Center to present Union Budget on February 2: The Finance Ministry is most likely to present the Union Budget on February 2 or earlier as said by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. The cabinet session held last month chaired by PM Narendra Modi has agreed to this proposition.
This time, the Railway budget may also be merged with the Union Budget. However, the final decision on it will be taken in the winter session of the Parliament.
Ashok Lavasa, the Finance Secretay said that the motive behind the amalgamation of the two budgets is to cover the reforms in all areas. Many questions were asked regarding this decision and its sought repercussions. Many ministries were concerned whether the Railway department will then have a share in their Public Sector Units. The pros and cons of this decision were also discussed in detail.
Center to present Union Budget on February 2
The motive behind the early presentation is that the center would get ample time to discuss the thrust areas till March 31 and the legislative part of the budget will be completed before the last day of financial year.
It has also been said that releasing the budget earlier this time will benefit also because GST will be applicable from 1st April 2017. The matters relating to the goods and services tax will now be under the GST Council, thus, the work appropriation would help in better implementation of GST as well
Apart from merging the union and railway budget, the new idea that upcoming budget will instill is doing away with the demarcation of the plan and non-plan budgets.
The practice of separate presentation of the railway budget has been followed since 1924 because of the enormity of the work under this department. In the next budget, it would be for the first time that the railway budget is included in the union budget after 1924.