Budget 2020 LIVE Updates: Budget Will Bring New Vigor In Financial System, Credit Flow, Says PM Modi

Budget 2020: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget 2020 presentation comes at a time when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate has been spiralling downwards in the last five quarters

Budget 2020 LIVE Updates: Budget Will Bring New Vigor In Financial System, Credit Flow, Says PM Modi

Budget 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget looks to address price rise and weak demand

New Delhi:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman started her Budget 2020 speech with tributes to her former counterpart Arun Jaitley. "I pay homage to the visionary leader late Shri Arun Jaitley," she said as she presented her second Union Budget today, amid a slowdown in the economy. "The fundamentals of the economy are strong, and that has ensured macroeconomic stability. Inflation is under control," she said. "In May 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a massive mandate to form the government again. With renewed vigour we commit ourselves to serve the people of India with all humility and dedication," Ms Sitharaman said. The government has been firefighting runaway price rise and turmoil in the finance and manufacturing sector. The stock markets are open for a special trading session today.

Here are the LIVE updates on Union Budget 2020:

Feb 01, 2020 17:24 (IST)
Budget 2020 will fulfill the current needs, furute expectationa of the country: PM Modi
A new system will be created through Kisan Rail and Krishi Udyan for farmers to market and transport their products properly. I believe that this budget will increase Income and Investment, increase Demand and Consumption, bring new vigor in Financial System and Credit Flow. This budget will fulfill the current needs of the country as well as future expectations in this decade.
Feb 01, 2020 17:19 (IST)
Budget 2020: PM Modi on steps to increase people's ease of living
Provisions of faceless appeals, new direct tax, simple structure, emphasis on disinvestment, provision of universal pension through auto enrollment, move towards unified procurement system, these are some of the steps that will will increase the ease of living. Today, youths have to take many different exams for government jobs. Changing this arrangement, now appointments will be made through online common exam taken by National Recruitment Agency.
Feb 01, 2020 17:14 (IST)
Budget 2020: "Tax benefits been provided for start ups, real estates," says PM Modi
Tax benefits have also been provided for start ups and real estates. All these decisions will accelerate the economy and through this will provide new employment opportunities to the youth. Now in the system of income tax, we have gone from dispute to trust. The budget has strengthened the commitment of minimum government, maximum governance.
Feb 01, 2020 17:12 (IST)
Budget 2020: "Trade, business, employment will benefit from National Logistics Policy," says PM Modi
Modern infrastructure is of great importance for modern India. The infrastructure sector is also a large employment generator. The construction of 65 hundred projects from 100 lakh crores rupees will increase employment opportunities on a large scale. Trade, business and employment will also benefit from National Logistics Policy. Due to the removal of dividend distribution tax, Rs 25 thousand crore will come in the hands of companies, which will help them in further investment. Various tax concessions have been given to attract outside investment in India.
Feb 01, 2020 17:09 (IST)
Budget 2020: "Ayushman Bharat has given new dimension to health sector," says PM Modi
The Ayushman Bharat scheme has given a new dimension to the health sector of the country. In this sector, there has been a lot of scope for human resource - doctors, nurses, attendants as well as medical device manufacturing. To increase this, new decisions have been taken by the government. In this budget, we have made several special efforts to promote employment generation in the field of technology. Several policy initiatives have been taken for areas such as new smart cities, electronic manufacturing, data center parks, biotechnology and quantum technology. With this India will move strongly towards becoming an integral part of the global value chain.
Feb 01, 2020 17:05 (IST)
Budget 2020: "Under Blue Economy, youth will get new opportunities," says PM Modi
The main areas of employment are agriculture, infrastructure, textiles and technology. In order to generate more employment, these four have been given a lot of emphasis in this budget. 16 action points have been created to double the income of farmers which will work to increase employment in rural areas. Integrated approach to agriculture was adopted in the budget, which along with traditional methods will increase value addition in Horticulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and also increase employment. Under the Blue Economy, youth will also get new opportunities in the field of fish processing and marketing.
Feb 01, 2020 17:02 (IST)
Budget 2020: "New reforms in Budget will accelerate economy," says PM Modi
I congratulate Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ji and his team for the first budget of this decade, which also has a vision and an action. The new reforms announced in the budget will work to accelerate the economy, financially empower every citizen of the country and strengthen the foundation of the economy in this decade.
Feb 01, 2020 16:23 (IST)
Budget 2020: P Chidambaram says, "Budget has done nothing to create budget"
P Chidambaram says, "Some crumbs were thrown at the lower tax bracket. Any relief to the lower tax bracket, we welcome it. As far as LIC is concerned, it is highly debatable. To assume that every public sector must go through divestment, is wrong. LIC has increased share of first premium income. We will internally debate it and give our view of the floor, but I think it is highly debatable. External market conditions not favorable for a sovereign wealth fund. Food subsidy has been reduced, fertilizer subsidy has been reduced. Surprisingly, President's speech didn't utter a word on employment. Economic Survey has a chapter on employment. I don't see any firms, all I hear about are stories of firms closing down. I think the budget has done nothing to create budget. Tell me anything that gives a boost to mining, construction or manufacturing, the 3 job creating sector.  "

On rating the Budget, he says, "10 has got a 1 and a zero, you can pick either number, am okay with it."
Feb 01, 2020 15:56 (IST)
Budget 2020: "Will consider recapitalisation when needed," says Finance Minister
I have not said I wont give any money for recapitalisation. This means as and when there is a need, we will certainly consider it, says Finance Minister.
Feb 01, 2020 15:54 (IST)
Budget 2020: "GST collection has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore," says Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharam says, "We had announced fiscal deficit of 3.3% in July. But because of challenges we faced to improve on consumption demand, to improve on investments which have to be from public, private investment was happening but not at a pace that it would have helped the whole process. Due to some natural disaster-related causes, compliance difficulties, GST collection was coming down. If you look at the way revenue generation is improving, GST collection has crossed one lakh crore. I hope corporate tax cut and befits derived by new companies will come into play."
Feb 01, 2020 15:48 (IST)
Budget 2020: Revenue Secretary on what qualifies one as NRI
Revenue Secreatary says, "Made changes to IT. If an Indian citizen stays out of the nation for over 182 days, he becomes an NRI. Now, he has to stay out of the country for 241 days. In many cases, we found that some people were residents of no country."
Feb 01, 2020 15:46 (IST)
Budget 2020: "Will see successful divestment in next few months," says Finance Minister
Nirmala Sitharaman says, "You will see successful divestment in the next few months. Between now and July, a lot of work will be completed and the benefits will go the next financial year."

Tuhin Pandey, Secretary, Disinvestment says, "Air India EOI is already out, very soon BPCL EOI will be out as well. Hopeful that we will be able to achieve the divestment target next year."
Feb 01, 2020 15:44 (IST)
Budget 2020: "Tax charter very major step," says Nirmala Sitharaman
Tax charter is a very major step. Other than us going around the nation to tell tax administrators to tell that face-to-face engagement with taxpayers need not be there, to make sure they deal with them more like wealth creators, in spite of that, you'd hear about harassment. Commitment to ensure that taxpayers are respected, it had to be given an expression of sorts. If I am right, only 3 nations have enshrined the rights of a taxpayer, Canada, US & Australia, if am correct. The government's intent is not to harass anybody. There are 1-2 black sheep everywhere, not just among tax administrators.
Feb 01, 2020 15:42 (IST)
Budget 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman on real estate and affordable housing
For the real estate sector, we had announced some things earlier. We had announced that stalled projects would be given last-mile funding. We have extended the date by one year so that exemption for home-buyer is available in cases of affordable housings.
Feb 01, 2020 15:37 (IST)
Budget 2020: "About 70 exemptions removed," says Revenue Secretary
Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey says, "There are close to 120 exemptions, all varied. We reviewed each item. In this new regime, the whole idea was to offer a simplified regime and lower the tax rates. About 70 exemptions have been removed. Retirement befits, leave encashment on retirement, EPFO about certain limit, payment received from National Pension System and others will all be retained.
Feb 01, 2020 15:33 (IST)
Budget 2020: "You'll definitely benefit," says Finance Minister
Those who still want to avail the benefits can follow the old method... You'll definitely benefit in terms of money that will remain in your hand under new regime.
Feb 01, 2020 15:32 (IST)
Budget 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman addresses media after Budget speech
The intention is to reduce the rates as much as to simplify structure. We wanted to make sure money is in the hands of the people. We've reduced income tax particularly for lower and lower middle class. We want to bring the rates down and remove complications in compliance. Too many exemptions make it very difficult for administrators and you need an expert to plan taxation. We want to simplify income tax process and reduce rates. New schemes with very limited exemptions to it, which are indefensible-like.
Feb 01, 2020 13:36 (IST)
Tax deferred on employee stock ownership plan for start-ups
The government has deferred taxing ESOP or employee stock ownership plan for start-ups. This will bring relief to start-ups since they can now use the money, which otherwise would have gone as tax, to invest in the young company for expansion and other uses.
Feb 01, 2020 13:30 (IST)
Budget 2020: Limit for Foreign Portfolio Investors to be raised
The government plans to increase investment limit of Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) in corporate bonds from 9 per cent to 15 per cent, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 13:26 (IST)
Budget 2020: New individual tax rate optional
The new tax regime is optional for those willing to forego all exemptions.
Feb 01, 2020 13:20 (IST)
Budget 2020: Rs 40,000 crore revenue foregone due to tax cuts
Rs 40,000 crore a year will be revenue foregone from new income tax rates for individuals, says the Finance Minister.
Feb 01, 2020 13:10 (IST)
Budget 2020: Income tax cuts
  • 5% tax for income between Rs 2.5-5 lakh
  • 10% tax for income between Rs 5-7.5 lakh as against 20%
  • 15% tax for income between Rs 7.5-10 lakh as against 20%
  • 20% tax for income between Rs 10-12.5 lakh as against 30%
  • 25% tax for income between Rs 12.5-15 lakh as against 30%
  • 30% tax for income above Rs 15 lakh
Feb 01, 2020 12:59 (IST)
Budget 2020: Nominal GDP growth forecast at 10% for fiscal 2021
"We have estimated the nominal growth of GDP for 2020-2021 at 10 per cent," Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 12:54 (IST)
Budget 2020: Part holding in LIC to be sold
The government will sell a part holding in LIC via an initial public offering.
Feb 01, 2020 12:45 (IST)
Budget 2020: Bank depositor insurance raised to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
Insurance cover for bank depositors will be raised to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh. The Banking Regulation Act will be amended to make bank managements function more efficiently and in a transparent manner.
Feb 01, 2020 12:38 (IST)
Union Budget 2020: Taxpayers won't be harassed

Our government would like to reassure taxpayers that they would be free from harassment from any kind. We are willing to put it in the law that harassment won't be tolerated. For Companies Act, certain amendments are proposed. Other laws will also be examined.
Feb 01, 2020 12:33 (IST)
2020 Budget: Government clean, corruption-free: Finance Minister
Opposition leaders protest as Nirmala Sitharaman says the government is "clean, corruption-free and trusting in every citizen".
Feb 01, 2020 12:29 (IST)
Clean air programme
Clean air is a matter of concern in large cities; Rs 4,400 crore to run programmes for clean air.
Feb 01, 2020 12:20 (IST)
Rs 85,000 crore for SC/OBC
Rs 85,000 crore for fiscal 2021 for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes. Rs 53,700 crore for Scheduled Tribes. Rs 9,500 crore for divyangs or the differently abled.
Feb 01, 2020 12:16 (IST)
On nutrition of girls and women
To improve national nutritional status of girls and women, more than six lakh Anganwadi workers are equipped with smartphones to upload nutritional status of 10 crore households.
Feb 01, 2020 12:15 (IST)
Gross enrolment rate of girls
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao has yielded tremendous results. Gross enrolment rate of girls under this scheme is 59.7 per cent as against 57.54 of boys. Girls are performing better under this scheme.
Feb 01, 2020 12:12 (IST)
Prepaid power meters
Prepaid power meters in 3 years, consumers can choose supplier and best rate.
Feb 01, 2020 12:08 (IST)
Plans on oil and gas

"Will ensure transparent price discovery and ease of transaction on oil and gas deposit discovery," the Finance Minister said.
Feb 01, 2020 12:05 (IST)
High-speed trains planned
More Tejas type trains will connect tourist destinations. High-speed rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be pursued. A suburban rail project in Bengaluru is planned.
Feb 01, 2020 12:01 (IST)
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway by 2023
"Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and other similar projects will be completed by 2023. Work on the Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway will start soon," Ms Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:57 (IST)
5 new Smart Cities
"Five new Smart Cities will be set up in public-private partnership mode," the Finance Minister said. "We propose to digitally refund duties and levies to exporters."
Feb 01, 2020 11:49 (IST)
Nirmala Sitharaman's Daughter, Uncle In Parliament To Cheer For Her
Nirmala Sitharaman's family was spotted in parliament as the Union Finance Minister got ready to deliver her second budget today. The minister's daughter Vangmayi Parakala, maternal uncle and cousin brother were seen on the way to the visitors' gallery of parliament shortly before the budget 2020 was to be presented.
Feb 01, 2020 11:48 (IST)
Degree-level online courses
A degree level full-fledged online education programme will be imparted by institutes among the top 100 ranked ones. This will be for students from economically weak families who cannot afford mainstream education.
Feb 01, 2020 11:47 (IST)
Rs 69,000 crore for healthcare sector

"Rs 69,000 crore has been allocated for the healthcare sector," the Finance Minister said. "By 2030, India is set to have largest working age population in the world. Dialogues with state education ministers are being held... Urban local bodies across the country will give internship to fresh engineers. Young engineers who want to work with the government can start with urban local engineers," she added.
Feb 01, 2020 11:40 (IST)
More hospitals for Ayushman Bharat scheme
Hospitals to be set up in PPP (public-private partnership) mode for better treatment under Ayushman Bharat (health insurance) scheme. More hospitals will be empanelled. "TB harega, desh jitega (tuberculosis will lose, the country will win," Ms Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:32 (IST)
"Kishan Rail" to ferry perishable goods of farmers
"The Indian Railways will set up a Kishan Rail through PPP to ferry perishable goods faster; they will have refrigerated coaches... Krishi Udan will also be launched on domestic and international routes," the Finance Minister said. "Horticulture exceeds the production of food grains. We propose to support states for at least one product in every district," she added.
Feb 01, 2020 11:28 (IST)
Move to discourage use of chemical fertilisers
"Our government shall encourage balanced use of all kinds of fertilisers including traditional organic variety to discourage use of chemical fertilisers," Ms Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:27 (IST)
Solar pumps for farmers

"We will provide 20 lakh farmers with facilities for standalone solar pumps; 15 lakh farmers will get solar grid-connected pump sets. Barren land can be used to set up solar plants," the Finance Minister said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:23 (IST)
On farmers' income
"Under Aspirational India programme, the first point is agriculture, irrigation and rural development. We are committed to doubling farmers' income by 2022," Ms Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:19 (IST)
"3 guiding factors of this Budget...": Finance Minister
"We recognise the need to energise Indian entrepreneurship spirit. The three guiding factors of this Budget are aspirational India, economic development for all and ours should be a caring society," Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:14 (IST)
"Dreaded Inspector Raj has ended": Finance Minister
"India raised 271 million people out of poverty between 2015 and 2016. The milestones achieved are unprecedented and globally recognised. A household saves an average of 4 per cent annually because of GST... The dreaded Inspector Raj has also vanished," Ms Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:04 (IST)
"Fundamentals of economy strong": Nirmala Sitharaman

"I pay homage to the visionary leader late Shri Arun Jaitley... The fundamentals of the economy are strong, and that has ensured macroeconomic stability. Inflation is under control. In May 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a massive mandate to form the government again. With renewed vigour we commit ourselves to serve the people of India with all humility and dedication," Ms Sitharaman said.
Feb 01, 2020 11:00 (IST)
Pre-Budget expectations of Assocham
"Our expectation from Budget 2020 is broadly that how will government policies align towards the country and PM's goal of $5 trillion economy. We're expecting some areas of guidance from the government and policies that could help us to lead towards that," Vineet Agarwal, Senior Vice President, Assocham, told news agency ANI.
Feb 01, 2020 10:59 (IST)
Hema Malini arrives at parliament

BJP MPs Hema Malini, Ravi Kishan and Sunny Deol have arrived in parliament ahead of the Budget 2020 presentation.
Feb 01, 2020 10:44 (IST)
Nirmala Sitharaman's family at parliament

The family of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, including her daughter Parakala Vangmayi, arrive in parliament.
Feb 01, 2020 10:43 (IST)
Sniffer dogs check budget document bags outside parliament

Sniffer dogs check bags containing copies of the Budget 2020 outside parliament. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will announce the contents of her Budget document bahi khata from 11 am.
Feb 01, 2020 10:34 (IST)
Nirmala Sitharaman's Red Budget Bahi Khata Is Back
Ahead of the Union Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emerged on Saturday carrying her Budget papers once again in a traditional red "bahi khata" or cloth ledger, similar to last year."


She was photographed in a yellow silk sari, holding the red cloth folder, as she met President Ram Nath Kovind before going to parliament. The bahi khata debuted last year as Nirmala Sitharaman ditched the traditional budget briefcase carried by her predecessors.
Feb 01, 2020 10:33 (IST)
Amit Shah reaches parliament before Budget presentation

Home Minister Amit Shah arrives at parliament ahead of Budget 2020 presentation by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Feb 01, 2020 10:29 (IST)
Nirmala Sitharaman, carrying bahi khata, arrives at parliament

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flanked by Anurag Thakur arrives at parliament to present her second Union Budget. The government is expected to announce policy changes to control inflation, price rise and boost demand.
Feb 01, 2020 10:25 (IST)
PM Modi arrives at parliament ahead of Budget presentation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at parliament ahead of the Budget 2020 presentation by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


The Modi government is likely to increase state spending on infrastructure and offer some tax incentives, aiming to get growth back up from its lowest in a decade.
Feb 01, 2020 10:20 (IST)
GST silver lining ahead of Budget 2020 presentation
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection has crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore-mark for the third month in a row in January on the back of anti-evasion steps taken by tax officers. This is second time since introduction of GST in July 2017 that the monthly revenues have crossed Rs 1.1 lakh crore.
Feb 01, 2020 10:10 (IST)
Anurag Thakur, Nirmala Sitharaman's Junior, Prays At Home Before Budget
Anurag Thakur, the Minister of State for Finance, was seen praying at his home hours before theUnion Budget announcement. In a rust jacket and white kurta, the Minister is seen praying before an idol of Hanuman at his home. "The Modi government believes in sabka sath, sabka vikas. We received suggestions from across the country. The government has made efforts to ensure that this Budget will be good for all, good for the people and the country," Mr Thakur told news agency ANI.
Feb 01, 2020 09:51 (IST)
Nirmala Sitharaman meets President
"As per tradition, Finance Minister @nsitharaman calls on President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget": The office of President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted. The government is likely to announce plans to control inflation, which has started moderating in the past six years.


But there was a reversal from August 2019 driven by costlier onion, tomato and pulses, as unseasonal rains disrupted supplies besides an output shortage, according to the Economic Survey 2019-20.
Feb 01, 2020 09:47 (IST)
Key challenges in farm sector for doubling farmers' income
To achieve the target of doubling farmers' income by 2022, the Economic Survey has said there is an urgent need to address some of the basic challenges like credit, insurance coverage and irrigation facilities in the agriculture and its allied sectors.


According to the Survey, the coverage of irrigation facilities needs to be extended while ensuring an effective water conservation mechanism.
Feb 01, 2020 09:43 (IST)
Feb 01, 2020 09:36 (IST)
Budget 2020 amid economic slowdown
The Union Budget comes at a time when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate has been spiralling downwards in the last five quarters. It slowed to 4.5 per cent in the July-September quarter - the weakest pace since 2013. The government has revised the GDP growth rate to 6.1 per cent from 6.8 per cent for fiscal 2019.
Feb 01, 2020 09:30 (IST)
Anurag Thakur prays at his home before Budget presentation
Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur prays at his home ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget 2020 in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today.


Facing the worst economic slowdown in more than a decade, Ms Sitharaman is expected to pull out all stops to spur consumer demand and investment, government sources and economists said, news agency Press Trust of India reported.
Feb 01, 2020 09:20 (IST)
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Budget 2020

"Our economic cancer needs immunotherapy not chemotherapy. We need to treat the causality not the symptoms - hope #Budget2020 takes this approach. Wealth creation is a key part of our economic immune system! Waiting eagerly to hear Fin Min @nsitharaman": Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon. "Fiscal incentives are like CART-Cells to specifically target the economic cancer. Govt investments in infra, healthcare, education etc are like T-Cells to address the malaise broadly," she tweeted.
Feb 01, 2020 09:16 (IST)
Cabinet meeting ahead of Budget 2020 presentation
A cabinet meeting will be held at 10:15 am in Parliament House ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2020 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The government has estimated gross domestic product expansion at 5 per cent for the financial year ending on March 31, which would be the slowest pace since the global financial crisis of 2008-09.
Feb 01, 2020 09:13 (IST)
Letting go of fiscal discipline for growth: Analysts
The Economic Survey for 2019-20, released on Friday, has already laid the ground by suggesting to the government to keep the focus on reviving growth and letting go of fiscal discipline a bit. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), armed with a favourable inflation backdrop, defended slowdown risks last year with 110 basis points cut in interest rates. As it puts a brake on the easing cycle, due to an unseasonal spurt in food prices leading to above-target inflation, the ball is in the government's court to revive growth.
Feb 01, 2020 09:07 (IST)
Nirmala Sitharaman with Budget documents, Bahi Khata, outside Finance Ministry

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman walked out with her team from the Finance Ministry's building in Delhi, ahead of presenting the Budget 2020. Carrying the document wrapped in red cloth, bahi khata, Ms Sitharaman posed for a photograph before she headed out to meet the President.
Feb 01, 2020 08:52 (IST)
Bringing more farmers under PM's Kishan scheme
With disbursements under the Prime Minister Kisan scheme to farmers being less than the budgeted amount, the Union Budget 2020 may also see measures to get states to on board more eligible farmers under the scheme.


Also, there would be announcements for sectors such as renewable energy, e-vehicle, power, affordable housing, real estate, and exports, news agency Press Trust of India reported quoting unnamed sources.
Feb 01, 2020 08:48 (IST)
Possible reduction in personal income tax
Investments have failed to pick up despite corporate tax cuts and other stimulus measures, higher Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, plans to consolidate state-owned banks and monetary easing. After corporate tax cuts in September last year, speculation is rife about possible reduction in personal income taxes. A combination of an increase in the basic exemption limit and/or the introduction of a differentiated tax rate structure for higher incomes may be on the cards.
Feb 01, 2020 08:36 (IST)
Centre may announce plans for shadow banks

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to announce a host of economy-reviving measures. Income tax cuts, higher spending on infrastructure and incentives for real estate are likely. So is a plan to revive stressed shadow banks. However, the slowdown in growth has reduced tax revenues. The government may be forced to channel its increased spending through quasi-sovereign bodies, which would not be included in its deficit calculations.
Feb 01, 2020 08:35 (IST)
Expanding fiscal deficit may "crowd out private investments"

India should rationalise food subsidies, push exports and adopt counter-cyclical fiscal policy to boost sluggish demand, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry, said in the report. But he warned that expanding fiscal deficit targets would pose a risk of "crowding out private investments" and slower growth in consumer demand amid continued global trade tensions.
Feb 01, 2020 08:19 (IST)
Funds for food subsidies
The government is expected to earmark around Rs 1.90 trillion for food subsidies in the next financial year, though the food ministry has sought more than Rs 2 trillion to run the world's biggest food welfare programme.
Feb 01, 2020 08:13 (IST)
Government may push economic reforms to boost growth
Last month, the statistics office said investment growth was expected to fall to just 1 per cent in the current financial year from 10 per cent the previous year. Private consumption growth might slip to 5.8 per cent from 8.1 per cent. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry, said the government could push economic reforms to boost growth. The government should rationalise food subsidies to create additional fiscal space, push exports and adopt "counter-cyclical fiscal policy" to boost the sluggish demand and consumer sentiments, he said.
Feb 01, 2020 08:09 (IST)
Tax amnesty and global trade tensions

The government may announce an income tax amnesty, after collecting over Rs 350 billion from an amnesty this year to settle tax disputes on service and factory gate duties, news agency Reuters reported. Some experts said global trade tensions and the outbreak of coronavirus in China, which has killed more than 200 people so far, pose a new risk to economic recovery by hitting cross-border commerce and supply chains. "The economic recovery is likely to be slow and shallow despite the recent measures to boost investments," said Anagha Deodhar, an economist at ICICI Securities.
Feb 01, 2020 08:04 (IST)
Spending on roads, airports and infrastructure

Economists in a poll by news agency Reuters predicted the government would set a deficit target of 3.6 per cent of the GDP for fiscal 2021, up from 3.3 per cent targeted for the current year. Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to announce plans to spend over Rs 102 trillion on roads, ports, airports, irrigation and other infrastructure over the next five years.
Feb 01, 2020 07:52 (IST)
Government may defer target of cutting fiscal deficit to 3% of GDP
India is facing its worst economic slowdown in a decade. The government estimates economic growth this year, which ends on March 31, will slip to 5 per cent, the weakest pace since the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will present her second full-year annual budget to parliament, could defer the earlier target of cutting the deficit to 3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in fiscal 2021 by at least two years, government sources told news agency Reuters.
Feb 01, 2020 07:48 (IST)
Concerns over fiscal deficit target
The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to increase state spending on infrastructure and offer some tax incentives in Budget 2020 to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today, aiming to get growth back up from its lowest in a decade. In its annual economic report, released on Friday, the government predicted that economic growth would pick up 6 to 6.5 per cent in the fiscal year beginning April 1, but warned that it may have exceed its deficit target to revive growth.
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