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Union Budget Highlights: Capex hiked by 33%; Infra and jobs push before 2024

Nirmala Sitharaman Budget Speech, India Budget 2023: Presenting the Union Budget 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday announced that the capital investment increased for the third year by 33% to 10 lakh crores which come to 3.3% of GDP. The Minister’s speech also laid emphasis on infrastructure and jobs ahead of Modi government’s last full-fledged Budget before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

Budget 2023 | Experts break down the Budget for you

This year’s Union Budget focuses on seven key areas (or “Saptrishis guiding us through Amrit Kaal”, as the Finance Minister put it), which are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financial sector”.

Here are Budget 2023 highlights:

📌 What will be cheaper? Customs duty on parts of open cells of TV panels cut to 2.5%; customs duty on the import of certain inputs for mobile phone manufacturing to be reduced; basic customs duty on seeds used in manufacturing of lab-grown diamonds to be reduced; customs duty on shrimp feed to 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%.

Festive offer

📌 On income tax: In the new tax regime, the number of slabs reduced from 6 to 5 and the tax exemption limit increased to Rs 3 lakhs.

📌 On income tax: The new tax structure will now be the default tax option.

📌 On income tax: Income tax rebate limit increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh under new tax regime.

📌 Deductions from capital gains on investments in residential houses 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 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.

📌 Income Tax Returns (ITR) processing time to be reduced from 93 days to 16 days.

📌 Custom duty rebate for Lithium battery, certain elements on camera lenses, mobile phone and television manufacturing.📌 Fiscal deficit target 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 to be launched to aid the optimal use of wetlands; Mangrove plantation to be taken up along the coastline under the new MISHTI scheme.

📌 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna 4.0 to be launched to build skills in youngsters; 30 Skill India international centres to be set up.

📌 PM-PRANAM to be launched to incentivise states to promote alternative fertilisers.

📌 A Gowardhan Scheme 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 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 objective.

📌  The 50-year interest-free loans provided to state governments 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 to be encouraged, with a focus on 100 critical transport infrastructure projects, 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.

📌 For the fisheries sector, a new sub-scheme under PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with an outlay of Rs 6,000 crore

📌 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.

📌 Priorities of this budget: Inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infra and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financial sector.

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📌 Government implementing a scheme to supply foodgrains from January 1, 2023, to all Antaodaya and priority households for the next one 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%.

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Our senior editors Anil SasiSandeep SinghUdit Misra and Harish Damodaran have broken down the Budget for you, check out their analysis here. In the Budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman made several key points, including measures to end manual scavenging, making PAN the common business identifier, and, of course, updates to the tax regime. Read her full speech to see what else you missed. Udit Misra has distilled the three big takeaways from this Union Budget. And in case you were wondering, he has a handy explainer on how the government calculates the math.

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