INDIA: The Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday presented the Union Budget 2022-23 in Parliament with no changes in income tax slabs in the personal income tax category.
Highlighting India’s estimated economic growth in the current year at 9.2%, she began by marking the country’s entry into ‘Amrit Kaal’- the 25 year-long lead up from ‘[email protected]’ to ‘[email protected]’.
The budget is said to give a blueprint of the economy for the next 25 years with a focus on four priorities
1. PM Gatishakti
2. Inclusive Development
3. Productivity Enhancement & Investment, Sunrise Opportunities, Energy Transition, and Climate Action
4. Financing of Investment
The Effective Capital Expenditure of the government is estimated at Rs. 10.68 lakh crore in 2022-23, making up about 4.1% of GDP. Whereas the fiscal deficit in FY’23 is estimated at 6.4% of the GDP, against 6.9% of the current year.
Among the five major infrastructure projects announced in the budget are the expansion of highways by 25,000 kilometers, allocation of Rs 60,000 crore to the ‘Nal se Jal scheme’, Rs 48,000 crore for completion of PM housing scheme, 1400 crore outlay for Ken-Betwa river link project, and focus on infrastructure development in the North East.
The budget also announced the auction of the 5G spectrum in the upcoming financial year, applied tax on virtual currencies like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and announced a national programme for mental health.
The Key Takeaways of Union Budget 2022-23
Here are the key takeaways from the budget presented today
1. No change in income tax slabs or rates: Much of a disappointment for the salaried and tax-paying population, the budget made no tax concessions.
2. Increased time up to 2 years for updating ITR filing: The Income Tax Return filing window will now be open for two years for making changes even after the end of the relevant assessment year. It will give scope to later declare an income missed out earlier.
3. RBI to introduce Digital Rupee: RBI, the country’s central bank and regulatory body will introduce Digital Rupee using blockchain and other technologies in 2022-23. “Introduction of Central Bank Digital Currency will give a big boost to the digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system,” said Sitharaman.
4. Gains from transfer of digital assets to be taxed at 30%: Any income gained from the transfer of digital assets including cryptocurrency, NFTs, or any other token of similar nature will be taxed at 30 percent.
5. Changes in the banking ecosystem: 100 percent of India’s 1.5 lakh post offices will be brought under the core banking system.
6. Passports with a chip: e-Passports with embedded chips and futuristic technology will be introduced.
7. PM Gatishakti programme to be implemented: The programme is driven by seven engines- roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways & logistics infrastructure. The PM Gatishakti National Master Plan will include the seven engines for economic transformation, seamless multimodal connectivity, and logistics efficiency.
8. Expansion of road transport & railway projects: National Highway Networks will be expanded by 25000 km with an allocation of Rs 20000 Crore. Over 2000 km of railway network will be brought under KAVACH, the indigenous technology &
capacity augmentation. Four hundred new generation Vande Bharat trains will be to be manufactured in the next three years.
9. Direct payment to be made to farmers: The budget announced Rs. 2.37 lakh crore direct payment to 1.63 crore farmers for procurement of wheat and paddy. Chemical-free natural farming will be promoted and ‘Kisan Drones’ will be used to assess the crops.
10. Additional credit for MSMEs: Over Rs 2 lakh Crore additional credit was announced for Micro and Small Enterprises that will be facilitated under the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).
11. Expansion of water & housing schemes: The ‘Har Ghar, Nal Se Jal’ scheme will receive Rs. 60,000 crore to cover 3.8 crore households for tap water supply. An additional Rs. 48,000 crore will be allocated for the completion of 80 lakh houses under the PM Awas Yojana.
12. Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East Region (PM-DevINE): The latest scheme is launched to facilitate infrastructure and social development projects in the North-East starting with Rs. 1,500 crore to enable livelihood activities for youth and women.
13. National Tele Mental Health Programme: Following the impact of the pandemic on mental health, the programme will be launched for providing quality mental health counseling and care services.