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Key expectations from India's 2019-20 interim budget

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 01, 2019, 07.45 AM (IST)

The government will unveil its budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year on Friday, with investors expecting increased investment in areas such as agriculture, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to woo voters ahead of general elections to be held by May.

After a string of recent setbacks in key state elections for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the government is expected to woo rural and urban middle-class voters via farm relief measures and tax cuts.

Also read: What is interim Budget and how is it different from the regular one?

The government is expected to project economic growth of around 7.5 per cent for the next financial year while expanding capital spending on railways, roads and ports by 7-8 per cent.

Also read: How Union Budget 2019 is formulated and presented

Below is a list of some of the items expected in the budget, based on published media reports.

AGRICULTURE

Farm relief package itself could run to at least 1 trillion rupees ($14.04 billion)

Set to earmark about 1.8 trillion rupees for food subsidies in the fiscal year

Expected to waive premium for taking insurance policy for food crops

Proposal for waiving interest on crop loans for farmers who pay on time

DIVESTMENT

Target of about $11 billion from state asset sales in FY 2019-20

Potential stake sales via IPOs include Telecommunications Consultants India, Indian Railways' subsidiaries IRCTC, RailTel Corp India and National Seeds Corp

METALS

Gold - Speculation around a duty cut

HEALTH

Budget allocation for health is likely to increase by 5 per cent from a year ago

Taxes

An anticipated corporate tax rate cut to 25 per cent from 30 per cent may be put on hold until after the elections

Higher tax exemptions for the middle class and for small businesses anticipated

BANKS

Discount of 2 percentage points on loans for businesses with annual sales of less than 50 million rupees; government to compensate banks for the costs

40 billion-rupee capital infusion for public-sector general insurers

AUTOS

Reduction of goods and services tax (GST) on electric vehicles and batteries

IT/TELECOM

Better digital infrastructure in rural areas

Abolition of the angel tax to boost start-ups

Exemption from GST for spectrum and licence fee payouts, reduction in spectrum fees and cuts in import duty on telecom equipment (currently at 20 pct)

Story highlights

After a string of recent setbacks in key state elections for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the government is expected to woo rural and urban middle-class voters via farm relief measures and tax cuts.