Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, India's first full time woman finance minister, will present the full-year Budget for financial year 2019-20 next month. The Union Budget will follow an interim Budget presented in February this year, and will be the first under the second National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the February budget, the government had reduced taxes for the middle class and pledged a Rs 75,000 crore assured income scheme for small farmers.
Among other key announcements, the government unveiled a direct cash support of Rs 6,000 a year for small farmers in a scheme called the "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi'' or PM-Kisan scheme, at a cost of Rs. 75,000 crore. The scheme means cash handouts of Rs 2,000 each in three instalments to be transferred to the accounts of small and marginal farmers who have less than two acres land.
After taking over as the finance minister, Ms Sitharaman said she and her team welcomed the feedback from the public.
"Grateful for every thought/idea that's being shared by scholars, economists and enthusiasts through print, electronic, and on social media. I read many of them; also, my team carefully collates them for me. Value every bit. Thanks. Please keep them coming," she said.
In the first Budget after PM Modi's return to power, many analysts expect the income tax structure to not be tweaked, as it was done in the interim Budget.
Meanwhile, in the light of slowing economic growth, industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) said the new government should cut corporate and individual taxes and consider tax concessions for export-oriented manufacturers.
"The upcoming Budget... is an opportunity for the government to boost consumption and investments through appropriate fiscal stimulus and policies," FICCI said.
Ahead of the preparation of the full-year Budget, government officials have started consultations with industry bodies such as the FICCI and CII.
(With agency inputs)
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