Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget 2018-19 on February 1 around noon. Notably, this will be the first budget session after the GST scheme was announced. This is the Modi government’s last full budget before the 2019 polls, which is expected to be a populist one to some extent. Among many expectations of the common man, one major expectation is that the basic exemption limit may be increased from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh in the Union Budget 2018.
In fact, everyone was expecting FM Arun Jaitley to raise the basic exemption limit in the Union Budget 2017 itself. More because hit hard by demonetization as well as rising prices, the common man needed some relief. However, FM Jaitley preferred not to do this and instead made some changes in the tax slabs. However, FM Jaitley preferred not to do this and instead made some changes in the tax slabs.
It may be recalled that while presenting the Budget 2017, FM Jaitley had said that the present burden of taxation was mainly on honest taxpayers and salaried employees who were showing their income correctly. Therefore, post-demonetization, there was a legitimate expectation of this class of people to reduce their burden of taxation. The Finance Minister had further said that if a nominal rate of taxation was kept for a lower slab, many more people would prefer to come within the tax net.
It is clear, thus, that the Modi government favors reduction in the burden of honest taxpayers and lower tax slabs, which is also helping them increase the taxpayer base. Some experts feel that as the government needs to keep the revenue generated from income tax intact, the tax slabs need to be rejigged in a way that benefits both taxpayers and the government.
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