Piyush Goyal announced the Budget on Friday, February 1, 2019, and the Budget is said to be the right mix of populism and pragmatism.

Yes, it was an Interim Budget. This is because this Budget fell between the General Elections and the current government’s term ending. A budget is a proposal of how the government intends to utilise its finances, but no government can propose changes for another government. The new government, up on coming to power, will have to pass its own budget.

Thus, with the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s tenure ending on May 26, 2019, the Budget announced was an interim Budget, i.e. a budget before the next government comes to power.

If the same political party comes to power, then they are likely to continue with the Budget announced. However, if another political party comes to power, they will announce their own Union Budget a few months after assuming power.

Thus, whether the Budget will be in effect in the long run is not known for sure. However, it must be noted, that the government usually do not roll back on previous Budget other than tweaks in the taxation slabs.

Having said that, the current Interim budget had a lot directed towards the upcoming elections, in the form of populist measures.

Populist measure 1: The Interim Budget proposed to boost the income of the small and the marginal farmers via the direct cash transfer of Rs 6,000 per year for nearly 120 million farmers. Additionally, the Budget also proposed a 5% percent interest rate subvention on the timely repayment of farm loans.

Populist measure 2: Income tax rebate (0% tax on incomes) for low-income individuals extended from Rs 2,50,000 currently to Rs 5,00,000 (effective April 1, 2019). Apart from this, the standard deduction has been increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000 for employees. This move will help individuals save more money and thereby boost consumption.

Populist measure 3: The budget also announced several measures to help revive the property sector and continue the thrust on affordable housing.

Thus, the Budget has the right mix of both- fiscal prudence as well as appeasing the masses.