Arun Jaitley to present interim budget on 1 Feb, budget session from 31 Jan
10 January 2019
Finance minister Arun Jaitley will present an interim budget on 1 February while the budget session of Parliament will start on 31 January.
As per practice, in an election year, a vote-on-account or approval for essential government spending for a limited period is taken leaving it to the new government to present a full-fledged budget.
The decision was taken in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA).
The finance ministry had earlier sought inputs from different central ministries for the budget speech, which would be the last budget of the current BJP-led NDA government before the 2019 general election.
In October, the finance ministry began the budgetary exercise for 2019-20. During the process, meetings were held with the ministries of steel, power, and housing and urban development, among others, to finalise revised expenditure for the current fiscal and projections for the next financial year.
As per practice, a vote-on-account or approval for essential government spending for a limited period is taken in an election year and a full-fledged budget is presented by the new government.
The Narendra Modi-led government scrapped the colonial-era tradition of presenting the budget at the end of February. With the preponement of budget, ministries are now allocated their budgeted funds from the start of the financial year beginning April.
This gives government departments more leeway to spend as well as allow companies time to adapt to business and taxation plans.
Previously, when the budget was presented at the end of February, the three-stage Parliament approval process used to get completed sometime in mid-May, weeks ahead of the onset of monsoon rains. This meant government departments would start spending on projects only from August-end or September after the monsoon season ended.