New Delhi, July 5: The Union Budget 2019-2020 will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday. The Budget 2019 speech will begin at 11 am. This is the first Budget of the Narendra Modi government after returning to power in Lok Sabha Elections 2019. It is also Sitharaman's maiden Budget with her being India's first female full-time Finance Minister. A lot is expected from this Budget in terms of reforms for India's agriculture, farmers, job growth and prices of essential commodities. Corporates, as well as general citizens, are also hopeful of tax cuts even though reports indicate that may not be on the cards. Stay with us for Live updates on Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget 2019 speech. Union Budget 2019 Predictions: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Open Pandora Box on July 5; Here's What to Expect.
Ahead of the Budget speech, Sitharaman on Thursday tabled the Economic Survey 2019 in Parliament, known as the pre-Budget document. The Survey predicted the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow at 7 per cent in the financial year 2019-20. It also estimated fiscal deficit to go down to 5.8 per cent in FY19-20 from 6.4 per cent in the previous fiscal year. Economic Survey 2019: GDP Predicted to Grow at 7%, Fiscal Deficit Estimated to be Scaled at 5.8%.
The survey also said that to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, India needs to sustain a GDP growth rate of 8 percent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying that the Economic Survey 2019 outlines the vision to achieve a $5 trillion economy. He further mentioned that the Survey talks about the gains from the advancement in the social sector, the adoption of technology and energy security.
Expectations From Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget
In the Interim Budget 2019, Union Minister Piyush Goyal had relaxed the Income Tax from Rs 2.5 lakh per annum (PA) to an additional rebate for those with taxable income of Rs 5 lakh per annum even as the tax slab remains the same. According to Industry chamber Assocham, the Union government should raise the basic exemption limit to Rs 5 Lakh/Per Annum (LPA) from Rs 2.50 LPA. However, reports say that this announcement is unlikely in Budget 2019. Read here for more on Income Tax expectations.
Meanwhile, the industry also wants Sitharaman to scrap 28 percent GST on exclusive products - along with the simplifaction of filing it. It remains to be seen what the Union Finance Minister has in store with regard to the Goods and Services Tax.
There may also be a hike in Health Budget with more focus on the National Rural Health Mission amid the Bihar encephalitis deaths. The Defence Budget may see a minimal hike, though not as big to bring about infrastructural improvements.
People of the country are also looking at what the Minister announces viz-a-viz Railways. Commuters are hoping for steps to ease tatkal bookings and also awaiting further announcements on the ambitious Bullet Train project.