A great deal is expected from the first budget of any government. The expectations are even greater from a government that has come back to power with an improved tally. It doesn’t help that the Narendra Modi government finds itself in a challenging fiscal situation with limited options.
For budget management, 2018-19 was a difficult year. At the centre of this difficulty was a massive shortfall in tax revenue. Going by what the Controller General of Accounts has reported, the actual (provisional) net tax revenue for the Centre was about Rs 1.64 lakh crore lower than what was budgeted in 2018-19. This was mainly because the GST and income tax collections were much lower than expected.