Budget Speech by Nirmala Sitharaman, India Budget 2023: Presenting the Union Budget 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday announced changes to the income tax regime, and placed emphasis on agriculture and tourism projects, announcing a new agriculture accelerator fund and the promotion of tourism on ‘mission mode’.
This is Sitharaman’s fifth Budget presentation, and the Modi government’s final full-fledged one before the Lok Sabha elections early next year. The Union Budget for this year focuses on seven key areas (or ‘Saptrishis guiding us through Amrit Kaal,’ as the Finance Minister put it): inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector.
Budget 2023 highlights:
What will be cheaper?
Customs duty on parts of open cells in TV panels will be reduced to 2.5%; customs duty on certain inputs for mobile phone manufacturing will be reduced; basic customs duty on seeds used in the production of lab-grown diamonds will be reduced; and customs duty on shrimp feed will be reduced.
What will be costlier?
Tax on cigarettes hiked by 16 per cent; basic import duty on compounded rubber increased from 10% to 25%; basic customs duty hiked on articles made from gold bars; customs duty on kitchen electric chimney doubled to 15%.
On income tax: The tax slabs for the new tax regime are as follows: 0-Rs. 3 lakh — nil; Rs. 3-6 lakh — 5%; Rs. 6-9 lakh — 10%; Rs. 9-12 lakh — 15%; Rs. 12-15 lakh — 20%; Rs. 15 lakh and above — 30%.
On income tax: In the new tax regime, the number of slabs was reduced from 6 to 5 and the tax exemption limit was increased to Rs 3 lakhs.
On income tax: The new tax structure will now be the default tax option.
On income tax: The income tax rebate limit increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh under the new tax regime.
Deductions from capital gains on investments in residential houses are to be capped at Rs 10 crore.
Concessional basic customs duty of 2.5% on copper scrap to continue; customs duty on shrimp feed to be decreased.
The limit for presumptive taxation for MSMEs and certain professionals is to be increased to Rs 3 crore and Rs 75 lakh respectively.
The basic import duty on compounded rubber increased to 25% from 10%.
Basic customs duty hiked on articles made from gold bars.
Customs duty on kitchen electric chimney increased to 15% from 7.5%
Cigarettes to get costlier as Budget proposes 16% hike in duty.
The processing time for income tax returns (ITR) will be reduced from 93 days to 16 days.
Custom duty rebate for Lithium battery, certain elements on camera lenses, mobile phone and television manufacturing.
The fiscal deficit target is fixed at 5.9 per cent of GDP.
5% compressed biogas (CBG) mandate for all entities marketing natural gas in India.
In terms of conservation, a new scheme is to be launched to aid the optimal use of wetlands; a Mangrove plantation is to be taken up along the coastline under the new MISHTI scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna 4.0 is to be launched to build skills in youngsters; 30 Skill India international centres are to be set up.
PM-PRANAM will be introduced to encourage states to promote alternative fertilisers.
A Gowardhan Scheme is to be set up for promoting a circular economy with a total investment of Rs 10,000 crore.
Green credit programme will be notified under the Environment Protection Act, meant to incentivise environmentally sustainable and responsible actions by companies.
Support is to be provided for setting up of battery energy storage of 4,000 MwH.
Rs 35,000 crore set aside for priority capital investment towards energy transition and net zero objectives.
The 50-year interest-free loans provided to state governments are to be extended for one more year.
A national mission for vulnerable tribes launched with an outlay of Rs 15,000 crore.
Railways get a capital outlay of Rs 2.4 lakh crores, which the FM says is the highest-ever allocation since 2013-14.
Urban planning is to be encouraged, with a focus on 100 critical transport infrastructure projects, and 100% transition of sewers and septic tanks from manhole to machine hole mode.
Poll-bound Karnataka gets Rs 5,300 crore assistance for dealing with drought.
The outlay for PM Awaas Yojana has been enhanced by 66 per cent to over Rs 79,000 crore.
A National Digital library for children and adolescents to be set up for facilitating the availability of quality books across geographies, languages and genres and levels and device-agnostic accessibility.
A new sub-scheme under the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with a budget of Rs 6,000 crore has been created for the fisheries sector.
Capital investment increased for the third year by 33% to 10 lakh crores, 3.3% of GDP.
Government to launch a Rs 2,200 crore Aatmanirbhar clean plan programme
Govt to support Hyderabad-based millet institute as a centre of excellence.
A national cooperative database is being created to map cooperative societies.
An agriculture accelerator fund will be set up to encourage agricultural startups by young entrepreneurs.
Digital public infrastructure for agriculture will be built as an open-source, inter-operable public good
This budget’s priorities are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector.
Government implementing a scheme to supply foodgrains from January 1, 2023, to all Antaodaya and priority households for the next year. The scheme to supply free food grain for priority households for the next year has been implemented from January 1.
Finance Minister says the Indian economy is on the right track despite challenges.
Current year economic growth is estimated to be at 7%.
Nirmala Sitharaman made several key points in her Budget speech, including measures to end manual scavenging, making PAN the common business identifier, and, of course, tax reform.