Union Budget 2023-a glance
Dr Parveen Kumar
Termed as a budget that infuses new energy into Indian development trajectory, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday presented the fifth budget of Modi 2.0. The Union Budget 2023, the last full-fledged budget before the general elections next year was described by union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as taking the country towards right path with a bright future ahead. A day before presenting the Union Budget 2023, Union Finance Minister had tabled the Economic Survey for the Financial Year 2022-23 in the Lok Sabha, stating that the economic recovery of India from the Covid-19 pandemic was complete and the economy is expected to grow in the range of 6 to 6.8 per cent in the coming financial year 2023-24. This was in comparison to the estimated 7 per cent this fiscal and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22.
To put it in the words of Prime Minister of country Narendra Modi, the Union Budget will fulfill dreams of aspirational society, farmers and middle class. It gives priority to the deprived.
The first Budget of Amrit Kaal provides foundation to fulfill resolve for a developed India. Government has taken several steps to make the lives of women, in rural & urban areas, easy. Special savings scheme have been proposed to empower women. We have to take our success of Digital Payments and duplicate it in our farming sector. The Budget has come up with Digital Agriculture Infrastructure.
This Budget will give a new identity to Sustainable Development, Green Growth, Green Economy, Green Infrastructure and Green Jobs.
The finance minister has delivered a positive and growth oriented budget with twin boosters of higher CAPEX outlay and moderation of personal income tax at the lowest and highest level, thus boosting growth and consumption while keeping the fiscal deficit and market borrowing in line with market expectations of 5.9 per cent and Rs 15.43 lakh crores. Allocation to different ministries: The respective allocation to different ministries include 5.94lakh crore to Defence, 2.70 crore to Road Transport and Highways, 2.41 lakh crore to Ministry of Railways, 2.06 lakh crore to Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, 1.96crore to Ministry of Home Affairs, 1.78 crore to Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, 1.60 crore to Ministry of Rural Development, 1.25 lakh crore to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’ Welfare and 1.23 crore to Ministry of Communication.
Bolstering Make-in-India initiatives: To bolster initiatives like that of Make-in-India semiconductor, the budget for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been hiked by 40 per cent; to Rs 16, 549.04 crore from the Rs 11,719.95 crore revised estimate of 2022-23.
Boost to tax payers: In a boost to taxpayers and economy, FM also announced new tax slabs with new tax regimes.
The rebate limit in the new tax regime is increased from Rs 5 lakh to 7 lakh and there is a corresponding easing of the tax slabs. Under new structure, there will not be any tax on income up to 3 lakh, for annual income from 3 to 6 lakhs, the tax will be 5 per cent, for 6 to 9 lakhs, tax deducted will be 10 per cent, from 9-12 lakhs, the tax applicable will be 15 per cent, from 12 to 15 lakhs, it will be 20 per cent and annual income over 15 lakhs will be taxable up to 30 percent.
Agriculture: To promote startups in rural areas, an Agriculture Accelerator Fund has been set up, Rupees 20 lakh crore as agriculture credit and targeted for Fisheries, Dairy and Animal husbandry has been set up. Storage structures will also be promoted and established at the grass roots level to enhance the storage capacity of the producers.
India will be Global Hub for millets and financial support will be given to Indian Institute of Millets Research IIMR for promoting research on millets.
The digital public infrastructure will be build to give accessible, informative and inclusive solution to the various problems of farming communities.
To boost production of horticulture in the country, a Horticulture Clean Plant Programme will be launched. A cash transfer of rupees 2.2 lakh crore to over 1104 crore farmers under PM KISAN. An amount of Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been set aside for fertilizer subsidies in Budget 2023-24, which is 22 percent lower than Rs 2.25 lakh crore for FY23. Improving Connectivity: The Union budget 2023-24 has reiterated its focus on improving regional air connectivity through the setting up of 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing grounds revival, which will boost domestic air travel.
Thrust on Tourism: The budget provides a lot of thrust on the promotion of tourism through the development of 50 tourist destinations covering various aspects and further through the development of theme-based local tourist spots. This will also promote international tourism and hence international air travel along with domestic air travel.Saving schemes: The maximum deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme has also been enhanced from rupees 15 lakh to rupees 30 lakhs. Similarly the monthly income scheme has also been doubled to Rs 9 lakh for individual accounts and Rs 15 lakh for joint accounts. A new one time new saving scheme Mahila Samman Saving Certificate will be made available for women for 2 years up to 2025. Health: In the health sector, 157 new nursing colleges will be established, a new programme to promote research in pharmaceuticals will be launched and joint public and private medical research will be encouraged via select ICMR labs. The government will also roll out a mission to eliminate Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA) by 2047,
Education: In the education sector, a National Digital Library will be set up for children and adolescents and States will be encouraged to set up physical libraries at Panchayat and ward levels.
Drinking and Sanitation: Nine crore water connections to houses in villages, 11.7 crore household toilets will be constructed under Swachh Bharat Mission, 9.6 crore connections under Ujjwala will be provided, 220 crore vaccinations for 102 crore persons.
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs): The government has revamped the credit guarantee for MSMEs with an infusion of rupees 9,000 crores and this is come into effect from Apr 1, 2023.
New credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs will also reduce cost of credit by 1 percentage point.
Skill training: In order to upgrade the skills of the youth so as to enable them to become employment generators and providers, the government will come up with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana PMKVY 4.0 and to further the youths for international opportunities, 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different States.
Clean Energy: To promote production and consumption of clean energy n the country, union finance minister has allocated Rs 35,000 crores priority capital for the transition to clean and green energy.
A National Green Hydrogen mission with an outlay of Rs 19,700 crore will facilitate the transition of the economy to low carbon intensity, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports and make the country assume technology and market leadership.
The Green credit programme will be notified under the Environment Protection Act and the battery storage will now get viability gap funding with the government supporting setting up of battery energy storage of 4,000 MwH.
According to Shanti Ekambaram, Whole Time Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, the Budget has focused on all aspects that can help India grow including agriculture, infrastructure capital outlay, green energy, tourism, youth skilling while also providing for the economically weaker sections.
The budgets key highlights also includes its focus on improving the ease of doing business, continuing digital thrust, promoting entrepreneurship, simplifying regulations and compliance, and indicating a glide path to fiscal consolidation.
This according to Ekambaram will collectively unleash the potential of India to grow into an economic superpower in the next decade.
Finance Minister had listed seven priorities of the budget. These priorities include Inclusive development, Reaching the last mile, Unleashing the potential, Infrastructure and Investment, Green Growth, Youth power and Financial sector.
Let us all hope that with the sustained contributions of all of us; the seven priorities of the Union FM see the light of the day leading the country on the growth path which has received a setback in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic.