- Date : 01/02/2023
- Read: 5 mins
A list of key highlights from the Union Budget 2023-24
The Finance Minister of India Ms Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for the year 2023-24 today. The FM said that the G20 Presidency has given India a unique opportunity in boosting India’s role in the world economy. She also mentioned that India has grown from being the tenth-largest economy in the world to becoming the fifth-largest.
As mentioned in the previous budget, the final 25 years leading to 100 years of our independence is seen as Amrit Kaal. In this budget, Ms Sitharaman opened the budget presentation by disclosing the seven priorities, also known as Saptarishi, which will define the Amrit Kaal i.e., the next 24-25 years.
The Saptarishi priorities are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, youth power, financial sector, green growth, unleashing the potential and infrastructure development.
The key highlights of the Budget are,
Numbers and Outlays
- The FM said that the fiscal deficit for the current financial year is estimated at 5.9%. The government aims to bring it down to 4.5% of GDP by 2025-26,
- Capital expenditure has been raised from Rs 7.5 lakh crore to Rs 10 lakh crore on long-term projects,
- Indian railways have been given a massive capital allocation of Rs 2.40 lakh crores. This is the highest allocation for the sector in a decade,
- An investment of Rs 2,516 crores has been announced for the computerisation of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies,
- Central assistance of Rs 5,300 crores has been earmarked for the drought-prone region of Karnataka,
- Disbursal under the PM Awas Yojana has been increased to over Rs 79,000 crores. Thus, the financial year 2023-24 will see a 66% increase in PM Awas Yojana outlay,
- Agriculture Credit Target will focus on areas like animal husbandry, and dairies, with the budget raised to Rs 20 lakh crores. The PM Matsya Sampada Yojana sub-scheme will see a target allotment of Rs 6,000 crores,
- The government plans to promote alternative fertilisers under the PM-PRANAM scheme which will incentivise states for the same. This is aimed to restore and nourish soil quality in the farmlands,
- Kaushal Vikash Yojana 4.0 will be launched and will be operational for three years. This Yojana will promote skill development and training of youth,
- The FM pointed out the need for providing facilities like housing, clean water, nutrition and sustainable livelihood to vulnerable tribal groups. She announced the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups Development Mission for the same,
- The government’s aim to convert manholes in all cities and towns into machine holes was announced. 100% mechanical de-sludging of sewer drains and septic tanks is part of this transition,
Skill and Education
- Top educational institutions will see the setting up of three Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence. This is aimed to achieve the Make AI in India and Make AI work in India visions,
- 38,800 teachers and support staff will be hired by the government for 740 Eklavaya Model Residential Schools that cater to over 3.5 lakh tribal students,
- Plans for the co-location of 157 new nursing colleges in 157 medical colleges set up since 2014 were announced. The FM also declared the government’s target of eliminating sickle cell anaemia by 2047,
Taxes and Business
- Ms Sitharaman proposed changes in the direct tax structure with a focus on further simplification. Proposals were made to make a new tax structure as a default of the tax regime. Exemption limits have been raised to Rs 3 lakhs,
- The income limit for income tax rebate has been raised to Rs 7 lakhs from the existing limit of Rs 5 lakhs,
- The number of basic custom duty rates on goods excluding textiles and agriculture has been reduced from 21 to 13. Minor basic duty, surcharge and cess changes have been proposed in items like toys, bicycles and automobiles,
- Import customs duty has been reduced on items like camera lenses and lithium-ion batteries. Basic customs duty has been on kitchen chimneys while reduced on TV panels and heat coils,
- The maximum deposit limit for the senior citizen saving scheme has been increased from the existing Rs 15 lakhs to Rs 30 lakhs,
- Tourism promotion will be taken up in mission mode with active state participation, government programmes and public-private partnerships,
- To improve regional air connectivity, the FM announced the revival of 50 additional airports. Besides, helipads, water aero drones and advanced landing grounds will also be revived,
- Ms Sitharaman said that to simplify KYC formalities and promote ease of doing business, PAN will act as the common identifier for all digital systems of government agencies.
Do have a look at the coverage of specific budget-related announcements for more information on these highlights.