The Union Budget 2023-24 was presented by the Indian Finance Minister on February 1st, 2023. This budget was focused on promoting domestic manufacturing and exports, simplifying tax procedures and boosting agriculture, education, and infrastructure. The highlights of the budget include changes in direct and indirect taxes and various initiatives for different sectors.
Direct and Indirect Taxes: The budget proposed several changes in direct and indirect taxes to promote domestic manufacturing and exports.
Tax exemptions have been announced for capital goods and lithium batteries. On the other hand, products like gold, silver, diamonds, cigarettes, and imported rubber will become expensive due to higher taxes. The limit for presumptive taxation has been increased to 3 crore and 75 lakhs. The TDS limit has been increased to Rs. 3 crores for cooperatives and 100 Joint Commissioners have been appointed for the disposal of small appeals. The TDS on EPF withdrawal has been reduced, and the Section 54 and 54F have been amended. The rebate limit has been increased to 7 lakhs in the new tax regime. The number of tax slabs has been reduced from 7 to 5 and the highest tax rate has been reduced from 42.74% to 39%. The surcharge rate has also been reduced from 37% to 25% in the new tax regime.
General: The budget proposed several initiatives for different sectors like agriculture, education, and infrastructure. The EPFO numbers have doubled to 27 crores and an agriculture accelerator fund has been proposed to boost start-ups in the agriculture sector. 38,800 teachers will be employed in 3.5 lakh Eklavya tribal schools. The capital outlay for railways has been increased to Rs. 2.40 lakh crore, and 50 new airports and heliports will be made. Rs. 10,000 crore has been allocated for urban infra fund every year and Rs. 75,000 crore for 100 transport infra projects. Three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set up. The KYC procedure will be simplified, and the PAN will become a common business identifier. The scope of the Digi locker will be increased. The number of compliances has been reduced, and the Jan Vishwas Bill will amend 42 laws. Rs. 35,000 crore has been allocated for energy transmission, and 10,000 bio input research centers will be set up. 30 Skill India International Centers will be set up, and the NFIR (National Financial Information Registry) will be launched for financial strategy. The cost of MSME credit will be reduced by 1%, and Rs. 9,000 crore will be infused in the corpus for MSME credit. The Mahila Samman Bachat Scheme has been proposed for women for Rs. 2,00,000 @ 7.5%, and the SCSS has been enhanced from 15 lakh to 30 lakh.
In conclusion, the Union Budget 2023-24 has proposed several initiatives and changes in taxes to promote domestic manufacturing and exports, boost agriculture, education, and infrastructure. The budget has taken into account the needs of various sections of the society and has proposed several measures to improve their financial stability and growth.