So it’s time for finance minister Arun Jaitley to present his maiden budget. Commoners have pinned their hopes on this strongest non-congress government, as the BJP came to power after 15 long years.
While there are numerous expectations from the government, some generic ones as one would predict are controlling the rising inflation, spurring growth and investments. While India expects the government to give a new impetus to the economy, it also wants it to quickly get all pending projects back on track.
Talking categorically about some of the important sectors, a lot seem to be happening in the aviation segment these days. With jumbo planes coming in and new partnerships flourishing, some of the few requirements of this sector from the government would probably be allowing carriers to fly international route without much of waiting, reduction in aviation fuel and airport taxes, to name a few.
The oil and gas sector is another important industry where the focus shifts next. Some of the pre-budget expectations from this sector would be reducing the gap between pump price and production cost, decreasing cost of farm output, letting diesel price go up slowly, but steadily; and keeping a tab on kerosene oil and cooking gas cylinder rates, among others.
Similarly, for the pharmaceuticals industry, few of the pre-budget expectations are—scope of in-house R&D expenses should be extended, GST provisions to be smoothly rolled out, tax holiday period for setting up a hospital should be increased, customs duty on life saving drugs and related medical devices should be reduced, etc.
Lastly, scrapping of minimum alternate tax (MAT), incentives for segments like software and hardware, engineering and semiconductor and addressing the industry-academia disconnect by partnering with engineering and other technical institutes and enhancing in-house training facilities, can be expected for the IT industry from the Modi-government this year.
So, while people are keeping their fingers crossed for the D-day July 10th, our FM is busy scribing the new budget for the citizens. Now only time will tell if Budget 2014-15 will be a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’.