Budget 2018: Expect capex push through rural and infra spending

01 February, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Franklin Nunez
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The budget, which is presented by means of the Finance Bill and the Appropriation Bill has to be passed by both the Houses before it can come into effect from April 1, the start of India's financial year and hence the same would be presented tomorrow (Feb. 1).

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today reiterated that the government aims to provide an easy environment for doing business in India. Economic growth in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, may slow to 6.75 per cent and then may rebound to between 7 per cent and 7.5 per cent in the next fiscal, according to Economic Survey 2017-18.

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

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BOOSTING INFRASTRUCTURE: Infrastructure has also got boost by Modi govt.

The Finance Ministry also asked citizens to tweet their queries related to the general budget with hashtag #AskYourFM. Though, PM has already said that the Union Budget will add a new vigour to India's development & will fulfill aspirations of people. No surprise, then, that India Inc welcomed the FM's announcement during Budget 2015 to embark on a corporate tax rationalisation drive over coming years. Jaitley had not increased the limit past year. Industry friendly moves like the simplification of Customs procedures and relief in GST rates are among our key expectations.

But he has to do all this while sticking to the road map of narrowing one of Asia's largest budget deficits, as failing which, India may fall on the wrong side of global investors and credit rating agencies which had late previous year handed out a rare sovereign upgrade.

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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.

"Therefore, tax uncertainty results in an increase of risk when investing in any given project drives investors to either withhold investments or require a higher rate of return to account for this risk, thus raising the cost of capital in the uncertain market", said Biswal, who was the Obama administration's point person for South and Central Asia.

"Given the fact that agriculture continues to be a drag on overall GDP growth and the government's ambition of doubling farm incomes by 2022, Jaitley can't afford to neglect the rural sector", said Kulathakal. We expect government to increase the exemption limits for deduction of interest from the income of the middle class and salaried homebuyer.

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The Budget may see new rural schemes and stepping up of funding towards existing programmes like MNREGA, rural housing, irrigation projects and crop insurance.

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