New Delhi, Jan. 10 -- The stage is set for the Narendra Modi government to present its final budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with the government finalizing the dates of the budget session-the last sitting of the 16th Lok Sabha. The budget session is likely to run from 31 January to 13 February. Finance minister Arun Jaitley will present an interim budget on 1 February.

According to convention, the finance minister does not announce any new programmes that could give the government an electoral advantage and impose a financial burden beyond the initial four months of the fiscal. But nothing prevents the government from using the opportunity to present an economic road map for the next five years.

The rules are not cast in sto...