New Delhi, Feb 29 : Union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram will present the General Budget for the fiscal 2008-09 in the Lok Sabha today and will also address a Post-Budget press conference here.
Chidambaram will be presenting his fifth Budget in a row and his seventh budget overall at 11 this morning.
After a widely accepted Rail Budget, it is likely that Chidambaram will announce a please-all budget. Political analysts believe that as this would be the last full budget of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government, Chidambaram will provide relief to almost all sections of society. It is expected that farmers, who are passing through an agrarian crisis, would get relief in the General Budget 2008-09.
The decline in manufacturing sector is also a major concern of the government and industry is looking forward to some measures that would give a thrust to this vital sector. The common man expects the government to check the price rise.
It is also likely that there will be a jump in tax collections, Chidambaram may announce personal and corporate income tax cuts, excise duty relief and a simplification of taxes and massive funds for farm, rural employment and other social projects.
The Finance Minister said: 'I hope to create an investment friendly climate, besides making efforts to sustain the growth rate and contain inflation'.
In a statement to the media, after tabling the Economic Survey on Thursday, he said there are number of things going in India's favour and the need is to capitalize on opportunities. He also expressed confidence that an average GDP growth of nine per cent could be achieved during the Eleventh Five Year Plan.
The Economic Survey has projected a fiscal deficit that needs to be further pruned to three per cent in the coming fiscal. The public and the industry remember his 'dream' Budget of 1997-98 and expect a bonanza from Chidambaram. Government servants are expecting an announcement on the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission.