Budget 2018: The much-awaited Union Budget is here. People, industry bodies and politicos are all waiting for the Modi government’s fifth budget. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the budget in Parliament. The Budget 2018 is crucial as this would be the Narendra Modi government’s last full-fledged budget before the big 2019 Lok Sabha Polls.
Budget 2018: The much-awaited Union Budget is here. People, industry bodies and politicos are all waiting for the Modi government’s fifth budget. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the budget in Parliament. The Budget 2018 is crucial as this would be the Narendra Modi government’s last full-fledged budget before the big 2019 Lok Sabha Polls. The oil and gas industry has also come up with expectations from Budget 2018. Firstly, oil and gas industry has sought infrastructure status for the exploration and production sector as also lowering of taxes on locally produced oil to boost domestic output and cut import dependence. Secondly, it also wants inclusion of natural gas in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime at the earliest to boost the use of environment friendly fuel and help transition to a gas-based economy.
“The import bill for 2018 is estimated at Rs 5 lakh crore and any further rise in crude prices would necessitate tough fiscal measures,” he told PTI in his budget wish-list. The need of the hour, he said, is to give a boost to domestic oil and gas production, pushing the agenda to fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of reducing dependency on imports by 10 percent by 2022. “The Budget 2018 is an opportunity for the government to introduce much-needed reforms that will encourage existing players to invest more, and attract new foreign investments to effectively tap the country’s energy potential,” he told PTI.
“The rollout of GST, and the exclusion of petroleum sector from its purview, has translated into much higher costs for the sector, defeating the objective of cost neutrality,” he said. Also, there is a need to bring price parity in budget 2018 between domestic crude and imports by cutting the 2 percent central sales tax on local production, to further enhance the country’s energy security, he told PTI.
The date for the Budget 2018 has been announced by the Modi government. The Union Budget 2018 will be presented by FM Jaitley. Notably, the budget 2017 was presented on February 1. This year too, the Modi government has chosen the same date for presentation of Budget 2018. Budget 2017 was the Modi government’s fourth union budget. It was presented by FM Jaitley after the November 8 demonetisation move.
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It is likely that FM Jaitley will ‘rise to present’ budget 2018 at noon. FM Jaitley had presented Budget 2017 at around same time. FM Jaitley began the Modi government’s Budget 2017 speech, saying “Madam Speaker, on this auspicious day of Vasant Panchami, I rise to present the Budget for 2017-18.”