Budget 2018: Expect capex push through rural and infra spending

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The Budget presentation kicks off with traditions and rituals where halwa, an India dessert, is distributed among the Finance Ministry staff.

An overdose of populist sops in the Budget, say experts, will be biggest indication if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is thinking of conducting an early Lok Sabha election and will outline the plank on which BJP will contest the Parliament elections.

Every budget rides high on the expectations of taxpayers and the finance minister has a challenging task of balancing tax cuts and increased revenues and here's what India Inc expects from Budget 2018:"Considering the government's vision to achieve Housing for All by 2022, we believe affordable housing development requires a long-term perspective supported by easy home finance at very affordable interest rates".

Over the last few weeks, several global agencies have slated India to grow at an accelerated pace compared to major emerging economies this year-some even predicted that India would displace China as the fastest-growing economy in 2018.

Therefore, the budget offers Modi one last chance before the general elections to vindicate his actions that his opponents often blame for the economy's slow growth in 2016-17.

Markets remain nervous after the government's annual economic survey on Monday suggested "a pause" in fiscal consolidation, sending bonds plummeting. In last budget, suggestions from various quarters were there to step up spending to boost growth but Jaitely preferred to adhere to the fiscal goal.

With a number of fiscal reforms already in place, and with direct tax collections up by 18.7 per cent post the demonetisation period, the budget is widely expected to provide some relief in personal taxes.




BOOSTING INFRASTRUCTURE: Infrastructure has also got boost by Modi govt.

He will also look for avenues to increase investment in those sectors which have maximum potential to create jobs.

The corporate world expects reduction in tax rates. "This year, the finance minister faces a unique dilemma of balancing growth and inflation amid rising crude oil prices and bond yield", said domestic brokerage Angel Broking in a note.

Analysts at Deloitte India said given that growth momentum was hit on account of certain structural changes, the focus of the current budget is likely to be on alleviating the built-up stress in the rural economy, especially in the agricultural domain given the prevailing agricultural distress, which has led to falling farm incomes.

A lot of expectations are also seen in Railways.

Citing sources, a report in Business Standard quoted that the government may announce reduced rates of deductions from women's salaries for various schemes managed by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation. The same belief and values have been followed by the Government of India on the day of Budget.

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