A forward-looking budget with emphasis on trust based governance to build Atmanirbhar Bharat which is both inclusive and progressive, reposes faith in taxpayers, entrepreneurs and investors. Thrust on digitization of education and healthcare, as the global pandemic forced the closure of educational institutions which led to a huge loss of learning for students in rural areas particularly.
The government’s decision to launch Digital DESH e-portal and setting up of Digital University to provide access to students for world-class quality education with ISTE standards and the decision to create an open platform for the National Digital Health Eco system and announcement of National Telemental Health Programme which includes 23 National Telemental Health Centers with NIMHANS serving as nodal centre and IIIT Banglore providing technical support is welcome.
The use of high technology Kisan Drone as well as battery swapping will result as E growth engines for both agri based and service based economies. The introduction of Central Digital currency using blockchain and other experimental technologies is forward looking.
Budget 22-23 presented a high fiscal deficit of 6.4% of GDP for the financial year 23 which is more than expected. It has finely balanced fiscal retreat with supporting economic recovery, focusing on strategy of driving capital expenditure to drive growth, with the intension of crowding in private investment through higher public spending. While elevated market
borrowings are likely to pressurize bond yields, inclusion of green bonds in the borrowings plan is an interesting innovation.
PLI scheme will help getting fresh investment of 30 lakh Cr. and new jobs of 60 lakhs is pretty ambitious. Design led manufacturing for 5G ecosystem as part of PLI Scheme and measures for setting up a strong 5G infrastructure is promising and has huge potential for growth in the telecom sector.
Some prudent initiatives for MSMEs and Startups has been taken. The Tax concession period has been extended by one more year which is a positive move and 15% tax has been decided for such newly incorporated manufacturing units, The period of incorporation has been increased by one year to 31.03.2024. This shall boost entrepreneurship and manufacturing activities. Focus on ‘ease of doing business’ is a great step, as it will further promote entrepreneurship in the economy.
To strengthen the supply chain ecosystem creation of unified logistics platform and developments of 100 new cargo terminals in the next 3 years is a significant step. FM has reiterated her commitment towards housing for all by allocating 48k Cr towards this scheme same as last year. The Government could have done more to have given a boost to the housing sector given the strong multiplier effect the sector has on the economy.
Government deciding to extend the ECGL scheme for hospitality sector with an increased cover of 50000/- taking the total to 5lakhs Cr. is appreciated as hospitality sector as compared to the Small & Medium Sector are yet to bounce back and recover from their losses and are struggling for survival. Spending Rs 2.37 lakh crore towards MSP for procurement of wheat and paddy is as per expectation.
A fund with blended capital raised under co-investment model facilitated through NABARD to finance startups in agriculture & rural enterprises for farm produce value chain is a welcome step.
Middle Class people are disappointed as Income Tax exemptions limit was expected to have increased to 5lakhs and above but it did not happen. Traders are disappointed as it was expected that FM would keep companies, Partnership and proprietorship firms in the same Tax Slabs.
An ambitious Budget I must say as maintaining the proposed Growth rate of 9.5% would be a huge challenge.
I would give the budget 7/10 points.