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India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the new government's first budget in Parliament on 10 July and expectations are running high.
The nation expects the budget to match Prime Minister Narendra Modi's business-friendly image and also hopes crucial reforms required to boost domestic and international investor sentiment will be announced on Thursday.
Seventeen of 24 economists polled by Reuters, between 3-7 July, said they expect the 2014-15 budget to live up to those expectations.
Jaitley could probably unveil bold reforms in his maiden budget in an attempt to boost a flagging economy, but major changes to taxes will be absent, the survey showed.
Deutsche Bank said in a note to clients: "A presentation that will simultaneously be growth supportive, anti-inflationary, and committed to fiscal consolidation may well be on the market's wish list, but that would surely be a tall order for this fledgling administration.
"...Given the paucity of time, it would be unreasonable to expect the budget to be a game-changer in terms of policy announcements, in our view, but the market will be looking for signals underscoring fiscal responsibility. As long as the right signals and intent are in place, we think the government should get the benefit of doubt, especially considering that fiscal consolidation takes time and cannot be achieved overnight."
Where to Watch Live
Jaitley will deliver his budget speech in Parliament at 11:00am IST. Live coverage is on Lok Sabha Television, a channel mandated to telecast live the proceedings of the lower house of Parliament. Click here for the Lok Sabha TV live web streaming link.
Jaitley's budget speech and the entire set of budget documents will be available on the official Union Budget website, when his speech ends.
India Economic Review
Jaitley, on 9 July, tabled a key report on the state of the Indian economy in Parliament, which forecast that the nation's economic growth could gather speed and strike 6% in the financial year 2014-15.
However, the India Economic Survey warned that weak monsoon rainfall could restrict growth to 5.4% in the fiscal year 2014-15. The June-September monsoon accounts for 70% of India's rainfall and irrigates more than half its farmland.
India's Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda presented the railway budget on 8 July, which India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said was high on promises but low on design.
Ind-Ra, a Fitch Group company, said in a note: "While the Railway Budget 2014-15 talks about India trying to be the largest freight carrier globally and identifies alternative funding requirements to achieve this target, it does not state a clear strategy to meet these requirements.
"...Despite acknowledging the fact that growth of the sector depends heavily on the availability of funds for investment in rail infrastructure, borrowing by the Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited is pegged at only INR117.9bn. Ind-Ra believes for large infrastructure projects with a long gestation period, public equity along with strong supervision and control is the best alternative..."