Putting speculations to rest, the Indian government says it will follow the convention of presenting an interim budget in early 2019 before the country goes to polls later in the year.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present an interim budget for fiscal year 2020 in February and it will highlight the government’s achievements and lay out its vision for the next five years, Economic Times reports.
The government may announce a few tax measures in the budget, following earlier precedents, the daily added. But since most indirect taxes have been subsumed into the goods and services tax and only the GST Council can change rates, Jaitley can only tweak direct taxes or customs duties.
Last year the government advanced the date of its budget presentation from the end of February to the beginning of the month. This gave rise to speculation that the government might take advantage of this change to present a full budget during an election year.
In India, interim budgets during election years focus on the achievements of the outgoing government and offer a vision for the future. Usually, no new programs are announced and the financial bill keeps tax rates unchanged.