The Union Budget will be presented at 11am on February 1 by the Finance Minister, the Lok Sabha Secretariat confirmed in a statement on Thursday. It said the fifth session of the 17th Lok Sabha will start on January 29 and is likely to end on April 8.
"The President will address both Houses of Parliament assembled together at 11am on Friday, January 29. The Union Budget will be presented at 11am on Monday, February 1," added the statement.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already set the expectations high by promising a budget like “never before” (and a paperless Budget) to address the biggest concern being likely contraction in GDP of 7.7 percent [as per advance estimates on the Indian economy by the National Statistical Office (NSO)] as uncertainties around a sustainable rebound of demand continue to weigh on economic activity.
The key would be to prioritise spending and take adequate measures to fill up the gaps created by pandemic. With the fortune of many multinational corporations (‘MNCs’) being affected by the pandemic, the expectation of India Inc in the form of government support through corporate tax reforms is widely anticipated. Union Budget 2020 expanded the scope of the hotly debated Equalisation Levy (‘EL’) to cover e-commerce supply or services provided by a non-resident e-commerce operator.
One of the expectation is to reduce number of public sector banks from 12 to 4. It’s already reduced from 27 to 12 through mergers.