Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is going to present the Union Budget 2023-24 on Wednesday, February 1, her fifth and the government’s last full Budget before the general elections of 2024. There are expectations from various sectors, apart from demand from individuals for tax relief. As the Budget 2023 is around the corner, here’re the key things to watch out for in the Budget:
Income Tax-Related Announcements
An announcement related to the income tax is one of the keenly watched things in the Budget, as it affects people and the government’s exchequer at a large scale. There is an expectation that the government might give relief to individual taxpayers by raising tax exemption or rebate limits. There are also demands of raising the deductions limit under Section 80C in the Union Budget 2023-23, compared with Rs 1.5 lakh currently.
Fiscal deficit is one of the important metrics among markets and policy makers to follow. It shows the health of the government’s finances and its dependency on the borrowing. According to the latest data available, India’s fiscal deficit during April-November 2022 stood at Rs 9.78 lakh crore, or 58.9 per cent of the full-financial year target. In the corresponding period last year, the deficit had stood at 46.2 per cent of the full-FY22 target. The fiscal deficit is the difference between expenditure and revenue of the government.
The budgeted disinvestment target for the current financial year 2022-23 is Rs 65,000 crore. Out of this, the government has so far raised around Rs 31,000 crore from divesting its equities in the central public sector enterprises. The government in the past four years has consistently missed the budgetary target. In the Union Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier pegged the divestment target at Rs 1.75 lakh crore, which was revised later to Rs 78,000 crore. However, the mop-up in 2021-22 was only Rs 13,531 crore.
The current financial year saw India’s mega IPO, LIC IPO. Now, there is a pending privatisation of two state-owned banks and one general insurance company.
In the previous Budget 2022, the capital expenditure got a boost to support the pandemic-hit economy. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, as per reports, might unveil big spending plans for crowding in private investment for the financial year 2023-24. The government is expected to continue with its plan to ramp up capital expenditure in the upcoming Budget 2023-24 with a special focus on states’ spending on capital assets.
The Union Budget might announce a special fund or a scheme for millets as India prepares to steer the celebration of International Millet Year 2023 and promote the cultivation and consumption of nutri-cereals. The government sponsored the proposal for the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023, which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
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