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Key Highlights of Union Budget 2023-24

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NEW DELHI : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented her fifth and  last full-fledged Union Budget 2023 of the Modi government before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The Union Budget for the upcoming financial year 2023-24 aim to boost growth amid concerns about the impact of the global slowdown.

The finance minister in her speech noted that inspite of massive slowdown globally as a result of Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, India’s economy is on right track and moving towards a brighter future.

Here are the highlights from Budget 2023-24 presentation:

  • Sitharaman lists ‘Saptrishi’ or seven priorities of Budget – inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure development, potential, green growth, youth power, & finance sector
  • The government has enhanced income tax exemption limit up to Rs 7 lakh under new tax regime, finance minister says
  • The government has proposed to reduce the highest surcharge rate from 37% to 25% under new tax regime, FM Sitharaman said while presenting the Budget 2023.
  • No tax for income up to Rs 3 lakh; 5% tax on Rs 3-6 lakh; highest tax rate of 30 pc on income above Rs 15 lakh under new I-T regime: FM
  • An individual with annual income of Rs 9 lakh will have to pay only Rs 45,000: FM Sitharaman
  • First budget of ‘Amrit Kaal’ will build a strong foundation for building a developed India, PM Modi said in his address on the Union Budget 2023.
  • India set fiscal deficit target at 5.9% of GDP in FY24. For the current year, fiscal deficit target has been revised to 6.4% of GDP, says FM
  • Capital expenditure outlay has been enhanced by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore which would be 3.3% of GDP – almost 3 times the outlay made in 2020.
  • The defence budget was increased to Rs 5.94 lakh crore for 2023-24 from last year’s allocation of Rs 5.25 lakh crore. In the Union Budget presented in Parliament by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, a total of Rs 1.62 lakh crore has been set aside for capital expenditure that includes purchasing new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware.
  • Enhanced capex for Rs 10 lakh crore has been allocated for infrastructure developments, which is 3.3% of the GDP, Sitharaman said.
  • The outlay for PM Awaz Yojana is being increased by 66% to over Rs 79,000 crore, says Sitharaman
  • KYC process will be simplified by adopting risk-based system, says Sitharaman
  • Here are some tax proposals for industry: To consider a cut in customs duty on lab-grown diamonds, proposes higher import duties on silver dores, to increase duties on items made from gold, platinum, custom duty exemption extended to EV batteries.
  • In next 3 years, government will employ 38,800 teachers and support staff for 740 Eklavya model schools supporting tribal students, says FM
  • New small savings scheme has been announced for women – Mahila Savings Certificate for 2 years up to March 2025
  • India’s per capita income has increased to Rs 1.97 lakh crore, says Sitharaman.
  • Nearly Rs 1,900 crore has been allocated in the Union Budget to the Union Law Ministry to buy electronic voting machines ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday proposed to double the deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme to Rs 30 lakh.
  • States will be allowed fiscal deficit of 3.5% of GSDP of which 0.5% will be tied up to power sector reforms.
  • The government will launch ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative to promote domestic tourism. 50 destinations will be developed as complete tourist package.
  • FM said that the economy has become a lot more formalised as reflected by the doubling of EPFO membership to 27 crore and Rs 7,400 crore digital payments of Rs 126 lakh crore through UPI in 2022.
  • The government will set up digital library for children and adolescents will be set up for facilitating quality books, FM said.
  • Agriculture credit target will be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore, with focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, says Sitharaman.
  • India’s mission for ‘Amrit Kaal’ includes a technology driven and knowledge-based economy, says FM.
  • Centre’s economic agenda focused on facilitating opportunities, providing strong impetus to job creation and strengthening macroeconomic stability, says FM
  • Govt efforts since 2014 have ensured better quality of life for citizens of the country, says FM Sitharaman
  • Green growth efforts to help reduce carbon intensity; create green job opportunities: FM Sitharaman
  • India’s economy to grow by 7%, highest among all major economies inspite of massive slowdown globally as a result of Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, says Nirmala Sitharaman
  • In the 75th year of Independence, world has recognised India as a bright star, says Sitharaman.

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 before it was presented.

Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman met President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhawan before proceeding to the Parliament for budget presentation.

Sitharaman yet again opted for a digital tablet wrapped in a traditional ‘bahi-khata’ style pouch for the Budget presentation. The tablet was carefully kept inside a red cover with a golden-coloured national emblem embossed on it.

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