ahead of the budget, Modi - who came to power in May 2014 and faces re-election by mid-2019 - said in an interview with the Times Now news channel on January 21 that it is "a myth" that the average person wants sops and freebies, rebuffing the idea that the budget must be populist.

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JOB CREATION: Employment generation has always been top on agenda of Modi govt. It is widely believed that without breaching the targets to preserve fiscal consolidation, Modi will face challenges to secure his second term as prime minister in next year's elections. The new schedule was implemented to make funds available from the starting of the financial year.

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In which case , it'd be better if Trump , secure in his ultimate vindication, lowered the temperature around the investigation. At the same time , Trump stipulated that he was fine with a probe of any "satellites" of his suspected of wrongdoing.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) also said that instead of ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 2A, Form 3, Form 4 and Form 4A, there could perhaps be one form, which would also help in simplifying the process.

"The government will take care so that the budget is neither inflationary nor fiscally less prudent". "In a nutshell, we are looking forward to an industry-friendly budget with designated funds allocated to accentuate the growth of the industry over the coming years", said Nitin Aggarwal, CEO, Prayag India. However, there is a dichotomy in the narrative-as forex reserves grow, corporate debt has been a dampener, with demonetisation effect subsiding, inflation is creeping-up, and while direct tax collections have risen by over 18%, the response to GST has been, at best, tepid.

However, higher crude oil prices also bring in higher revenues for the government.

One of the worries for the government of late has been rising petroleum prices. The Union Budget 2018-19 will be telecast live on budgetlive.nic.in and on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Finance. Nitasha Shankar, senior vice-president and head of research, YES Securities, lists her Budget 2018-19 expectations. "There are more chances of either going right or wrong". As per the practice, a vote-on-account or approval for essential government spending for a limited period is taken in the election year and a full-fledged budget presented by the new government. The Budget of fiscal year 1973-74 is known as the "Black Budget" as the nation had a deficit of Rs 550 crore. The 10-year benchmark government bond yield earlier this week was 7.44%, compared with less than 7% in mid-November. However, it is highly likely that the Finance Minister is likely to slip from his target. "There is no doubt that the finance minister needs to perform a tough balancing act", said Ishita Sengupta, partner at PwC India.

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