Union Minister Piyush Goyal will today present an interim budget that is widely expected to replicate a full budget with big announcements to win over the masses ahead of the national election, due by May. It is the last chance for the ruling BJP to cover its bases after it lost three major states in last month's elections to rival Congress. The government is said to consider a cash handout and a monthly income programme for farmers even though it will cost the exchequer amid slowing growth and shrinking revenue collections. Tax relief proposals may also be announced. On Thursday, the government went into damage control mode as a yet-to-be-released report said unemployment was at a four-decade high in 2017-18.