In 2015, stock exchanges were open for trading on February 28, Saturday, when then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had presented the Budget. (Photo Credit: PTI File Photo)
Stock markets will be open for normal trading on February 1, Saturday, when the Union Budget will be presented. Generally, the markets are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, except for special circumstances. In separate circulars on Wednesday, leading exchanges BSE and NSE said the markets would be open for trading on February 1 on account of Union Budget presentation. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is to present the Budget for 2020-21. Trading would be conducted during normal hours from 9 am to 3.30 pm, as per the circulars.
According to markets sources, the decision has been taken following requests made in this regard by market participants as Budget contains several market-moving announcements. In 2015, stock exchanges were open for trading on February 28, Saturday, when then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had presented the Budget.
Stock markets have always been open on normal timings since budget presentation timings were changed from 5 pm to 11 am in 2001.
Meanwhile, the government will unveil its "plan of action" to boost the economy in the Union Budget to be presented on February 1, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday, asserting that economic fundamentals remain very strong.
Responding to a question about the downward revision of India's growth rate by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said the economy is on the path of "revival" and nobody should have a pessimistic view about it. "From the Union Budget, you will get government's plan of action. Our fundamentals are very strong. Therefore, nobody should create a pessimistic view about Indian economy," the Information and Broadcasting minister said at a briefing after the Union Cabinet meeting.
Asserting that the economy was on the path of "revival", he said there are ups and downs in world economy, and it has reflection on economy of countries. The IMF had on Monday lowered growth estimate for India to 4.8 per cent for 2019, citing stress in the non-bank financial sector and weak rural income growth as the major factors for the downward revision.
While providing an update on the global economy ahead of the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual summit, the IMF cut its India growth forecast. India-born IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath had said growth in India slowed sharply owing to stress in the non-banking financial sectors and weak rural income growth.
Opposition parties have been attacking the government over the economic slowdown and its policies.