In the midst of the testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic and broken economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to table the Union Budget on Monday, which would be her third straight budget as the second woman Finance Minister of India and the eighth budget of the Modi government.
Unlike the preceding years, the current budget holds a mark of the unprecedented financial blueprint of the nation as it comes with great significance and overwhelming expectations from across the country, which is in the immediate requirement of getting resuscitated from the ailing economy and the distressed state of the lives triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Being levied with larger expectations from the general public to the industrialists, Nirmala Sitharaman would be unveiling the most anticipated budget on Monday, and let's drive through what the nation currently needs at this hour.
Being one of the worst-hit countries by the COVID-19 outbreak and bracing up the flattening curve of the economy, the Union Budget must pump in the concrete measures and mechanisms to revive back stronger and the Central government must provide relief to the general public who have suffered from the pandemic by losing their livelihoods and Modi's financial plan must focus and spending more on the healthcare, infrastructure, defense, creating employment, and promoting the small scale industries to give them a crucial push to steer forward.
The budget, economists, and experts say, have to be the starting point for picking up the pieces after the economic destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new budget must carry a vision statement, a roadmap to get the world's fastest-growing major economy back on track. According to reports, the budget would be getting unveiled when there is a strong prediction from the experts that the annual GDP for the Financial Year 2021 will decline by 7-8 percent, one of the weakest performances among the developing nations.
The experts say that the government must play a crucial role in surging the economy and while the pandemic is showing signs of less lethal, the gradual progress of India's vaccination drive is pouring the light towards combating the outbreak. The Budget must carry the factors of bringing back the employment and small scale industries and would be lighting the lamp of hope by ensuring that the measures and investments are pumped in through the accurate pipeline of reaching the exact destinations.
Nirmala Sitharaman would be tabling the first budget after Modi's mega economic package of Rs 20 lakh crores that was announced by the Prime Minister during the lockdown in his bid to build a self-reliant India (Aatma Nirbhar Bharat) and it has been expected that the budget would be carrying the texts of Aatma Nirbhara Bharat and more investments on its corridor and with the growing adversaries, India is also pushed to built more efficient and potent defense corridor and it has been expected that this budget would allocate more funds for the national defense than any other.
Along with that, the nation needs a crucial increase in government spending -particularly in the infrastructure in both rural and urban as the experts say that spending more on infrastructure would not only help to generate more employment opportunities but would also help rekindle both rural and urban demand and this factor is extremely important for India, as the domestic demand has always been a big driver for growth. Along with infrastructure, the budget must trigger the growth of start-up ecosystems across all the corridors.
When it comes to taxes, it has been expected that the budget will maintain the status quo on effective tax rates as the government would be working on exploring other options to tackle the fiscal deficit by not changing the tax rates. Earlier, Nirmala Sitharaman promised that she will deliver the budget like never before, and for the first time, the budget would be tabled digitally by bidding a farewell to the paper system and the Finance Minister would be presenting the budget through tablet and relinquishing the paper system would be saving around Rs 140 crores to the government.