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Union Budget 2019

After coming back to power with a mandate, the Modi government finds itself faced with growing concerns about declining demand, agrarian crisis, increasing joblessness and lack of investment recovery. Will the first full-time woman finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman be able to address these concerns in Union Budget 2019?








The Union Budget is an exercise in which the Government of India presents its statement of income and expenditure for the upcoming year. Article 112 of the Constitution of India refers to the Union Budget as the Annual Financial Statement of the Republic of India. The budget is presented by the finance minister of the country by means of the Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill, which is passed by Parliament.
The Union Budget 2019 will be presented on July 5, 2019 at the Lok Sabha. Prior to this, former finance minister Piyush Goyal had presented the Interim Budget on February 1, 2019. The Interim Budget is generally an estimation of expenses incurred and revenues to be drawn in the intervening period in an election year. Post the elections, which the Narendra Modi-led BJP won with a mandate, this is the first Union Budget for the new government.
The Union Budget 2019 will be presented by India’s first full-time woman finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Prior to her, the only woman to have held the post was Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. A member of the Rajya Sabha, Sitharaman held the post of the defence minister in the previous Modi government.
The printing of the budget papers begins with the traditional ‘Halwa ceremony’, in which the sweet dish is prepared and served to all officers and support staff of the finance ministry including the finance minister. Post the ‘Halwa ceremony’, the officers and support staff of the North Block remain in isolation until the presentation of the Budget in Parliament. For Union Budget 2019, the Halwa ceremony was held on June 22.
The budget division of the department of economic affairs under the finance ministry prepares the Budget in consultation with the NITI Aayog and other ministries of the government.
Every citizen of the country awaits the Union Budget in the month of February in which the government presents the annual financial statement or an estimation of revenues and expenditure in the forthcoming year. Once presented on the last working day of February, this exercise is now done on February 1 every year. After the presentation by the finance minister, the budget is tabled before the Parliament for approval. However, in the year of a general election, an interim budget is presented by the government instead of a full-fledged one.
As the word suggest, an Interim Budget is an estimation of expenses incurred and revenues to be drawn in the intervening period before the next government is elected. After the new government is sworn in to the Lok Sabha, it presents the annual budget for the year. During the interim period, the incumbent government draws funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for which it seeks approval from the Parliament through the interim budget. Though the law does not prevent the government from introducing major tax changes, by convention the incumbent government does not introduce any major changes or tax reforms.
While in interim budget is a complete financial statement of the expenditure and receipts of the government, the vote-on-account only represents the expenditure of the government. In other words, the government takes the approval of the Parliament for various expenses before the new government is elected in the Lok Sabha elections.
As the financial year ends on March 31 every year, the government needs the approval of the Parliament to keep work going from April 1 till the next government is elected. To ensure work does not come to a halt during this period, money is drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India. However, to draw from it, the government requires the approval of Parliament. For this purpose the interim budget is passed.
The interim budget is passed in the year of the general elections to the Lok Sabha. Usually general elections in India are held in the month of April-May. The interim budget appears in the month of February before the elections, while the actual Union Budget is presented before the parliament immediately after the new government is sworn in, approximately around the month of June-July.
The last interim budget was presented in February 2014 by the then finance minister P. Chidambaram.
Finance minister of the BJP-led government Arun Jaitley will present the interim budget 2019. In his absence, Piyush Goyal, who has been recently given additional charge of the finance ministry, will present the interim budget.
Interim budget 2019 will be presented on February 1 (Friday).

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