Budget 2017: Amid uncertainty 10 things to expect from Arun Jaitley

While suspense prevails over whether the Budget will be presented in Parliament as scheduled today or will it get deferred, the expectations are high from the annual financial announcement.

Senior Kerala MP E Ahamad passed away yesterday leading to uncertainty over Budget presentation. Congress is pushing for a postponement of Budget by a day.

This Budget has raised huge expectations as it is the first one after demonetisation and is being presented just ahead of assembly polls in five states.

READ| Uncertainty over Budget after MP E Ahamed's death

BUDGET 2017: 10 THINGS TO EXPECT

  1. In the backdrop of demonetisation and in the view seventh finance commission implementation, expectations are high that the Union Budget will propose favourable changes in the income tax rates and slabs. Some speculations are being made that income upto Rs 4 lakh year may be exempted from taxation.

  2. With roadblocks for GST having been cleared, service tax may be increased from existing 14 per cent to 18 per cent making the transition smooth when the new tax regime takes over.

  3. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to push for more digitisation of economy. Incentives may be announced to encourage digital payments to move cash-dependent economy to cashless economy keeping it in sync with the Digital India schemes of the government.
  4. Demonetisation has impacted GDP growth in the last quarters. The Union Budget may propose measures to boost Start Up India programme of the government. A tax-free regime for five years may be announced for start ups.

  5. The government is pushing for digital and mobile banking and transactions. This calls for better penetration of smartphones particularly in the rural India. Budget 2017 may announce steps to make good quality smartphones more affordable to all strata of society.

  6. The government has shown keenness on promoting its Housing for All scheme by 2022. The Finance Minister may announce some measures to make house loans cheaper. Expectations are high that tax rebate on house loans may be increased from existing Rs 50 lakh.

  7. With the Rail Budget having been merged with the Annual Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may announce measures to strengthen safety of trains and upgradation of tracks.

  8. Demonetisation has come as a jolt to manufacturing and it also presented an opportunity for the government to boost agricultural sector. The Budget is expected to propose measures to make fertilizers cheaper, improve irrigation infrastructure and cheaper seeds.

  9. The Modi government has been emphasising on improving India's ranking on ease of doing business scale. Arun Jaitley may announce corporate tax reforms. He has already promised reducing the corporate tax in phases to 25 per cent.

  10. Given the Modi government's emphasis on Make in India and Skill India plans, Budget 2017 is expected to propose measures to attract foreign investment to boost manufacturing in India. More budget allocations are expected for expansion of road, rail and port networks in the country.

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