1) "Bitter medicine" – Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked citizens to expect a "bitter medicine" when it comes to economic reforms in the country, the term has remained a buzzword ahead of the Budget Session that will begin on 7 July 7.
"I need to take some harsh decisions and administer some bitter medicine in order to resuscitate this patient. The medicine may hurt some of you but I ask for your support at this time," Modi had said last week.
2) Austerity – Modi's words were interpreted as an indication of bringing about more austerity by the government to improve growth. "Taking tough decisions and strong measures in the coming one or two years are needed to bring financial discipline which will restore and boost the country's self-confidence", Modi had told party cadres during his address in Goa.
3) Inflation – The Indian economy is facing a five-month high inflation of 6.01 percent, while food inflation had touched 9.50 percent in May. Inflation fears are said to be the biggest test for the Modi government, which came to power after it criticized the UPA government for failing to rein in inflation.
4) Weak Monsoon – The poor rains this year are looming large on the Union Budget, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley making references to it more than once when addressing issues of inflation. "The rise in prices of food articles can be attributed to withholding of stocks on account of apprehension of a weak monsoon. The State Government should take effective steps to ensure that speculative hoarding is discouraged,' Jaitley had said on his Facebook account.
5) Iraq crisis – While Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan assured that that India had enough foreign exchange reserves to combat the fallout of the Iraq crisis, and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that it will not affect crude oil supplies to India, there have still been speculations that the rise of global prices of crude oil will impact India dearly.
6) Indian Rupee – The Rupee has been hovering around the 60 to a dollar mark for several days, because of an increased demand for the US currency. On Friday, the rupee opened at 60.26 after it lost 18 paise against the dollar.
7) Potatos, Onions – Soaring prices of vegetables, mainly that of potatoes and onions, have left citizens agitated and the government scampering for remedies. On Wednesday, the central government had asked states to delist fruits and vegetables from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee, and also imposed a minimum export price of USD 300 per ton on onions in order to cut down on their export.
8) Tax – For the common man, the term 'tax' in the budget largely revolves around the exemption limit, and there have been speculations about the Finance Ministry raising the income tax exemption limit from ₹2 lakh to ₹3 lakh and up to ₹4.5 lakh for women. For the corporate sector, it means a hope for a more conducive tax environment. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) had suggested many recommendations to the Finance Minister on taxes in the Union Budget, such as clarity in tax laws, removing the sting of retrospective tax and improving dispute resolution mechanism for tax matters, among others, as detailed on the FICCI website.
9) Gujarat Model – Several reports have suggested that Modi could import some of his schemes from the Gujarat model into the Union budget, such as ensuring the fiscal deficit is not too high and to bring in better tax administration, as highlighted by Yahoo News.
10) 'Acchey Din Aane Wale Hain' – The Bharatiya Janata Party's signature campaign during the election seems to be been raked up again, but this time with a certain amount of uncertainty whether the Modi-government can stick to their pre-poll motto.