The hype over Indian Budget is going to build gradually till it peaks in February.
Jayant Sinha, the Minister of State for Finance has kickstarted the proceedings. He says this year the Budget shall be on 4 themes:
The first, and major theme, he said, would be the expansion of universal social security, which he hoped would be a historic accomplishment for the National Democratic Alliance government. The roll-out of universal social security would be based on the direct benefits transfer platform, which he said was already working effectively in the employment guarantee programme, for the liquefied petroleum gas subsidy and for pensions and scholarships.
The second theme in the Budget would be agriculture, “an area where we can do much more”. The minister singled out crop health cards, agricultural credit, funding for state-led irrigation schemes among others.
The third theme, Sinha said, would be job creation and the various associated programmes – ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Start-up India’, and so on. The Union government’s much-anticipated draft start-up policy, he indicated, would be finalised soon but probably not made public till the end of the year or in the New Year.
The Budget’s final theme would be “simplifying the tax structure… Let us see if the committee we have formed has some suggestions by then that we can put in the Finance Bill”.