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Union Budget 2019: Key things to know before February 1

This year's Budget will also include announcements for the Railways.

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Union Budget 2019: Key things to know before February 1

The government is due to present the interim budget in Parliament on February 1. That will mark the last budget before the general election due by May this year. The Union Budget 2019 will be crucial for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as it offers one last opportunity to announce some popular measures ahead of the elections, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a second term.

The government is expected to announce a slew of measures to woo rural voters and urban middle class. Since this is an election year, there are chances that the central government would go for higher spending. However, there are palpable concerns regarding the slow growth, the HSBC report says.

Here’s all you need to know about Budget 2019:

Date and time

Piyush Goyal will present the budget on February 1 at around 11 am for the interim budget for the financial year 2019-20. Both the houses of Parliament- the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, will remain in session till February 13 for the Budget Session, which is scheduled to begin on January 31.

The last parliamentary session of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, before the general elections which are due before May. Budget 2019 will have 10 sittings.

Piyush Goyal likely to present the budget

Piyush Goyal, appointed interim Finance Minister for the second time in the absence of Arun Jaitley, will present the upcoming Budget 2019. This is the second instance in eight months when Goyal will be stepping in for Jaitley in the North Block-located finance ministry.

Jaitley, 66, underwent a successful kidney transplant at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on May 14, 2018. He had been on leave since early April due to kidney-related problems and chest infection and took charge of finance and corporate affairs ministries on August 23.

Halwa ceremony

Earlier this week, the finance ministry officials kicked off the printing process of Budget 2019 documents with a “halwa ceremony”. The customary ceremony marks the beginning of the process of printing documents for the Budget.

An interim budget

An interim Budget is a complete set of accounts which includes both expenditure and receipts of the government.

An interim budget is required in two situations. One, if the government does not have time to present a full budget or two if general elections are near.

Inclusions in the budget

Budget is prepared by the budget division in the Ministry of Finance after consulting with other ministries. It is tabled in Parliament by the finance minister.

The Budget comprises of Budget speech, annual financial statement, finance bill, demand for grants and macroeconomic framework.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram presented the last interim budget on 17 February 2014. It was followed by a full-year budget on July 10, 2014.

Budget before elections

Earlier, the Budget was presented at the end of February. The Narendra Modi-led government scrapped this colonial-era tradition. Lok Sabha elections are scheduled in the first half of next year as the incumbent government will complete its five-year tenure in May.

Will Modi govt go for a full budget?

While reports claim that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance could break with convention and present a full budget instead of an interim one, the Congress said this was a “violation of conventions” and that it would challenge any such move on “the floor of the house”.

Railway Budget

The central government has done away with the practice of presenting a separate budget for Indian Railways. Railway Budget 2019 will be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as a part of the Union Budget on February 1.

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