Budget 2023-2024: From revised tax slabs to savings scheme for women, Nirmala Sitharaman’s biggest announcements
The last full Budget of the second term of the BJP-led NDA government saw the deposit limit for the Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme raised from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, the highest-ever allocation for Indian Railways and the announcement of a next-generation common I-T form
The 2023-2024 Budget has been announced – and with it some big announcements including revised income tax slabs and an increase in rebate under the new scheme, highest ever allocation to the Indian Railways among many others.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting the Budget in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, said she hopes to build on the foundation of the previous Budget and blueprint for India@100.
This is the first Budget in Amrit Kaal, Sitharaman added.
Let’s take a closer look at big announcements in the last full Budget of the second term of the BJP-led NDA government ahead of the general elections in 2024:
As per NDTV, Sitharaman’s Budget listed the following seven priorities to guide India through Amrit Kaal:
- Inclusive development
- Last mile delivery
- Infrastructure and investment
- Unleashing potential
- Green growth
- Youth power
- Financial sector
As per Zee News, Sitharaman also revised new tax slabs under the new tax regime as well as increased the rebate limit under the new tax regime – from Rs 5 to Rs 7 lakh.
Also read: Union Budget 2023-2024: What are the new income tax slabs and how much tax will you pay?
Sitharaman further raised the deposit limit for the Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh and announced that agricultural credit target would be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore.
As per NDTV, returns on high-value insurance policies would now be taxed. The sale of properties over Rs 10 crore would attract higher capital gains, she added.
A next-generation common Income Tax form would also be rolled out, as per NDTV.
She also declared that the relief on customs duty for mobile phone parts would continue for another year. Customs duty on TV panel parts would be reduced.
The Indian Railways have been allocated Rs 2.4 lakh crore – the highest ever allocation, as per Zee News.
According to Hindustan Times, this is approximately a 90 per cent increase over the same Budget in 2013-2014.
New savings scheme for women
Sitharaman announced a ‘Mahila Samman Saving Certificate’ with a fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent for two years.
The deposit can be made in the name of a woman or a girl child. The maximum deposit amount has been kept at Rs 2 lakh and the scheme will have a partial withdrawal facility as well.
“One-time new small saving under ‘Mahila Samman Saving Patra’. The deposit facility for the women and girls will be for a period of two years with a rate of interest of 7.5 per cent,” Sitharaman announced.
Regional connectivity improved
Regional connectivity would be enhanced by adding 50 more airports, heliports, water aerodromes and reviving advance landing grounds, according to the newspaper.
Sitharaman further said three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence would be established in elite institutions of learning.
For businesses that require it, the Permanent Account Number (PAN) would be mandated as a ‘common identifier’ for all digital systems of specified government agencies.
This would further ease doing business.
Another 39,000 compliances reduced to increase ease of doing business, as per The Times of India
Sitharaman said 157 new nursing colleges in major locations would be set up and that India would make it its mission to wipe out sickle cell anaemia by 2047
Rs 15,000 crore would be allocated to tribals over the next three years to improve housing, sanitation, drinking water access and electricity.
Over 38,000 teachers would be hired for Eklavya Model Residential Schools, according to The Times of India.
Capital expenditure hiked 33%
Sitharaman said capital expenditure would be hiked by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development for 2023-24 and will be at 3.3 per cent of the GDP.
She added that the newly established infrastructure finance secretariat will assist in attracting more private investment.
“Capital investment outlay is being increased steeply for the third year in a row by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which would be 3.3 per cent of GDP. “This will be almost three times the outlay in 2019-20,” Sitharaman said.
Rs 5,300-cr for Upper Bhadra in Karnataka
Sitharaman on Wednesday said the Centre would provide Rs 5,300 crore assistance for Upper Bhadra project in poll-bound Karnataka.
In her budget speech in Parliament, Sitharaman said, “In the drought-prone central regions of Karnataka, a central assistance of Rs 5,300 crore will be given for the Upper Bhadra Project.”
The Upper Bhadra Project envisages lifting of 17.40 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water from river Thunga to Bhadra reservoir and 29.90 TMC from Bhadra reservoir for utilisation in Upper Bhadra Project.
The project is crucial for the state as it will help meet the water requirements in the parched regions.
66% hike in Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana outlay
Sitharaman said the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY) outlay would be hiked by 66 per cent to Rs 79,000 crore.
She said states and cities will be encouraged to take up urban planning.
She also said that the Union government will create Urban Infrastructure Development Fund on the lines of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund and it will be managed by the National Housing Bank.
Rs 9,000-cr revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs
She said a revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs with an outlay of Rs 9,000 crore will be launched from 1 April 1.
Further, the government will set up National Financial Information Registry for facilitating the efficient flow of credit and fostering financial stability.
Promoting domestic tourism
She added that the Centre will launch the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative to promote domestic tourism.
Promotion of tourism will be taken up on a “mission mode” with active participation of states, convergence of government programmes, and public-private-partnerships, she added.
In her speech, she also emphasised that the country offers “immense attraction” for domestic as well as foreign tourists. “There is a large potential to be tapped in tourism. The sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship, for the youth in particular,” she said.
“Promotion of tourism will be taken up on mission mode with active participation of states, convergence of government programmes, and public-private-partnerships,” the minister added.
With inputs from agencies
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