The Cabinet to discuss the probable date of budget presentation on Wednessday or Thursday. The date is likely to be February 1. Cabinet is discussing the possible date after Election Commission gave its nod in light of upcoming Assembly elections in five states.
The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet on Wednesday or Thursday to decide on the date for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to present the budget for 2017-18.
Having decided to advance the budget presentation by a month, the government took the line that it should not be presented in the middle of Assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The Cabinet on September 21 had in-principle decided to end the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Union budget on last day of February and advance it by about a month.
The step will help to complete the legislative approval for annual spending plans and tax proposals before beginning of the new financial year on April 1.
“The reason we wanted to advance the date was that we want the entire budgetary exercise to be over and the Finance Bill to be passed and implemented from April 1 onwards,” Jaitley had stated last week.
Stating that the government wants expenditure to start in April itself, he had said there are five state Assembly elections lined up in 2017.