Budget 2018: Timing, where to watch and other details

01 February, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Budget 2018: Timing, where to watch and other details

Through the Budget presentation, the Finance Minister can provide a larger mandate and direction to the GST Council so that frequent knee-jerk decisions, that now emanate after the GST council meetings once in a while, are done away with and a much more thought-induced working is put in order.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget for the year 2018-2019, the last regular Budget under the Narendra Modi Government tomorrow.

Markets remain nervous after the government's annual economic survey on Monday suggested "a pause" in fiscal consolidation, sending bonds plummeting.

Past governments have made major policy initiatives in the Budget, but this government has been legislating structural reforms all year round.

The government is expected to increase import duty on certain items related to power, capital goods and chemicals sectors to give a boost to domestic manufacturing and its "Make In India" programme.

PTI reported that the Centre may dole out incentives to promote electric vehicles in the country by considering lower GST and extending tax benefit for buyers in this week's Budget for 2018-19.

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In December, the government announced it would borrow an additional Rs 50,000 crore in the fiscal year, following the plunge in tax collections after the launch of GST in July 2017.

A prudent budget could also soothe the, which holds a policy review on February 6-7 amid worries it could raise rates in coming months after inflation hit a 17-month high in December, well above its 4 per cent target. This would certainly have a bearing on overall project costs since developers would be able to raise funds at lower rates and cut down on capital costs, eventually bringing solidity to the realty segment and turning GOI's dream of "Housing for All by 2022" a reality soon. Though, PM has already said that the Union Budget will add a new vigour to India's development & will fulfill aspirations of people. The sector's growth is forecast to plummet to 2.1% this year as against 4% last year.

FOCUS ON INDUSTRY: Industry is again a key focus.

"A significant positive step toward improving the investment climate would be to further reduce tax uncertainty for multinational companies and institutional investors in India", Nisha Desai Biswal, the president of the US-India Business Council (USIBC), said in a memorandum submitted to Jaitley. Therefore, we expect a host of measures such as increase in tax exemption limit for the salaried class in order to please them.

The Finance Ministry on Wednesday, a day before Budget 2018, took to twitter to announce that the countdown for the union budget has begun. Experts say minor changes in tax rates are possible in this budget. It can also be seen on the YouTube webcast of Rajya Sabha TV.

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