Free Press Journal

Govt likely to decide this week Feb1 as Budget day

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New Delhi :  The Cabinet is likely to consider this week fixing February 1 as date of presentation of the budget after the Election Commission gave its nod in light of upcoming Assembly elections in five states.

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.

 So, it consulted the Election Commission, which has concurred with the finance ministry’s view that it is an annual financial statement and can come anytime of the government’s choice, officials said. 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. 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 to help complete the legislative approval for annual spending plans and tax proposals before beginning of the new financial year on April 1.