Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
will present the Union Budget 2018-19 on February 1 around noon. Last year too, the date of budget presentation was the same. This will be Narendra Modi government's fifth and last full-fledged budget presentation before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The budget session of parliament will begin from January 29. The first phase of union budget session will take place from January 29 to February 9. The second session will be from March 5 to April 6. In between the two sessions, there will be a recess so that the budgetary proposals can be cleared by the standing committees.
This year's budget session is crucial as it comes after the Modi government made two very big financial decisions in the last couple of years - Demonetisation and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax
(GST). Eyes will be set on Mr Jaitley's briefcase and what comes out from it in Budget 2018
Mr Jaitley, in an interview last week, made clear that agriculture sector will be the Budget 2018's top priority. "Ensuring the benefits reach the agri-sector and growth is visible, this is among the priority areas for us," Mr Jaitley had said.
Mr Jaitley had further said that some places have seen the problem of falling prices because of higher production and the farmers are not getting the price for their produce. He also said that many steps have been taken in the last few years to take farmers out of this situation and "there has been some impact." Speculations are rife before the big budget date and experts say that Budget 2018 is expected to be a populist budget
as four big states - Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh - will go to polls this year.