Interim Budget: India’s cabinet on Thursday approved the Interim Budget for fiscal year 2025, while the world’s biggest democracy looks at the Modi government 2.0’s last financial document with hopes for measures to ease price pains. However, New Delhi is widely speculated to keep its focus on fiscal prudence rather than populism before Lok Sabha elections in the coming summer season.
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the interim budget today in parliament. She is scheduled to begin the interim budget speech at 11:00 a.m.Click here for live coverage of interim budget.
Being an election year, this will be an Interim Budget, also known as a vote on account. The final full budget will be announced by the next government.
Where, how to watch Finance Minister Sitharaman’s live speech
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, ahead of the commencement of the parliament’s budget session, vowed to present the full budget after returning to power for a third straight term.
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“We will follow the same tradition and present a full-fledged budget before you after a new government is formed,” he said, adding that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will in her budget, to be tabled on Thursday, come out with measures showing a direction.
Sitharaman as well as Modi had said the four focus areas of the interim Budget will be – nari shakti (women empowerment), youth, farmer and the economically weaker section of the society.
This interim budget, which may or may not act as a poll pitch, will for sure be another test for the Bharatiya Janata Party. India has to juggle between giving handouts or mega sops and sticking to a fiscal consolidation roadmap while looking to drive investments particularly at a time when it is taking the Dragon, or China, head on in different aspects ranging from being a viable alternative for the world’s factory floor to faster growth dynamics.
All eyes will be on what guidance Sitharaman gives in the budget for the economy’s road ahead to be a juggernaut, while it also seeks to keep the inflation monster calm that not only is a threat for the Indian lower-and-middle class but also makes Reserve Bank of India’s rate choices difficult and inflates input costs for corporates.
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