The upcoming budget 2017 has become the most anticipated one in recent times as expectations are high following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bold and unexpected demonetisation move. With the country’s economy going through transition, we will take a look at what the financial experts think about Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget and what are their expectations. Naveen Aggarwal, Partner, Tax, KPMG believes that contrary to the popular belief this won’t be a big bang budget. According to Aggarwal, Budget 2017 won’t be a milestone one because the Narendra Modi government is acting at a fast pace on reforms throughout the year. Aggarwal believes that the fourth budget of the Modi government should focus on the following areas:
Digitisation: “Whatever we have seen throughout the year- be it demonetisation, Aadhar and what govt has been done in terms of tax anti-avoidance- there will be increased focus on ensuring that there is more access to digital technologies,” Aggarwal said. The government’s focus of should be on how you enhance the tax space, he feels.
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Commitment to investors: This is a government that is wanting to honour the commitment of investors. It is wanting to maintain a policy framework. To make sure that India remains an attractive spot for investment, the Modi government must look at the tax regime. In the upcoming budget, Modi government must come out something specific about how tax rates will be tweaked, Naveen opined.
Common man has taken a beating after demonetisation. Disposable income is getting affected, consumption is getting affected. The Modi government should be focusing on job creation to drive the inclusive agenda, Naveen said. Apart form these, he believes, there could be limited sops on personal income tax so that spending could increase. According to Naveen, The government’s focus should lie on its flagship programmes.
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Gearing up for early presentation of Budget 2017, the Finance Ministry had sought industry and trade bodies’ suggestions on taxation and other fiscal issues. The central budget for next financial year will be presented in Parliament latest by February 1, about a month ahead of the usual last working day of February.
In a number of steps aimed at reforming the process, the government had also decided to merge the Railways Budget with the Union Budget, and do away with the Plan and Non-Plan classification of expenditure. In the context of formulating the proposals for the Union Budget of 2017-18, the Finance Ministry had earlier said it would “like to be benefited by the suggestions and views of your Association”.