The Narendra Modi government’s Budgets in its first stint from 2014 to 2019 were written with one eye on the forthcoming Assembly polls, which included it shifting the date of the presentation of Budgets: Like in 2017 when, in the run-up to the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the date was shifted to February 1 from the earlier February 28. This year will see only two states going to the polls — Delhi on February 8 and Bihar in October.
The new income tax slabs announced Saturday appear aimed at Delhi voters, particularly younger entrants to the job market or those employed in the gig economy who are entitled to insignificant exemptions.
However, the FM’s proposal to list LIC
as part of the government's disinvestment initiative will face intense opposition. Nearly all Opposition parties said they will oppose the plan. The LIC
employees' unions said the move is "against national interest" and "endanger the economic sovereignty of the country". The employee unions of LIC
across the country will stage protests if the government goes ahead with its plan, the unions said. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has also opposed disinvestment of PSUs.