The budget 2018 speech is going to be presented today. The main among them will be taxes and fiscal deficit target.
FISCAL DEFICIT: All the attention will be on the fiscal consolidation roadmap and the government’s borrowing plans. Will 3 percent (of GDP) still be the target for the 2018-2019 set last year? Or will there be variations in fixed target? There is high assumption that he may announce a new structure suggesting a fiscal deficit range from 2018-19 setting the stage for changing the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act with a new law, giving the government more pliability on borrowing and spending.
LTCG: Will there be come back of the long-term capital gains tax (LTCG) in stock markets? Also, the expectation is there in rising of the time limit for tax relief from one year presently to 2-3 years. Or will it be a status quo? Markets and investors will be hoping for the third alternative, for either a changed definition of long-term or a tax on gains from stock trading could activate rectification in markets as it will power up many individuals and institutional funds to shamble their stocks portfolio.
CORPORATE TAX: Will Jaitley slash the headline corporate income tax rate from 30 percent? In 2015, the finance minister had said that main corporate income tax rate will be step by step brought down to 25 percent by 2019. He may choose his fifth, and the NDA government’s last full budget, in its contemporary term to maintain India’s corporate tax structure by cutting the legal rate and abolish layers of discharge.
INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX: Will the finance minister have some great news for the salaried and the middle class? There is conjecture that he may announce a rebuilding of tax slabs and raise the income tax exemption limit from the existing Rs 250,000 to about Rs 300,000 —a step that would assent more money in the hands of people. It is also believed that the budget may restore the concept of standard deduction to provide some comfort to tax-payers.
80 (C) BENEFITS: Will there be a rise in the income tax deduction limits for money stored in specified savings tools? There is speculation that Jaitley may hike the deduction limit on investments in particular mutual funds. The deduction limit under Section 80C is now Rs 1.5 lakh since 2014-15.
FARM PUSH: Will the budget contain steps to address worries of rural problems and increase farm income? There is speculation that Jaitley may vocalize a new agricultural exports policy in the Budget for 2018-19 to help apprehend the slide on farm product prices generated by domestic gluts. He may also announce a ‘Price Deficiency Payment Mechanism’ for those crops whose procurement cannot be safeguarded.
These 5 speculations are being made and may be announced today. Keeping our fingers crossed let us wait some more time till Union Budget 2018 is announced.