Modi govt’s first Budget: Ten things to look out for
Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance rode to power on promises of providing relief to inflation-hit common man, amid falling growth, stagnating investments, high fiscal deficit and external crisis. As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set present this government’s maiden budget, the task is really cut out.
Here are the ten things to look out for in this budget.
1. There are high hopes from the new government that it will raise tax slabs and also significantly hike the annual tax exemption limit to provide a much-needed relief to salaried class, which is reeling under the stubbornly high inflation.
2. For boosting investment, Jaitley is expected to announce tax incentives for industry. As a prelude to the Budget, the government has already extended the excise duty concessions for automobile and consumer durable sectors till December.
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3. The Finance Minister is also expected to take a call on reducing duties on gold import, which were increased last year to check ballooning current account deficit.
4. Arun Jaitley could also provide relief to farmers to help them tide over the impact of deficient monsoon which could lead to fall in agricultural output. The government may set up a price stabilisation fund, as promised in the BJP’s manifesto.
5. Jaitley, though not a hard-core economist, is expected to pursue the path of fiscal prudence and not sacrifice it at the altar of populism.
6. Government also intends to bring bills to replace the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, and a bill to replace the Ordinance with respect to the Polavaram project under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.
7. Technology companies are looking for more clarity on implementation of GST, tax on software licences and thrust on developing infrastructure in small cities.
8. The government has already indicated boosting indigenous electronics manufacturing to check dependence on imports and has said that electronic manufacturing will be a priority.
9. Lowering of taxes on jet fuel, hotels and holiday packages are among the top demands of the travel industry, which has asked the government to initiate bold measures like FDI in Railways to promote tourism and travel in a big way.
10. Will the government reduce the cost of providing healthcare services?
(With PTI inputs)