Union Budget 2018: Over to the finance minister

Union Budget 2018: Over to the finance minister

Union Budget 2018: Over to the finance minister

This makes Arun Jaitley only the fifth Finance Minister to join the list. The union budget is set to be presented on Thursday.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appears to have pulled out all the stops to ensure the Budget is growth-oriented and has a bit of feel good for all sections.

Last year, The Narendra Modi government has ended the colonial era tradition to present the Budget on the last working day of the second month of the year, i.e, February.

- The real estate sector is expecting a cut in the GST rate for under-construction projects, whose flats are now taxed at 12 per cent on sale.

Populism in the government's could assume policy decisions like lower tax rate for the salaried class, lower corporate tax rates in tune with Trump's benevolence for the corporate class in the U.S. and big bonanzas for India's farmers. "The common man expects honesty; he expects to get what he deserves", he said, responding to a question on whether the budget will be a populist one, in an effort to woo voters.

Critical areas will be addressing unemployment and farm distress. A few days ago Economic Survey 2018 was presented in the country.

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President FIEO said "with a view to double farmers" income, the Budget should allocate substantial fund for backward and forward linkages in agriculture including in cold chains and warehouses so that we build on a stable Agri Policy, likely to be announced soon.

The Modi-led government has long drawn criticism for India's so-called jobless growth, or economic improvement with relatively little employment creation.

Markets remain nervous after the government's annual economic survey on Monday suggested "a pause" in fiscal consolidation, sending bonds plummeting. It is speculated that govt may come up with a grand plan in this sector. "The housing finance companies like us have a key role to play in boosting the government's efforts towards affordable and low-priced housing in metros as well as in tier-II and III cities", said Monu Ratra, ED and CEO, India Infoline Housing Finance Limited.

FOCUS ON INDUSTRY: Industry is again a key focus.

Markets will be focused on how much India widens its fiscal deficit beyond the 3 percent of gross domestic product projected for 2018/19. Unfortunately, the fiscal position of Jaitley has worsened in five years, mainly because of uncertainity around collections from Goods and Services Tax (GST), rising inflation and crude oil prices in global markets. 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.

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