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BJP gears up for first ‘rightist Budget’; several sops likely

NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government appears all set to take the economic slowdown head-on, as the BJP is abuzz with anticipation that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would unveil the “first rightist Budget” of the NDA dispensation. Clear that  economic revival could be possible only with the middle class, traders and industry, sources said, Sitharaman is likely to pack several sops in the Budget.

“The Modi government has mostly delivered farmer-centric Budgets in the past. This Budget will be the first rightist Budget in the truest sense. The buzz in the government is that this Budget is an opportunity to set the economic directions for the country,” sources in the BJP said.The government appears to have worked out a Budget philosophy to unburden the middle class and unleash its buying capacity and spur the economy.

“Discussions in the government have mostly stayed on the question of whether to go the whole hog for the middle class in this Budget or stagger the benefits for them over the next three Budgets. The income tax adjustment along with lowering of tax rates, besides major incentives for first-time home loan takers are high on the agenda of the government,” sources added.

PM Modi, incidentally, has held extensive deliberations with stakeholders in the run-up to the Budget, which is being seen within the BJP as Modi’s firm “resolve” to deal with the state of the economy with urgency. Sources said that foreign industry bodies and economists have shared their suggestions to the government, which may be reflected in the Budget.

“The government is clear that a taxpayer should tangibly get relief, upto `25,000 annually. Traders, who have been miffed with the government for various reasons, will have much to cheer after the Budget presentation,” sources said.With the Union Budget slated to be unveiled on February 1, sources in the BJP said that the middle class and traders in Delhi may find “significant turn in the narrative of the Delhi elections.”