PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Big Exam’ Today As Arun Jaitley Presents Budget 2016
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to lay out growth-boosting measures and overhaul the tax regime when he presents the union budget in Parliament at 11 am on Monday. Faced with rural distress caused by back to back droughts and elections soon in five states, the government is also likely to pledge to spend more on social sector schemes and announce a string of pro-poor and pro-farmer measures. The Finance Minister is under pressure to deliver on promised reforms after last year’s budget met with a cool response in many quarters for its lack of “big bang” announcements. Investors are looking for concrete initiatives from PM Modi’s government to make it easier to do business, with hopes it will move to simplify a complex tax regime seen as deterring investors. The finance ministry has promised that the 2016-17 budget will be “growth-oriented” in the face of a global climate that appears significantly more challenging than last year.India is seen as a relative bright spot in the world economy, after a slowdown in China, collapsing commodity prices and recession in other big emerging markets sent stock indexes tumbling.