NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set to deliver his last full Budget on Friday. And it is likely that he will deliver his speech in Hindi, the first time ever for a Finance Minister to do so since Independence. The move is likely to cater to the rural audience as this is the last full Budget of the Narendra Modi government before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
By giving out his speech in Hindi, Jaitley will try to establish that the Budget is for the common man and has a greater connect with people, the Deccan Chronicle reported.
The current NDA government's fifth will arguably be Jaitley's toughest Budget yet as he seeks to address agriculture distress, create jobs and boost growth while at the same time stick to fiscal prudence.
The Budget, in view of upcoming assembly polls in eight states - including three major states ruled by the BJP - and general elections next year, may see new rural schemes and stepping up of funding towards existing programmes like MNREGA, rural housing, irrigation projects and crop insurance.
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There is also an expectation that common man may get some relief in income tax by way of a raise in the exemption limit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to have already lowered expectations of mass voter swaying announcements when he indicated that the Budget may not be resort to populism and that it was a myth that common man wants sop.
This will be India's first post-GST and is being keenly watched to see what Jaitley does to boost growth in Asia's third largest economy.