New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her maiden Union Budget in Parliament on Friday, against the backdrop of India’s economy hitting a five-year low growth of 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. Sitharaman, India’s first full time woman Finance Minister will begin her Budget speech at around 11:00 AM today.

This will be the 89th Union budget, which is the financial statement of the government, detailing its revenue and expenditure in the past, as well as estimated spending and projections for the coming year.

Speculations are rife that the Modi government 2.0 may provide relief to middle-class tax payers by raising the basic tax exemption limit in much-anticipated Union Budget.

The government may reward them (middle-class) by increasing the ability to buy their dream home. Reports claimed that the tax deduction limit on interest on home loans may be increased to Rs 2.5 lakh a year from the present Rs 2 lakh limit. But this enhanced benefit will come with withdrawal of deduction for interest on second house that was allowed earlier.

Also, there may be a big push for infrastructure spending including on roads and railways to drive growth which had slowed to a five-year low of 5.8 per cent in the first three months of 2019.

Moreover, Sitharaman is expected to announce the much-anticipated New Industrial Policy in her maiden budget.

The policy centred around the theme of “Make in India”, was first envisaged in the earlier Narendra Modi government under the then Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu. New Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has also given his inputs to the policy, reports claimed.

Earlier on Thursday, the government tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19. It projected the country’s GDP growth for 2019-20 at 7 per cent, up from five-year low of 6.8 per cent.