From 11am in Parliament, Sitharaman is expected to announce a spending plan of over $544 billion in the financial year starting April to boost employment, fund social welfare and provide perks for manufacturing.
Bloomberg reported that Sitharaman may make a few changes to income-tax slabs to provide relief to the middle class and increase the spending on the poor through programmes such as rural jobs. The Union Budget 2023 may also focus on ramping up financial incentives for local manufacturing.
Like the last two Union budgets, the finance minister this budget will also be delivered in paperless form.
- There are expectations that Sitharaman would put some money in the pockets of taxpayers. She is also likely to raise import duties on items such as private jets, helicopters, high-end electronic items and jewellery to encourage domestic manufacturing.
- India’s jobless rate jumped to a 16-month high of 8.3 per cent last month. DBS Group economist Radhika Rao told Bloomberg that the spending on rural job guarantees to top this year’s allocation of ₹730 billion ($9 billion), with crop insurance, rural road infrastructure and low-cost housing also getting attention.
- The budget may see production-linked incentives getting extended to sectors such as shipping containers and toys.
- The focus is expected to be on increasing the number of nursing and medical colleges, introducing HPV vaccine in the National Immunisation Program and enhancement of Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) coverage. Reports indicate that the health ministry has proposed the inclusion of many other requirements and its expected that some of them will be included in Budget 2023-2024.
- The Budget 2023 is a much-anticipated event for the real estate sector in India. Industry experts and stakeholders have high expectations from the government as they hope to see a number of reforms and initiatives that can help boost the real estate market and encourage investment in the sector.
- Live Mint reported that the government may provide record budgetary support to strengthen the infrastructure of Indian railways as well. The gross budgetary support for the railways is likely to increase by 29 per cent to ₹1.8 trillion in the year starting April 1 from ₹1.4 trillion in the current year.
- The budget session of the Parliament began on Tuesday with President’s address. This year’s budget session is going to have 27 sittings till April 6 with a month-long recess to examine the budget papers. The first part of the session will conclude on February 13. Parliament will reconvene on March 12 for the second part of the Budget Session and conclude on April 6.
- Sitharaman on Tuesday tabled the Economic Survey for the Financial Year 2022-23.
- The Economic Survey said India’s economic recovery from the Covid pandemic is complete and the economy is expected to grow in the range of 6 per cent to 6.8 per cent in the coming financial year 2023-24. This is in comparison to 7 per cent this fiscal and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22.