• Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Narendra Modi govt presents last full-fledged budget before 2024 polls: Here are some highlights

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday (1) unveiled a big-ticket budget, the final full-fledged one before the country goes to elections in 2024, which included huge capital outlay in sectors such as infrastructure and agri besides reworking tax slabs to give a big relief to the middle class.

Here are some highlights of the Narendra Modi government’s 2023 budget:

Simplifying tax slabs:

The Narendra Modi government simplified the tax slabs in a new regime to give a massive income tax relief to the salaried class. While there will be no tax on income on up to Rs 7 lakh (£6,945) a year, up from Rs 5 lakh (£4,961), the country’s topmost tax bracket has been reduced from 42.74 per cent to 39 per cent, said finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The new regime will feature five slabs instead of six.

Giving relief to senior citizens:

The investment cap for the Monthly Income Scheme and Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme has been raised under the new budget.

Outlining priority areas: 

The government outlined seven priority areas in the budget and they are, according to Sitharaman: inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, green growth, youth power, unleashing the potential, and financial sector.

Huge outlay for railways:

The finance minister announced an outlay of Rs 2.4 lakh crore (£23.8 billion) for the Indian Railways, the country’s biggest public sector organisation. It is the highest in almost a decade and four times the previous budget and nine times the 2013-14 budget, the last time the government led by opposition Indian National Congress presented a full-fledged budget.

Increasing agriculture credit target:

The agricultural credit target has been raised to Rs 20 lakh crore (£198.4 billion) while allocation to the PM Awas Yojana (an affordable housing scheme to address urban housing shortage) went up by 66 per cent to more than Rs 79,000 crore (£7.8 billion).

Focusing on green fuel:

The Indian government is targeting 5MT of green hydrogen production by 2030, Sitharaman announced in the budget.

Easing business and settling commercial disputes:

The Modi government will implement another dispute-resolution scheme under Vivad Se Vishwas-2. The finance minister said there will be a one-stop solution for reconciliation of IDs maintained by various government agencies.

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