Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget on Monday – her third so far – at a time when the country’s economy is recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a series of economic packages and relief measures announced by the government last year, Sitharaman is left with the limited fiscal room.
Sitharaman said that the budget will be a budget like never before and expectations are already high.
The Budget presentation will begin with a speech from the finance minister in Parliament which is scheduled to take place at around 11 am. Before that, the Union Cabinet will hold a meeting at 10:15 am.
This year, the Union Budget will be delivered in paperless form for the first time.
The budget is expected to revolve around the philosophy of “growth with a human touch”, people aware of the development said. It could focus on raising farmers’ income, generating jobs for the young, improving healthcare standards, ease of compliance for citizens and business, big infrastructure projects, continued support to MSMEs and a push to make India self-reliant to become a key player in the global supply chain.
The budget, however, is not expected to carry any major exemption on taxation because of a resource crunch, or an overhaul of taxation system like the previous budget.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already said on the first day of the budget session outside the Parliament that the budget will be in continuation of government efforts to revive sectors impacted by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, which has hit all economic activities and led to millions of job losses mainly in small businesses.
However, the launch of a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme with two Made-in-India vaccines has given some relief to investors.
The first part of the Budget Session is scheduled to continue till February 15 while the second part of the session will be held from March 8 to April 8. Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm and Lok Sabha from 4 pm to 9 pm with Zero Hour and Question Hour.