Arun Jaitley discusses price volatility at pre-budget meeting with agriculture sector stakeholders

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Updated: January 19, 2018 5:28:23 PM

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday held the first pre-budget consultive meeting with stakeholders from the agriculture sector, as the date for 2018-2019 Union Budget inches closer.

Arun Jaitley chairing the first meeting of Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting. (Image: PIB)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday discussed price volatility of commodities below the minimum support price (MSP) during the first pre-budget consultive meeting with stakeholders from the agriculture sector, as the date for 2018-2019 Union Budget inches closer.  Ashok Gulati, the Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture at ICRIER, who was present at the meeting asked for a reduction in price volatility of commodities below MSP, according to CNBC-TV18. He asked the Finance Ministry dovetailing tariff policy & MSP to reduce cheaper imports.

The preparations for Union Budget 2018-19 is underway. Arun Jaitley is scheduled to meet with representatives of various stakeholder groups from different sectors beginning Tuesday.

The Narendra Modi-led government is set to present Union Budget 2018 on 1st February, just like it did last year. This budget which will be presented by Arun Jaitley will also be the last budget of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Union Budget 2018 will also be India’s first budget post-GST-implementation. Even though independent India’s biggest tax reform of GST was implemented from July 1, the Budget for 2017-18 (April- March), had followed the practice of tax revenue projections under the heads of customs duty, central excise and service tax alongside direct tax numbers. With excise duty and service tax being subsumed in the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the classifications will undergo change, an official said, according to PTI.

Many trade unions and stakeholders have raised concerns surrounding GST. The Association of National Exchanges Members of India (Anmi) has flagged concerns about the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime creating “some difficulty” in the financial market. “Rate of GST applicable on brokerage for share transaction is 18%which is on the much higher side and has further inflated the cost of transaction. We appeal to reduce the rate of GST to 12% in the ensuing Budget,” the group had said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to present first post-GST and the current government’s last full Budget on February 1 next year. The Budget session may begin on January 30 with President Ram Nath Kovind addressing the Joint Session of both the Houses of Parliament, a government official said.

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