As the Lok Sabha election inches closer with each passing day, the interim budget placed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Thursday must be seen through the prism of elections. A government obviously cannot introduce any new taxes in an interim budget. On the contrary, a government can definitely announce a number of welfare schemes, particularly keeping in mind the ensuing elections. Taking a close look at the interim budget, one finds that the Finance Minister has asserted that the BJP-led government at the Centre has worked with an approach to development that is “all-round, all-inclusive, and all-pervasive” and that the trinity of “Democracy, Demography, and Diversity” can help fulfil the aspirations of every Indian. She has also asserted that the Indian economy has witnessed a profound positive transformation in the last decade and that the next five years will be years of unprecedented development. The Finance Minister has also claimed that the Indian economy has witnessed a profound positive transformation in the last ten years and that the people of India are now looking ahead to the future with hope and optimism. The Finance Minister has also pointed out that the ultimate effort of the budget, which is an ongoing initiative of the present government, is to ensure that India continues to be the fastest-growing major economy in the world and in the coming years, so that it finally becomes the world’s third-largest economy with a $5 trillion GDP. It is also equally important to note that the interim budget has ensured that there is no tax liability for income up to Rs 7 lakh per annum, that presumptive taxation threshold for retail businesses increased to Rs 3 crore from Rs 2 crore, that presumptive taxation threshold for professionals increased to Rs 75 lakh from Rs 50 lakh, that corporate income tax decreased to 22% from 30% for existing domestic companies, that corporate income tax rate at 15% for new manufacturing companies, that tax benefits to startups, investment made by sovereign wealth or pension fund extended to March 31, 2025, and that tax exemption on certain income of IFSC units extended by a year to March 31, 2025. For the Northeast, there is nothing that can cause any disappointment, as Sitharama’s interim budget echoes the Prime Minister’s repeated assertion that it is this government’s conviction to bring the North-East on par with the other developed regions of the country. As far as Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is concerned, he has hailed the interim budget as “exceptional,” asserting it serves the twin aim of establishing India as the world’s fastest-growing economy for a sustained period and laying the foundation for becoming the third-largest financial power by 2029.