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Budget 2018 will be more keenly watched than last few non-event Budgets

Centrum Wealth Management's Kunj Bansal lists out the likely announcements and allocations, as also Budget expectations, for which the upcoming Union Budget 2018-19 will be watched

Kunj Bansal 

Union Budget 2018 on February 1

2018-19 is one that the markets are looking forward to eagerly – more eagerly than the past few years when the Union Budgets were referred to by many as a non-event. This is mainly because it cannot be ignored that this will be the last full before the next general elections in 2019, and eight state elections are coming up in the medium term. Markets would, therefore, closely watch announcements around taxation, rural economy, social sector and infrastructure spending.

After the rollout of the in July last year, the possible indirect tax change in the might happen in the form of customs duty tweaks, given that GST Council meetings decide on the bigger tax structure. In earlier Budgets a road map for bringing corporation tax down was hinted at. Corporate entities would be watching for some headway on this when presents the Union Budget 2018-19 on February 1. The world’s largest economies have taken steps toward this end. But having said that, each has its own unique aspects and such action could not be simply replicated. Any reduction in corporation tax, if implemented, still remains something that could have a far-reaching impact on earnings.

The stress in the and the unorganised sector has been receiving attention and some measures to revive mid- to small-sized businesses affected by disruptions could also be seen in 2018. ‘Housing for all by 2022’ has been another stated policy objective and allocations to this segment are likely to continue. Much has been said about doubling farm income and reviving the rural This is one area where a prudent spending balance is needed the most.

Given the consistent and constructive policy actions seen on specific problem areas and the overall economy, almost on a monthly basis in the past year, it would be natural to believe that the progress would continue.

The author is an executive director & CIO at Centrum Wealth Management

First Published: Fri, January 26 2018. 15:34 IST