Today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the Union Budget for 2023-24 to Parliament. Despite the difficulties, she believes that India’s economy is on the right route and will have a bright future. Ms Sitharaman stated that the current year’s economic growth is expected to be 7%. The Finance Minister stated that this is the first budget in Amrit Kaal, and that the goal for Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances and a healthy financial sector. The budget intends to build on the previous budget’s foundation and the roadmap for India@100.
A brief about the Union Budget for 2023-24 forecasts the country’s economic growth for the current financial year at 7%
The Finance Minister declared that capital investment spending would be boosted by 33% to 10 lakh crore rupees, or 3.3% of GDP.
Ms Sitharaman stated that the government has decided to extend the 50-year interest-free loan to state governments for one more year in order to reward them for complementary policy actions, with a significantly increased outlay of 1.3 lakh crore rupees.
Ms Sitharaman stated that an Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be established to boost agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The Fund’s goal will be to provide farmers with innovative and economical solutions to their problems. The Finance Minister also announced an increase in the farm credit objective to 20 lakh crore rupees, with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries.
Ms Sitharaman stated that a plan will be put in place to establish huge decentralised storage capacity to assist farmers in storing their produce and realising remunerative rates through sale at appropriate periods. Millets have been designated as the international year of 2023. According to the Finance Minister, the Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be supported as a Center of Excellence for exchanging best practises, research, and technology at the worldwide level in order to make India a global hub for ‘Shree Anna’.
Continuing her commitment to ensuring food and nutrition for the needy, Ms Sitharaman stated that the government will spend approximately 2 lakh crore rupees to provide free food grain to all Antyodaya and priority households for the next year under the PM GaribKalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). The programme will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
The Finance Minister stated that traditional craftsmen and craftpeople have brought India acclaim for ages, and that for the time being, a package of assistance under the PM-VISHWAKARMA KAUSHAL SAMMAN has been created for them. The goal is for them to be able to improve the quality, scale, and reach of their products while also integrating them into the MSME value chain.
The Finance Minister announced that an outlay for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana will be increased by 66% to over 79,000 crore rupees in order to further the government’s goal of housing for everybody.
The Finance Minister announced the commencement of the Pradhan Mantri PVTG Development Mission to ameliorate the socioeconomic situation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). A total of 15,000 crore rupees has been set out for the mission’s implementation over the next three years.
The Finance Minister offered relief for impoverished people in prison who are unable to pay the penalty or bail amount, stating that the necessary financial assistance will be provided to them.
The Finance Minister said that the Upper Bhadra Project in Karnataka’s “drought-prone” central region will receive a national assistance of 5,300 crore rupees to offer sustainable micro irrigation and fill surface tanks for drinking water.
Individual taxpayers have received significant discounts from the Finance Minister. In the new tax regime, the rebate limit has been increased from 5 lakh rupees per year to 7 lakh rupees. Thus, under the new tax regime, individuals earning up to 7 lakh rupees will not be required to pay any tax.
In addition, the government has decreased the number of tax slabs to five and boosted the tax exemption limit to three lakh rupees. All taxpayers in the future government will benefit greatly from this. An individual earning 9 lakh rupees per year will be obliged to pay only 45 thousand rupees in income tax, or 5% of his or her earnings. Similarly, an individual earning 15 lakh rupees will be asked to pay only 1.5 lakh rupees, or 10% of his or her earnings.
Under the new tax regime, the government has expanded the benefit of standard deduction to salaried workers and retirees, including family pensioners. Each salaried worker earning 15.5 lakh rupees or more will gain by 52 thousand 500 rupees.
In the new tax regime, the Finance Minister has decreased the highest surcharge on personal income tax from 37% to 25%. As a result, the maximum tax rate will be reduced to 39 percent.
The government has enhanced the tax exemption limit for non-government paid employees’ leave encashment on retirement from 3 lakh rupees to 25 lakh rupees.
To minimise tax cascading on blended compressed natural gas, the Finance Minister has exempted GST-paid compressed bio gas from excise duty. Customs tax exemption has been extended to imports of capital goods and machinery essential for the fabrication of lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles, providing additional push to green mobility.
To stimulate mobile phone production in the country, the government has reduced customs duties on specific parts and inputs such as camera lenses and extended the concessional duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for another year.
Similarly, in order to encourage value addition in television manufacturing, the Finance Minister cut the basic customs duty on parts of open cells of TV panels to 2.5 percent.
To support the Ethanol Blending Programme and our efforts toward energy transformation, the government has exempted denatured ethyl alcohol from basic customs charge.
The Finance Minister raised import duties on silver dore, bars, and articles to match those on gold and platinum.
To combat duty evasion, the baseline customs duty rate on compounded rubber has been raised from 10% to 25% or 30 ruppes per kilogramme, whichever is lower.
The government has increased the National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) on specific cigarettes by approximately 16%.
New co-operatives that begin manufacturing activities before March 31, 2024 will benefit from a 15% tax rate, which is now offered to new manufacturing corporations.
The effort is aimed at accomplishing Prime Minister’s vision of Sahkar se Samriddhi, and his desire to “link the spirit of cooperation with the spirit of Amrit Kaal.
The government has increased the maximum for cash deposits and loans made by Primary Agricultural Co-operative Societies (PACS) and Primary Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks to 2 lakh per member (PCARDBs). Similarly, co-operative societies have been given a higher limit of 3 crore for TDS on cash withdrawal.
The payout from the Agniveer Corpus Fund that the Agniveers will receive is tax-free. According to the current suggestion, the Agniveer’s payment to his Seva Nidhi account, whether provided by him or the Central Government, should be deducted from his total income.
The Finance Minister proposed a capital spending of 2.40 lakh crore rupees for the Railways, the greatest ever outlay and nearly nine times the amount given in 2013-14.
She also declared that one hundred important transport infrastructure projects would be prioritised, with a 75,000 crore investment, including 15,000 crore from private sources, for last and first mile connectivity for the ports, coal, steel, fertiliser, and food grains industries. Fifty more airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advance landing grounds will be reopened to improve regional aviation connectivity.
The Minister announced the establishment of the “PM Programme for the Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth” to encourage states and union territories to promote alternative fertilisers and the balanced use of chemical fertilisers.
Under the GOBARdhan project, 500 new ‘waste to wealth’ units would be created to promote the circular economy.
The Pradhan Mantri PVTG Development Mission will be launched to ameliorate the socioeconomic situation of particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs). This would provide basic facilities such as safe housing, clean drinking water and sanitation, enhanced access to education, health, and nutrition, road and telecom connectivity, and long-term livelihood opportunities to PVTG families and communities.
Under the Development Action Plan for Scheduled Tribes, a total of Rs. 15,000 crore will be made available to carry out the Mission over the next three years.