In over a week from now, budget would be tabled in the parliament. Even though interim budgets don’t usually come out with major policy changes, there are expectations related to benefits on account of approaching general elections. The government has already said the larger interests of the economy always dictate what should be in the interim budget as some of those challenges can’t afford to wait. Healthcare is an area where some announcements are expected to be made by the Finance Minister, HDFC Bank said in a report. “While last year’s focus was on Modicare, this year the government may offer enhanced allocation for the program and increased tax benefits towards healthcare and preventive checkups,” the report added.
However, FY20 is expected to be burdened with increased fiscal pressure, HDFC Bank also said. “Irrespective of what shape the interim budget takes and whether or not it adheres to the 3.3 percent fiscal deficit target (as percent of GDP) for FY19, there is a reasonable degree of certainty that FY20 may see heightened fiscal Pressures,” it also said. The Bank expected a similar fiscal deficit target for FY20 as for FY19 of 3.2 -3.3 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, nine days ahead of the interim budget, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was given the temporary charge of the Finance and Corporate Affairs ministries, news agency PTI reported on Wednesday. He is filling in for Union minister Arun Jaitley, who is away in the US for medical treatment. – Financial Express