Budget 2023 Highlights: Boost for infrastructure, innovation and employment

Highlights of Union Budget 2023-24 envisions India at 100 and the focus is on increasing infrastructure outlay and ease of doing business. Sustainability is another key theme.

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Budget 2023 announcements include boosting ease of doing business in India. (Image courtesy: Reuters)

The focus of the Union Budget 2023 is undoubtedly on creating a technology and knowledge driven economy that will lead India towards Amrit Kaal. For successful India @100, the Finance Minister emphasised that the Government will focus on-

-Facilitating ample opportunities for citizen, especially youth

-Strong impetus to growth and job creation

-Macro economic stability

The top Announcements by FM Nirmala Sitharaman includes the objectives and goals for the country going forwards and how these can be achieved through- economic empowerment of women, scaling up operations to service large markets and focusing on green growth and efficient use of energy.

Top 7 priorities of Budget FY2024

In a bid to achieve this end, the Budget lists out 7 priority areas-

-Inclusive development

-Reaching last mile

-Infrastructure and investment

-Unleashing the potential

-Green growth

-Youth power

-Financial sector

The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in her address outlined how “Investment in infrastructure has a large multiplier impact on growth and employment.” The capital investment outlay is being increased by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore. This will be 3-times the outlay made in FY2020 and comprise 3% of GDP and the steep increase continues for third year in row.

Further in a step that is seen as enhancing ease of doing business, the Centre has decided to reduce more than 39000 compliances and more than 3400 legal provisions have been decriminalised. Furthering trust based Governance also features prominently in the highlights of Union Budget 2023 .

Revised Fiscal Deficit

The Fiscal deficit is estimated to be 5.9 percent of the GDP. The Finance Minister said that the country “continues to be on the path of fiscal consolidation and target to reach a deficit number below 4.5% by 2025-2026 with a fairly steady decline over the period. Reiterate my intention below 4.5% of GDP by 2025-2026.”

Top 5 announcement in Personal Income Tax

  1. Income tax rebate limit extended upto Rs 7 lakh in new tax regime
  2. Reducing tax slabs to 5 and increasing tax exemption limit on income up to Rs 3 Lakh -New tax rates- 0-Rs 3 lakh: Nil; Rs 3-6 lakh: 5% Income tax; Rs 6-9 lakh: 10% Income tax; Rs 9-12 lakh: 15% Income tax; Rs 12-15 lakh: 20% Income tax; Above Rs 15 lakh: 30%
  3. Extend benefit of standard deduction for salaried class and pensioners in the new tax regime
  4. Propose to reduce the highest surcharge rate to 25% from 37% in the new tax regime; to result in reduction of maximum tax rate to 39%
  5. Limit of tax exemption on leave encashment on retirement increased to Rs 25 lakh

India an AI Hub

Sitharaman shared her vision to “Make AI in India” and “Make AI work for India” and announced that 3 centres of excellence for AI will be set up in top educational institutions.

Healthcare a priority

Nirmala Sitharaman also announced new program to promote R&D in pharma through center of excellence. 157 new nursing colleges to be established.

Boost to Green Mobility

To further provide impetus to green mobility, customs duty exemptions is being extended to import of capital goods and machinery required for manufacture of lithium ion cells for batteries used in EVs as well. Continue concessions on Lithium ion batteries for another year.

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First published on: 01-02-2023 at 12:03 IST
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