LAST UPDATED: Jan. 15, 2021, 11:56 a.m.
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2021 during Parliament’s Budget session on February 1.
The Union Budget 2021 is crucial for the Indian economy as the country’s fiscal health has been hit badly by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent coronavirus lockdown.
The Indian economy is going through a severe ‘technical recession’ with two successive quarters of contraction for the first time in history. The National Statistical Office has released its first advance estimates for the Indian economy which indicate a whopping 7.7% contraction in the financial year 2020-21.
As has been the case since 2017, there will be no separate Railway Budget as it will be merged within the overall general budget. Before 2017, the Railway Budget used to be presented separately.
A halwa ceremony is hosted by the Finance Ministry ahead of the Budget every year in order to mark the printing of Budget documents. But this year is going to be an aberration as according to sources, there will be no halwa ceremony or printing of budget documents this time. This departure from tradition has become necessary this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What can we expect from Union Budget 2021?
With the COVID-19 pandemic yet to be extinguished fully and the global economy going through a tough time, the Union Budget 2021 is expected to spell out a credible roadmap for the recovery of the Indian economy.
There is a strong opinion among a section of economic experts that the Union Budget 2021 should aim to provide fiscal stimulus rather than meeting a tight fiscal deficit target.
The central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has been emphasizing the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ project with the aim of promoting a self-reliant economy.
With the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic still looming large, the healthcare and sanitation sectors are likely to witness heightened focus in the Union Budget 2021.