NDA’s interim Budget on Friday likely to offer some hope and relief

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 31, 2019, 10.56 PM (IST)

With the Lok Sabha elections only a few months away, the NDA government will present its Interim Budget on Friday amidst a lot of hopes and expectations from across the spectrum of society—right from the common people to industries.

The Interim Budget for 2019, the last financial exercise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Central government before the General Elections will be presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday at 11 am.

If some relief in income tax exemption to the salaried and middle-class people is expected, there is a hope that the Central government may come out with some ‘concrete’ measures to combat the problem of unemployment.

At present, there is an exemption from paying personal tax on an income up to Rs 2.5 lakh, while income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh attracts five per cent tax. A 20 per cent tax is levied on the income in the range of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. An individual’s income above Rs 10 lakh is taxed at 30 per cent.

However, in 2014’s Interim Budget presented by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha on February 14 for 2014-15 fiscal, no change was made in income tax rates.

Since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is in force now, there is not much scope for the government to offer in terms of relief on the front of indirect taxes.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday told media persons that the Interim Budget Session of Parliament, subject to exigencies of Government Business, may conclude on February 13, 2019.

“The Session will mainly be devoted to the Financial Business relating to Interim Budget for 2019 and discussion on the Motion of Thanks on President’s address. However, essential Legislative and other Business will also be taken up during the Session,” he said.

Some of the key highlights of 2014 Interim Budget, which the BJP had then described as more of an election Budget rather than an Interim Budget, relief in indirect taxes, reduction in excise duty on capital goods from 12 per cent to 10 per cent, focus on building up manufacturing capacity, three more industrial corridors, one million jobs, and Rs 11,200 crore for capital infusion in PSBs.

Distressed farmers are another area of serious concern, which the Central government would like to take care of in the ‘Interim Budget.’ It, however, remains to be seen how the government moves on this front as most of the states have chosen to waive off farm loans.

 

Story highlights

The Interim Budget for 2019, the last financial exercise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Central government before the General Elections will be presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday at 11 am.