‘Budget like never before’: Sector-wise expectations from finance minister

‘Budget like never before’: Sector-wise expectations from finance minister
Nirmala Sitharaman
New Delhi, Jan 31 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/31/2021 12:43:48 PM IST

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present the budget on Monday, February 1, a task which will be more challenging this year amid the coronavirus pandemic which has not only impacted the Indian economy but nations across the world. As Sitharaman promised a budget like “never before” this year, all sectors are looking up to the finance minister for a boost as they face these unprecedented times, Hindustan Times reported. 

“Send me your inputs so that we can see a budget which is a budget like never before, in a way. Hundred years of India wouldn’t have seen a budget being made post pandemic like this,” Sitharaman had said while addressing the CII Partnership Summit 2020.

Here’s a look what different sectors expect
Household: The coronavirus pandemic has impacted households across the country the most because the nationwide lockdown hit their savings hard. Incentivising savings as well as investments are expected to be the topmost priority of the government.
Real estate: Although several policy measures have been taken to boost real estate in pandemic-hit 2020, the sector expects the government to widen the scope of its affordable housing scheme and provide more tax benefits to potential homebuyers. The sector wants stimulus in the form of sops in the Union Budget 2021 to boost housing demand. The key demands comprise tax rebate on housing, GST waiver, personal tax relief, an extension of interest subvention, easing liquidity for the sector, and infrastructure status for realty.
Income tax: Salaried individuals will be looking forward to finance minister increasing the basic exemption limit from Rs. 250,000 to Rs. 500,000. This will help them in having more disposable income and therefore increase personal demand as well. Although it is highly unlikely that the government would take this step.
Healthcare: The pandemic made the healthcare sector face the most difficult year and therefore it expects the government to increase spending for both infrastructure developments as well as for vaccination. The sector is also expecting a reduction in taxes, especially on treatment.
Banking sector: The banking sector expects more disinvestment, privatising public sector banks (PSBs), higher allocations, setting up of bad banks and focus on investigating financial frauds by instituting an agency for the same.
Auto sector: The sector expects the government to announce measures that create more demand for automobiles in the economy as the sector is focused on sales recovery after the pandemic.
Railways: More budgetary allocation, infrastructure development, privatisation of trains and increased focus on the up-gradation of existing infrastructure are some of the expectations of this sector from the government.
Agriculture sector: In view of the ongoing farmers’ protest, the government needs to do much more to placate the farmers through an increase in the infrastructure allocation as well as schemes that help the farmers.

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