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Budget Session to witness stormy moments

Budget Session to witness stormy moments
Highlights

For the next 48 hours the focus of the nation will shift from issues like CAA, shifting of capital of Andhra Pradesh to Visakhapatnam, outcome of...

For the next 48 hours the focus of the nation will shift from issues like CAA, shifting of capital of Andhra Pradesh to Visakhapatnam, outcome of municipal elections in Telangana, the dance of democracy in the streets of New Delhi for Assembly polls to the upcoming Budget Session of the Parliament.

The curiosity is more among the people as this would be the first full budget to be presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a time when the economy has slowed down. What kind of balancing act she would do on February 1 when she would present her budget?

Indications are that it will not be sweet like the halwa she made before the exercise to prepare the budget began but will be a bouquet of sweet and sour announcements.

She has a major task to come with announcements to reverse the sharp economic slowdown. In all probability, the budget 2020 will not be a pedestal for aggressive expansion but she may opt to go in for measures to boost consumer demand and provide short term stimulants.

The big question now before the country is will the economic indicators bounce back? In the wake of sharp fall in consumer spending, the government had announced several industry specific sops to boos the demand.

But still the GDP growth may not be more than 5 percent. The budget will give an insight into whether the country will be able to reverse the slowest pace of growth witnessed in last one decade.

While the industry looks forward for next round of big announcements, the common man has pinned high hopes on the Finance Minister and hopes for a big cut in the personal tax rates. But that the government may skip this issue due to lower tax collections or at the most go in for small tax cuts. On the other hand, it may announce more tax concessions and easier operational norms to private investors.

On the political front, the Congress and other parties which have been opposing the Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) are waiting to raise the issue. The Congress intends to go aggressive on the issue of CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) and corner the government amid countrywide protests over these issues.

It proposes to launch its fight by holding protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue against the CAA-NRC-NPR and then take the fight on the floor of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. It is also gearing up to try and bring back narrative to bread and butter issues like unemployment, food inflation, slowdown of economy and its impact on common man etc. This could result in the Parliament witnessing a stormy session.

Regional parties like the TRS hope to raise the issues like non release of GST dues and other funds and have been claiming in party meetings that they would forcefully raise the issue and force the Centre to give a commitment.

The YSRCP is keeping its fingers crossed but claims that it will make all out efforts to see that the Centre introduces the Bill to abolish the State Legislative Council during the budget session itself. How far will they succeed at the ground level is a big question.

The TDP, on the other hand, wants to draw the nation's attention on the ongoing agitation in 29 villages of Amravati capital region for past 52 days and see that the Centre intervenes so that the decision of the State government to shift executive capital to Visakhapatnam is stalled.

It would be interesting to observe the proceedings in Parliament as it will put the nerves of the members to test. Let's get ready to watch the big debate.

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