June 10, 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet ahead of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting her first budget in parliament.

The main aim of the meet was for the Cabinet to formally give its nod to the budget that Sitharaman will be presenting at 11.00 am.

The budget comes after the National Democratic Alliance government secured a major victory in the April-May national polls. It also comes at a crucial juncture for the economy when growth is slowing down and so are revenue collections. Consumer demand, which has so far been the only engine driving the economy, now looks vulnerable.

Sitharaman earlier in the day met President Ram Nath Kovind ahead of reaching parliament to present the budget.

The Economic Survey presented to parliament on Thursday put emphasis on securing investment for boosting economic growth.

While Sitharaman is unlikely to digress from the fiscal consolidation path, policy measures and incentives that the government may announce to boost the economy, which grew at five-year low rate of 6.8% in 2018-19, will be keenly watched. Sitharaman on Tuesday promised in the Rajya Sabha that the government will take immediate steps to arrest the slowdown in economic growth and encourage manufacturing.

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