As the entire country gears up for Budget 2018, The Better India spoke to the Executive Director of a prominent, publicly listed company, and asked him for his views.
Here are our predictions:
The union budget for the FY 2019, will focus on three issues:
- Targeting an 8% GDP growth, to increase industrial production.
- Employment generation
- Remove the grievances of the Agricultural Sector.
With issues like DOKLAM, the defence budget is likely to increase by 10%, with an allocation of at least Rs 1,00,000 crore for capital expenditure (up from Rs 86,000 crore). The earlier budget of Rs 2,74,000 crore, is likely to go up to Rs 3,00,000 crore.
Roads and highways are expected to get a 15% boost in allocation from Rs 64,000 crore last year, as this is being seen as a sector which could generate employment. Along with roads and highways, railways and shipping will also get a substantial boost, and we should expect a 10% increase over Rs 2,41,000 crore budgeted last year.
The government will make efforts to push affordable housing.
We should expect more SOPS and investment boosts for SOLAR power, as last year the Government target was 1,75,000 MW of non-fuel power generation by 2022.
We should see an increase in the allocation to MGNREGA from Rs 48,000 crore to Rs 56,000 crore as this will provide an employment boost to rural women.
In the agriculture sector, we should see a further boost in easy loans to farmers and the waiver of interests. The agricultural production, which stood at 4.1% is likely to drop to 2.2% in the current fiscal year. To boost this, the Government should promote investments in technology, better storage facilities, better markets for agricultural produce, and increase the crop insurance coverage. This would help agricultural growth, maintaining it at 4% plus, and farmers could be remunerated adequately by direct procurement, rather than by middlemen.
The coverage provided by Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is expected to go up in FY19, to help distressed farmers.
The total allocation for infrastructure, which was Rs 3.96 lakh crore is expected to go upwards of Rs 4.5 lakh crore.
Food processing and grain storage will get a greater impetus, to help the agricultural sector.
The lending target under the Mudra scheme is expected to increase from Rs 2.44 crore last year, which should be a big boost for the small-scale industries sector, as the slowdown in industrial production is largely in that sector.
On the personal income side, to boost the spending capacity of the middle class, the Government may consider raising the No Tax Slab, from Rs 2.5 lakhs, to Rs 3 lakhs. This could be possible, as tax compliance is increasing.
The total allocation for rural, agricultural, and allied sectors is expected to go up by 20% over Rs 1.87 lakh crore, in the current year.
Last year, the Government had promised to reduce the Corporate Tax in 4 years, which should probably happen.