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Editor's Take: CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan on what's brewing in North Block ahead of Budget 2019

Updated : July 05, 2019 09:48 AM IST

The government will present its Union Budget for fiscal 2019-20 at 11am on Friday.

Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman is going to have to weigh on growth versus fiscal consolidation. The Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) seems to suggest that the government will stay the course on the fiscal deficit plan. He said that the glide path on fiscal consolidation does allow some room for flexibility, what will that mean on the target for this year as well as FY21, one will have to see.

As far as the focus areas are concerned, three top policymakers- CEO of the NITI Aayog, vice chairman of the NITI Aayog and the CEA, all are saying that the government will focus on mobilising non-tax revenues.

Roadmap for public sector undertaking (PSU) asset monetisation as well as PSU asset recycling and, of course, big push on strategic disinvestment is what is expected.

Outside of that, what will be the other crucial focus areas? Bringing down the government’s stake below 51 percent in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) – the CEA is saying that this will be the big push that is required on disinvestment. Will they go that far? It is a big question.

Some of the areas – PSB recapitalisation, consolidation, which is the stated intent and bringing down government’s stake, 51 percent or even lower? Vijay Nayak Committee recommendations - has the time come to implement them?

The survey is also pointing out to central theme to drive investment, the virtuous cycle includes incentivising job creation, export promotion, what will be seen specifically on these fronts?

Sops for SMEs may be reworked in light what the survey has said that one shouldn’t be penalised for firms for staying small. So punitive incentives or perverse incentives should be done away with.

Agri agenda – big promise being made in the manifesto of spending Rs 25 lakh crore over the next five years. What will happen specifically beyond what has been seen in the interim budget is something that one needs to ponder on.

 

Follow CNBC-TV18's live coverage on Budget 2019 here

For our exclusive coverage and all budget-related stories, click here
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