New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is currently in the US for a medical check up relating to his kidney ailment, will return India to present the Interim Budget, scheduled for February 1.
An IANS report, citing top government sources has confirmed the news.
"The Finance Minister is set to return on the evening of January 25. The interim budget will be presented by him for sure," IANS, quoting senior official said.
Jaitley unexpectedly left for the US for the medical check last week. He had undergone a renal transplant surgery on May 14, 2018, and had undergone a bariatric surgery in September 2014 to treat weight gain that he suffered because of a long-standing diabetic condition.
This will be the sixth consecutive Budget to be presented by Jaitley.
In October, the 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.
With Agency Inputs