UPA-2 interim budget: No change in tax laws

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New Delhi, Feb 17: After the disastrous rail budget last week, apprehensions are rife as to whether the minister would be allowed to present his budget this time. An interim budget is a stand by account of expenses that the government may incur till the new government is in place.

The 'vote on account' that finance minister P Chidambram is to present today may not include any significant taxes, but it surely is going to make a final attempt to woo the voters. He is likely to present a report of the Indian economy in the past five years and throw light on the tax collection.

It is not unknown that the Indian economy has been slipping in the past five years. With the Rupee value going down as against the Dollar, the next government may have to pay the price for it.

12:05: Financial budget comes to an end.

12:00: No changes in tax laws have been stated. Changes in indirect tax mentioned. Says new tax laws are required.

Enough flexibility to make changes, says Chidambaram.

11:50 am: Education to get a facelift. Food, fuel and fertilizer gets a subsidy of Rs 2.46 lakh crore. Rs 100 crore for community radio.Highlights the GDP growth difference between the NDA government between 1999-2004 and the UPA government. Average growth rate was 5.9% during the NDA period and that of UPA was 6.2%.

11: 45 am: Rs 1,000 crore non lapsable fund for Nirbhaya fund, which is to be doubled the coming year. Sops for various departments like women and child welfare, health, minorities department. Health and family will get Rs 33,725 crore sops. Allocation to defence enhanced by 10% for 2014-2015.

Sops for education section.

Rail budgetary support increased from Rs 26,000 crore in 2013-24 to Rs 29,000 crore to 2014-15. 500 crore to defence pension this year itself, which is likely to be increased in the next year. One rank one pension approved.

11:40 am: Additional funds to North East states for development.

11:30 am: Chidambaram recounts the significant bills passed in the Parliament-Food Bill, Land Bill etc. Capital expenses will see a new height in the coming year. 70,000 MW of power capacity promised.

National solar mission kickstarts a new power era in India, he said.

11:25 am: Promise of creating 1 million jobs. Immense work in the industrial corridors of the country.

11:20 am: Exports have revived sharply and expected manufacturing exports may be 230 million dollars. They have revived sharply in 2014. The quarterly growth rate is on the rise.

11:15 am: Says fiscal deficit will be constrained to 4.6% of the GDP. Claims of great achievements in infrastructure and financial sector. Inflation is down by 5%, but still is a worry as global economy is affecting the Indian economy. (It was claimed that the Indian economy is independent of the Global economy).

Govt, RBI acted in tandem to curtail inflation, he says. He further pegs the investment rate at 34.8%, accounting a saving rate at 30.1%.

11:05 am:  Chidambaram begins his vote of account. Pins hope on the agricultural sector though it may be susceptible to inflation. Presents reports showing increase in production from 255 million tonnes in 2013 to 263 million tonne in 2014. Food inflation down to 6.2%.

Agricultural credit in FY14 has been accounted at Rs 7.35 lakh crore versus Rs 7 lakh crore target.

11:00 am: Parliament session begins right on time amid Telangana slogans.

10:40 am: Chidambaram reaches Parliament

9:05 am: Chidambaram heads for the President's house where there will be a meeting. Following this, he will head to the Parliament to read the budget at 11 am.

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