Eyes on growth, big announcements ahead of the 2024 polls

Budget 2023: Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget today

New Delhi:
The Union budget for fiscal year 2024, to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will lay the foundation for moving India’s economic growth to the projected rate of 6.8 percent. This is Mrs. Seetharaman’s fifth budget show since 2019.

Here’s a 10-point cheat sheet for this big story:

  1. As expected, India’s middle class is looking for some form of exemption from income tax. Although the tax board has not changed and no new deduction has been announced in the past year, inflation has dampened people’s earnings. They have seen no change in the tax rate since 2017-18 and in the tax plate since July 2014.

  2. Ms. Sitharaman may be able to afford a balanced and not populist budget as general elections are still a year and another union budget. However, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party hoping to win a third consecutive term, massive welfare programs for farmers and rural people cannot be ruled out.

  3. The Finance Ministry was considering increasing the minimum under 80 degrees Celsius, which includes investment in life insurance, fixed deposits, bonds, housing and the Public Provident Fund. If this happens, it will encourage savings and help raise rainy day funds for people whose savings were eroded at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  4. Markets in India – Asia’s third largest economy – will be closely watched when Ms. Sitharaman begins her budget speech at 11am. Adani group companies led most of the swings last week, but on Tuesday the subsequent Rs 20,000 crore share sale was sold, bringing relief to the group facing allegations of fraud by the US-based short-seller Hindenburg.

  5. Modi’s government may promote “Make In India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” policies by giving financial benefits to manufacturers and suppliers who want to set up shop in the country. India has been advertising itself as an alternative to China in the global supply chain.

  6. The real estate sector, which slumped during the pandemic, expects the center to announce favorable plans and tax breaks to improve its luck after a slow but sure recovery last year. In 2019, the Goods and Services Tax, or GST, lowered the tax rate on affordable homes from 8 percent to 1 percent. The sector expects similar announcements in this budget as well.

  7. More than half of India’s population is under the age of 30. For them, the focus will be on job security and lowering taxes on the products they prefer to buy, such as electronic goods. Better terms for education loans and other forms of financial aid for schools and higher education will be watched with interest.

  8. The farm sector has fallen on hard times in 2022 due to global supply problems, unseasonal rains and floods, the effects of climate change and the war in Ukraine. It is likely that Mrs. Seetharaman will have something to spare them from all these shocks. After all, farmers make up a large and influential voter base.

  9. Sitharaman may pick up where the “digital rupee” left off, which was first announced in last year’s budget as a potential alternative to cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency trading has recently become widely popular all over the world, albeit very risky due to a gray area of ‚Äč‚Äčregulation. The Finance Minister may provide an update on the status of the Digital Rupee.

  10. A Bloomberg briefing of what to expect includes extending the long-term capital gains tax to immovable property and unlisted stocks, compensating oil retailers for selling fuel below market prices, lowering import taxes on gold to 10 percent to curb illegal shipments and increasing the defense budget. amid border tensions with China.

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