Union Budget 2023 Highlights: Before next year’s general elections, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the last full budget of the Modi government on Wednesday (February 1). The Finance Minister tried to help all sections in the budget. While on the one hand, he announced relief to the middle class and employed people on the income tax front, on the other hand, by increasing the investment limit under small savings schemes, he has also given a gift to the elderly and women through the new savings scheme. When the central government called the budget as the budget of ‘Amrit Kaal’, then the opposition leaders termed it as an election budget and said that there is nothing for the youth in it.
1. Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that under the new tax regime, the personal income tax exemption limit has been increased to Rs 7 lakh from April 1. This means that if a person’s income is seven lakh rupees, he will not have to pay any tax. Till now this limit is five lakh rupees. Along with this, the tax ‘slab’ has been reduced from seven to five. Also, after reducing the rate of surcharge from 37 percent to 25 percent, the maximum rate of tax will come down from 42.7 percent to about 39 percent.
2. The Finance Minister has also given relief to senior citizens. Under this, the deposit limit under the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme has been increased from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh. On the other hand, under the monthly income scheme, the deposit limit has been increased to Rs 9 lakh. A separate new savings scheme for women – Mahila Samman Bachat Patra was announced. In this, 7.5 percent interest will be given on savings of up to two lakh rupees for two years.
3. The Finance Minister presented his fifth full budget at a time when the economy is slowing down due to global challenges and there is a need to increase spending on social sectors and encourage local manufacturing. He also announced reduction in customs duty on lithium batteries and other such items to promote mobile phone components and green energy.
4. In her budget speech, Sitharaman said that this budget is expected to continue on the line drawn for ‘India at 100’ while continuously building on the foundation laid in the previous budget. He said that the Indian economy is the shining star. Seven percent GDP growth is estimated in the current financial year, which is the highest among major economies. Sitharaman said that despite the global slowdown due to the Kovid-19 epidemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the country’s economy is on track.
5. Fiscal deficit is estimated to be 5.9 percent of GDP. This is less than the estimate of 6.4 percent for the current financial year. This means that the government will have to take a total loan of Rs 15.43 lakh crore. Sitharaman said that seven priorities have been kept in the budget of 2023-24. These are inclusive growth, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power and the financial sector. In the budget, with emphasis on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, the target of agricultural credit has been increased to Rs 20 lakh crore.
6. A provision of Rs 9,000 crore has been made for loan guarantee for medium and small enterprises. A capital expenditure provision of Rs 2.40 lakh crore has been made for the Railways. This is the highest ever capital expenditure. Also, it is almost nine times more than the expenditure incurred in 2013-14. In the budget, a provision of Rs 35,000 crore has been made for energy transition ie to take rapid steps towards clean energy and net zero carbon emissions. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to provide affordable houses, the expenditure has been increased by 66 percent to Rs 79,000 crore.
7. Describing the budget as historic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the first budget of “Amrit Kaal” has established a strong foundation for fulfilling the resolve of a developed India and the dreams of an aspirational society including the poor and the middle class. PM Modi said that in order to empower the middle class, the government has taken many important decisions in the last years, which has ensured ease of life. The tax rate has been reduced and the tax procedure has been simplified. Our government, which has always stood with the middle class, has given huge tax relief to the middle class.
8. Terming the budget as a ‘friendly budget’, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that this proves that the government does not have a roadmap to build India’s future. He tweeted that the friendly budget has no vision for job creation, no plan to deal with inflation and no intention to remove inequality. He said that one percent of the richest people have 40 percent of the wealth, 50 percent of the poor people pay 64 percent of GST, 42 percent of the youth are unemployed. Even after this, the Prime Minister does not care. The budget proved that the government does not have a roadmap to build the future of India.
9. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the poor were not taken care of and this is an anti-people budget. Changes in income tax slabs will not help anyone. This budget will benefit only one class of people. This budget will not help in solving the issue of unemployment in the country. It has been prepared keeping in mind the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
10. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that despite paying income tax of over Rs 1.75 lakh crore last year, Delhi was allocated only Rs 325 crore in the Union Budget 2023-24. Accusing the Center of giving step-motherly treatment to the national capital, he said that there is no respite from the twin problems of inflation and unemployment in the budget (Union Budget 2023). The people of Delhi were once again given step-motherly treatment.
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