As per news reports, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has arrived in Parliament and so have the papers for Budget 2018, which will be presented at 11am. This is the Narendra Modi government’s first post-GST and last pre-poll Budget, and taxpayers are hoping for raise in Income Tax exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. Markets are upbeat ahead of the Budget speech with the Sensex opening at 36,127.20 points, while the Nifty opened at 11,067.25. Breaking with tradition, Jaitley will deliver the Budget speech in Hindi this time.
His deputy and MoS Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla has hinted at a populist Budget, saying it will be a “good Budget and will benefit the common man”. Jaitley’s fifth Union Budget is arguably his toughest yet as he seeks to address farm distress, create jobs and boost growth while sticking to fiscal prudence and negotiating a tricky GST twist. This is India’s first post-GST and is being keenly watched to see what Arun Jaitley does to boost growth in Asia’s third largest economy.