February 1, 2017 is the date set for presenting Budget 2017 by the Hon´ble Finance Minister, a significant deviation from the earlier end-February fixture. This budget comes at a time when the country has been reeling under the shock waves of the recent demonetisation of high value currency notes by the government. Most of the industry sectors and individuals from all walks of life publicly accepted that cash transactions had been essential for their business models and for individuals to make a living. In retrospect, apparently the very foundation of India´s economic growth story has been shaken creating huge cracks in the ecosystem.
Every section of the country has a long wish list of their expectations from the upcoming budget relevant to their cause. Also, the general demand for compensation towards consequential losses resulting from demonetisation has made the task of the Finance Minister difficult than before.
On one side it is a matter of maintaining fiscal discipline and implementing economic reforms, while on the other side it is a matter of funding and implementing reforms to drive the economic growth. There is also the need to pacify individuals and industry sectors through SOPS thereby negating efforts related to fiscal discipline.
In toto, the budget may be very harsh for some and from soft to liberal for others. Let us see what is in store for the country.