Union Budget 2021: Full list of expectations from citizens, key sectors

The Union Budget 2021 will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2021. As she gets ready to announce the all-important budget, there are huge expectations as the country hopes to recover from the pandemic-induced economic shock.

While indicators show that some sectors of growth are recovering quickly, others have not been lucky. Small and medium-sized businesses across many sectors are still struggling financially, resulting in a lack of job creation.

Sectors like automobile and real estate have asked the government to provide more tax breaks to citizens and increase their disposable income. The country’s healthcare sector also has high hopes from the budget in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, citizens are hoping for some tax concessions in the upcoming budget.

Having said that, here is a summary of expectations from key sectors and citizens:


The aviation sector is expecting near-term fiscal support from the government after the pandemic crippled operations in 2020. The sector hopes for a reduction in high taxes and levies as airlines try to find their feet again.

Real Estate

A number of policy steps have been taken to boost real estate in pandemic-hit 2020. The sector is now expecting the government to expand its affordable housing scheme and give more tax benefits to potential homebuyers.


The auto sector has strongly rebounded from the pandemic-induced economic shock. Automakers in the country now expect more demand-creating measures in the budget for quicker sales recovery.


The government’s defence spending got a boost last year in the wake of the conflict with China at the Ladakh border. The government is likely to announce higher budget allocation for the defence sector, with focus on indigenous procurement and R&D.


The FMCG or Fast-Moving Consumer Goods industry was a top performer in 2020. Like automobiles, the FMCG sector also expects more demand-boosting measures to sustain recovery momentum.


After the pandemic-hit year, India’s healthcare sector is looking for holistic reforms like reduction in taxes on healthcare and treatment besides higher budgetary allocation. Better allocation for pharma research is also on the cards.


There are expectations that the government will spend more on key project-oriented sectors to generate higher employment. Some schemes like MNREGA may be further expanded.

Consumer durables/Electronics

Businesses engaged in selling consumer durables got no specific benefits in last year’s budget. The sector hopes a reduction in component prices besides a demand push to boost sales.


The government is expected to allocate more funds towards strengthening technological capacities for boosting online education in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. Higher investment to strengthen the edtech sector is also a possibility.


The savings sector was hit hard in 2020 due to the pandemic. As household savings dropped, people were less reluctant to invest in long-term savings. Experts are hopeful that the government will incentivise investments/savings in the upcoming budget.

Income tax

There are several expectations on the income tax front as the government looks to boost personal demand. Several appeals have been made for increasing the basic exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh and the tax deduction limit for healthcare may also rise in the wake of Covid-19.

Sin Goods

With revenue collection under pressure, the government may further increase levies on ‘sin goods’ like tobacco and alcohol in its upcoming budget.


The government is expected to take steps to boost women labour participation rate by expanding skill development and entrepreneurship programmes. Working women in the country also expect tax concessions after no such announcements in the last budget.


The government may increase its overall agriculture expenditure to pacify farmers protesting against its farm laws. Steps are also expected for expansion of warehousing and storage capacities.


Privatisation of trains and infrastructure development remain top priorities for the Indian Railways. While budget allocation may see only a marginal rise, measures may be announced for better public-private partnership (PPP) in passenger train operations.

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