10 things to expect from FM in this Union Budget

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be presenting the new Government's maiden budget on July 10 at a time when the Government is already facing several challenges like food inflation, lack of infrastructure, weak monsoon due to El Nino weather phenomenon and surge in oil prices due to on-going Iraq crisis. The NDA Government has to fulfill some of the specific agenda it raised in its manifesto ahead of Lok Sabha election.

Following are some of sectors which the Finance Minister will be concentrating in his maiden budget:

1. Food inflation control high on agenda: Unable to curb high inflation and hoarding was one of the key factor behind last UPA Government's downfall. Hence, expectations are at peak from the Narendra Modi Government as inflation rate is hovering around 8 per cent in May. Containing spiralling prices is among the top priorities, while the Reserve Bank have made it clear that efforts on this front would continue. Onion prices have shot up 40 per cent in the last two weeks to Rs 18.50 per kg at Lasalgaon, the country's largest wholesale market for the edible bulb, despite the imposition of minimum export price on the vegetable to check its domestic rates from going up.
Expectations of poor monsoon has further lead to rise in prices of essential commodities.

Inflation rate is hovering around 8 per cent in May

2. Infrastructure: Infrastructure is another important sector in which the Government may look forward to create new investment opportunity to compete with the global market. The Government is likely to introduce infrastructure business trust method to encourage investment with help of public-private partnership to build large pending projects. These trusts will be registered under SEBI and offered range of tax incentives.

3. Black money: Bringing back unaccounted money stashed in foreign bank in one of the top priority. The Narendra Modi Government's efforts to crack down black money abroad will have a significant boost in the Indian economy. The Swiss Government have already extended necessary support to the SIT on black money and is willing to work with NDA Government in power.

4. FDI: The NDA Government should also give a right signal on FDI(foreign direct investment) in retail, defence, railway and infrastructure sector. Though BJP clearly promised FDI in certain sectors to generate employment but Minister of commerce(independent charge), Nirmala Sitharaman has clearly ruled out FDI in retail sector." The need of the hour for the Government is to bring the nation back on the growth track to attract investments. Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram recently said that the country should prefer FDI route over FII for economic growth. "I believe our potential growth Rate is 8 per cent. And to get their, we need to develop resources. And that which cannot generate domestically must come from outside and if it comes from outside then we prefer it in the form of foreign direct investment(FDI) rather than foreign institutional investment(FII)," Mayaram said.

5. Women's safety: While 1,000 crore more money was allocated to Nirbhaya Fund in the interim budget under UPA, little was done by the Government for the safety of women in the country. All eyes will be on the Narendra Modi Government who has constantly mocked Congress for not using a single penny from the Nirbhaya Fund allocated for the safety and security of women. Infact, recent Badaun incident which even got the attention of international media and UN which raised serious concern on the safety and sanitation for women in India. The United Nation condemned the violence of girls and women across India and termed it appalling and a human right's issue. The budget 2014 should definitely have some plan to implement if Funds allocated for women.

6. Agriculture sector: Blaming the El-Nino, scientists and Met Department have already warned of a possible drought due to weak monsoon. Farmer's suicide and drought should be kept if mind while allocation of funds in agricultural sector.

7. Defence: Liberalization of foreign investment for example in Defence production needs to be looked after.

8. Cleaning of Ganga: Rejunavation of Ganga is also on the cards

9. Health sector: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has already talked about bringing AIIMs in every State to improve medical facilities. Also Narendra Modi Government is likely to bring a number of drugs under price control ambit which will plunge their prices by 10 to 15%. Price rise will be the focus of this budget with Government already under pressure over food inflation.

10. Building investor's confidence and tax incentives in research and development: The new Government will be focusing more on building investor's confidence which was lost under UPA due to rampant corruption and wrong developmental policies. In order to encourage Research and Development, certain tax incentives are also needed.

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