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Here's what to expect from 2019-2020 interim budget

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Highlights

The government will unveil its budget for the 201920 fiscal year on Friday, with investors expecting increased investment in areas such as...

The government is expected to project economic growth of around 7.5 per cent for the next financial year.

The government will unveil its budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year on Friday, with investors expecting increased investment in areas such as agriculture, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to woo voters ahead of general elections to be held by May.

After a string of recent setbacks in key state elections for PM Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the government is expected to woo rural and urban middle-class voters via farm relief measures and tax cuts.

The government is expected to project economic growth of around 7.5 per cent for the next financial year, while expanding capital spending on railways, roads and ports by 7-8 per cent.

Below is a list of some of the items expected in the budget, based on published media reports.

Agriculture

Farm relief package itself could run to at least Rs 1 lakh crore (USD 14.04 billion)

Set to earmark about Rs1.8 lakh crore for food subsidies in the fiscal year

Expected to waive premium for taking insurance policy for food crops

Proposal for waiving interest on crop loans for farmers who pay on time

Divestment

Target of about USD 11 billion from state asset sales in FY 2019-20

Potential stake sales via IPOs include Telecommunications Consultants India, Indian Railways' subsidiaries IRCTC, RailTel Corp India and National Seeds Corp

Metals

Gold - Speculation around a duty cut

Health

Budget allocation for health is likely to increase by 5 per cent from a year ago

Taxes

An anticipated corporate tax rate cut to 25 per cent from 30 per cent may be put on hold until after the elections

Higher tax exemptions for the middle class and for small businesses anticipated

Banks

Discount of 2 percentage points on loans for businesses with annual sales of less than Rs. 5 crore; government to compensate banks for the costs

Rs 4,000 crore-rupee capital infusion for public-sector general insurers

Autos

Reduction of goods and services tax (GST) on electric vehicles and batteries

IT/Telecom

Better digital infrastructure in rural areas

Abolition of the angel tax to boost start-ups

Exemption from GST for spectrum and licence fee payouts, reduction in spectrum fees and cuts in import duty on telecom equipment (currently at 20 per cent)

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