New Delhi: The Union and Rail Budget announcement which will be made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday will signify a dramatic shift in India’s economic policy at a time when the country is trying to slowly reel in the effects of demonetisation.

Jaitley, who has the colossal task of ensuring that India’s future looks bright after a ‘brief’ sojourn through a tunnel, will take into account global trade tensions, protectionism and rising crude prices.

India’s demonetisation has heavily impacted the growth of agriculture and retail sector which are heavily dependent on immediate cash transactions.

Here are top five things we can expect from the Union Budget 2017:

Sops on Income Tax

After a painstaking fifty days of depositing 500, 1000 notes and waiting outside the ATMs, the Indian middle class is hoping for announcement on tax which will evidently include exemption limits for income tax and lower tax slabs.

Startups boost

Tax holidays and easier regulations on employee stock options are expected from the announcement.

Digital incentives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that demonetisation was a move which was primarily aimed at a ‘less-cash economy’. Incentives on digital transaction and rebate on digital payments is also expected.

Housing-for-all a reality?

Prime Minister Modi’s push for housing for all is expected to be pushed up in agenda in the budget. The real estate sector will be on focus during the budget address.

Travelling to cost more, maybe

The Finance Minister is expected to announce massive funds on creation of infrastructure to ensure that technology is upgraded and safety remains a priority for railway passengers. However, Jaitley is expected to keep a safe distance from announcing direct hike in passenger and freight tariffs.

First Published | 1 February 2017 8:43 AM
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