The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Nikunj Agarwal, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
The Election Commission on Monday gave its approval to present the Union Budget 2017 on 1 February ahead of the assembly elections, but said no schemes related to the poll-bound states can be announced. This time Union budget will be announced one-month in advance, instead of the traditional practice of declaring it on last day of February. The government had pitched for an earlier budget date, instead of the traditional 28 February, to complete the legislative part of financial business before 1 April, the start of a financial year.
So, the countdown for Union budget 2017 has already begun and following are the expectations of public from Budget 2017-
Cashless Economy – Since this budget would be the first budget post demonetization, the government is expected to come with schemes to promote cashless transactions. Discounts on card payments, discounts for toll booth payments using cards, waiver of merchant discount rates when using debit cards at POS machines, etc., have already been implemented. Additional benefits to promote people to go cashless through credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets, apps are expected to be part of the Union Budget 2017-18.
Relief for farmers- Farmers were severely affected by demonetization as they could not sell their crops due to unavailability of sufficient new currency notes. To compensate for the pain, the government is expected to announce some schemes for the welfare of farmers.
Salaried Class – Salaried class people would be looking for some relief in Income Tax from Union Budget 2017. The government is expected to revise Income tax slab to provide some relief to common tax payers of the country. The current income tax limit is Rs 2.5 lakh, and the government is expected to increase this limit to Rs 4 lakh.
It is further said the budget is expected to aim at corporate tax rationalization, promoting ‘less cash’ economy and higher spending on rural sector, affordable housing and public infrastructure. Nomura expects the fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent for 2016-17 to be met and to be consolidated further to 3 per cent of GDP in 2017-18.