Challenges Arun Jaitley Faces In Government's Last Full-Year Budget

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It will be the first post-GST budget and more importantly - the last union budget before 2019 general elections.

The Economic Survey 2017-18 presented in Parliament by Arun Jaitley informs that as on December 2017, there were 9.8 million unique GST registrants slightly more than the total Indirect Tax registrants under the old system (where many taxpayers were registered under several taxes).

India Finance Minister in the BJP-led Government Yashwant Sinha changed the practice, inherited from the British era, of announcing the Budget at 5 PM on the last working day of February to announcing the Budget at 11 AM of the last working day of February.

"The government has worked hard to earn macro stability through fiscal consolidation and it should not fritter it away, especially when global risks remain and general elections are 14-15 months away", says Sachidanand Shukla, chief economist, Mahindra & Mahindra.

Finance Minister will present the current NDA government's fifth and arguably his toughest Budget yet on Thursday as he seeks to address agriculture distress, create jobs and boost growth while at the same time stick to fiscal prudence. As this year's is the final full-fledged budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it has to epitomise Modi regime's achievements over the past four years.

NRIs also expect legal reforms to enable them to invest in agricultural properties and look for the removal of dividend distribution tax as it discourages companies from paying dividends, which dampens investor confidence.

Indirect taxation as highlighted earlier is now under the purview of the GST Council, so the major scope for manoeuvring fund inflows would be on the non-tax revenues.


Ahead of the budget, the Finance Minister and other top officials take part in the halwa ceremony. Hitting out at the Opposition for stalling the triple talaq Bill, Modi said, "In the last session it was our effort and the nation had high hopes that there won't be any politics on crucial issues like Triple talaq so that Muslim women get their rights".

It is also expected that the goverment may announce big schemes to generate employment sector.

On the revenue front, I expect a further rationalisation of direct tax rates - both corporate as well as individuals.

The printing of the Budget documents starts roughly a week before the date of the Budget presentation.

With every sector eyeing on Jaitley's magical briefcase, experts believe that the budget would be focussed on rural economy. This shows borrowing requirement of the government from all sources.

"We may see policies aimed at eliminating supply side barriers to in agricultural markets while also trying to increase the efficiency with which markets function".

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