Live news: Budget likely to raise spending; Modi to speak on Mann Ki Baat


Live news updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 will probably increase the Union Budget by about 14% year-on-year to 39.6 trillion rupees ($527 billion) in the fiscal year beginning April, according to the median of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sitharaman is expected to leave tax rates largely unchanged, and instead rely on income from asset sales and a near-record borrowing of about 13 trillion rupees to partly fund the plan, the survey showed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak at 11.30 am speak on Mann Ki Baat, his monthly radio show addressing national issues. This will be the 85th edition of the show and the first this year.

Some Indian cities or states may be reporting fewer cases but the risk of Covid-19 spreading persists, said a senior World Health Organization executive on Saturday.

“We need to continue to remain vigilant. Our focus must be on reducing transmission. Implementing situation-specific public health and social measures and increasing vaccine coverage–that’s the way forward for all countries in the ongoing pandemic,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, told news agency PTI in an interview.


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