Budget On February 1, Long List Of Challenges For Government: 10 Points

The Budget 2020, to be presented on February 1, 2020, comes at a time when the economy is struggling against a prolonged economic slowdown.

Budget On February 1, Long List Of Challenges For Government: 10 Points

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Union Budget for 2020-21 on February 1

Highlights

  • First full-year Budget of PM Modi's re-elected government on February 1
  • PM Modi to hold talks on slowdown with economists on Thursday
  • Statistics ministry pegs GDP growth at 11-year low of 5% in FY20
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget for financial year 2020-21 on February 1. This will be the first full-year Budget after the re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in May last year. PM Modi will hold detailed talks with economists and financial experts on Thursday to discuss the current economic slowdown and the steps required to revive the economy, as part of the pre-Budget consultation process. PM Modi's meeting is scheduled for 11 am at the NITI Aayog offices in Delhi.

Here are 10 things to know:

  1. The Budget 2020 comes at a time when the economy is struggling against a prolonged economic slowdown and thousands of job losses amid weakness across sectors.

  2. Many economists expect the government to introduce bold fiscal measures to arrest weakening growth, as aggressive monetary easing by the RBI has resulted in little relief for the ailing economy. 

  3. But some say there my be limited room available for the government to bring in more expensive reforms. The government's budget deficit could widen to 3.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the current fiscal year, breaching a target of 3.3 per cent, news agency Reuters reported earlier quoting a senior official.

  4. The law allows the government to exceed the target by as much as half a percentage point, the official told reporters, asking not to be identified in line with rules. 

  5. The government can also miss its target if it faces acts of war, a collapse in farm output, or the economy is undergoing structural reforms with unanticipated fiscal implications.

  6. The government has set an ambitious target of making India a $5-trillion economy by 2024. The economy needs to expand at a rate above 8 per cent to create enough jobs for the more than 1.2 crore youngsters entering the labour force each year.

  7. India's GDP growth hit a more than six year low of 4.5 per cent in the quarter ended September 30. Many economists and financial institutions have lowered their growth projections for the country amid poor demand and a consumption slowdown.

  8. The government has in the past few months announced a range of measures, such as a big cut in corporate taxes, and announced a Rs 102 lakh-crore project pipeline in infrastructure to kickstart the economy.

  9. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Statistics released its first advance estimates of national income this week. The government expects the country's GDP or gross domestic product to expand 5 per cent in the financial year ending March 2020, which, if comes true, will mark the slowest pace of growth in 11 years.

  10. The annual economic growth had stood at 6.9 per cent in fiscal year 2018-19, which ended in March 2019 - the slowest pace recorded since 2013-14.



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