Piyush Goyal will present the Narendra Modi-led government's sixth and final budget on Friday, with all eyes set firmly on his announcements' potential impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
As per agency sources, the budget will contain projections of revenue and expenditure for the entire 2019-20 fiscal that begins on April 1, but it'll be a 'Vote-on-account' - the term used for the interim budget that will seek Parliament's nod for the government's expenditures. The Annual Economic Survey is also likely to be tabled along with the post-election budget.
The former Commerce Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar Dua profoundly expressed his expectations towards the Budget 2019, emphasising if the Modi-led government will be able to maintain a fiscal target while reliving tax slabs and pleasing the populace at the same time.
He said, "There are a few sources that the government has been tapping into, which they will continue, first the off-balance sheet financing, which is the sovereign public sector corporations both in terms of them buying out the government's stakes by buyouts and by mergers, as well as, dividends. The second big thing is the RBI is sitting on excess reserves, I am expecting a dividend to be presented in this budget of about 40,000 crores, which is well within a comfortable level for the RBI. The third big thing is, even the farm package, people are seeing the headline number, but it will be shared with the states, it's not that the entire package will come out of the federal budget so the impact will not be as high."
The former Commerce Secretary elaborated on the impact of the Parliamentary elections on the upcoming budget and the speculations on the government chalking out a budget favouring farmers.
He said, "Being an election year budget, they are well within their rights to do things to help the distressed segments and provide some relief. The big thing is farmers are having accounts and you can directly transfer to them. Earlier the leakage was 90% but now 90% will reach the farmers immediately and its a huge change that has happened in the last four years and that will make a difference on the ground."