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 finance minister Arun Jaitley will also be the last budget of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Here are the three key expectations from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley:
Infrastructure: Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Garg recently said that the government is planning to dedicate a large part of budget towards capital expenditure on infrastructure and will push for foreign investments in the sector. Arun Jaitley, too, said that the focus of the government next year will be on the momentum of infrastructure creation. Arun Jaitley said that while highways and ports have shown satisfactory results, infrastructure development in railways needs to be hurried. “Railway station, quality of trains, proposed bullet train, all need to be strengthened”.
Farmers: Various media reports suggested that the Budget 2018 would be focused on rural population and farmers. India’s government will likely increase funding for the farm and rural sectors in the budget for the coming fiscal year, Reuters reported quoting finance ministry officials. “The government can’t afford farmers’ anger anymore, and will try to boost the economic growth and pump in more funds in the farm sector,” the official said. “It will not be a populist but a pragmatic budget.”
Employment: The Narendra Modi government is likely to focus more on creating employment and employment-related funding. According to media reports, the government is likely to provide India with its first National Employment Policy (NEP) to address the crucial issue of job creation.