Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman created a stir hours before she was set to deliver her first Budget speech 2019 on July 5. Ditching the age-old colonial practice of carrying the budget speech in a briefcase, the finance minister chose a red cloth with the national emblem of India embossed on it. Will this 'departure' be reflected in her budget announcements too? Expectations are running high.
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Commenting on replacing the fabled briefcase with this red cloth, chief economic advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said, "It is in Indian tradition. It symbolises our departure from the slavery of Western thought. It is not a budget but a 'bahi khata'(ledger)."
Rashtrapati Bhavan: As per tradition, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman calls on President Ramnath Kovind before presenting the Union Budget pic.twitter.com/5vOMn9qj2H— ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2019
India's economy has hit a five-year low growth of 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. All eyes are now on how the finance minister proposes to steer the economy.
Live streaming: Watch finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman deliver her maiden speech Lok Sabha Tv. (Photo: ANI)
The budget may introduce some incentives for farmers in order to boost their income. A stress fund may also get introduced.
Budget 2019 Live streaming: Copies being brought to Parliament on July 5. (Photo: ANI)Job creation, investments
Job creation will be the top priority for Nirmala Sitharaman. With unemployment at a 45-year high, the government is likely to offer a roadmap on improving job creation figures over the next five years.
Income tax benefits likely
The government is expected to hike income tax deductions under some sections of the Income Tax Act.