Nagpur: The Union Budget 2018 is going to be a breakout Budget. Not because it is going to be the last full Budget before the 2019 general elections, but also the first one after GST’s implementation. After the roll out of GST, the only significant indirect tax change is going to be in customs duty and price changes for consumers is most unlikely to happen because nowadays this happens after every GST Council meeting.
The government is widely expected to increase spending to ensure growth recaptures momentum in order to achieve its GDP Target as laid down in the Economic Survey a few days back. A substantial hike in social sector spending, hike in education, NREGA and healthcare is expected.
The government would be exceedingly cautious on corporate taxes, however it is expected that Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) may be reduced from 18.50% currently to 15%. Given Governments earlier promise of lowering the Corporate Tax in a phased manner, the Finance Minister should lower the Corporate Tax by 1%-2%.
Budget 2018 will have to attempt to give some relief to the middle-class. The amount of tax an average Indian pays should to be brought down. There will be some reduction on the income-tax front and middle-class is likely to benefit from this budget.
The Government must also ensure that rural infrastructure projects are expedited and implemented at the right time. It should lay down detailed process with time of completion, for new infrastructure projects in rural India.
All in all the Budget would aim to give relief to common man, settle the implementation of GST and to ensure the Macro Economic Stability of the economy for the upcoming year.