New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced big relief for taxpayers and a mega push for capital spending and infrastructure as she unveiled the government’s last Budget before the 2024 national election.

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Here’s your 10-point cheat sheet on Budget 2023

  • The government has simplified the slabs in the new tax regime, which will be default. There will be no tax on income on up to ₹ 7 lakh a year — up from ₹ 5 lakh — and the highest applicable tax rate in India after surcharges has been reduced from 42.7 per cent to 39.
  • The tax slabs will be cut to five instead of seven in the new regime. There will be no tax for income up to ₹ 3 lakh. Income between ₹ 3-6 lakh will be taxed at 5 per cent; those earning between ₹ 6 and 9 lakhs will be taxed at 10 per cent, income of ₹ 9-12 lakh will be taxed at 15 per cent, for ₹ 12-15 lakh income it will be 20 per cent and those earning ₹ 15 lakh and above will be taxed at 30 per cent.
  • The government will spend a record ₹ 10 lakh crore on longer term capital expenditure, an increase of 33 per cent, extending its strategy to revive growth after Covid. This will be 3.3 per cent of the GDP in 2023-2024.
  • The government has outlined seven priority areas – including development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financial sector.
  • The agricultural credit target has been increased to ₹ 20 lakh crore and in another populist measure, allocation for PM Awas Yojna increased by 66 per cent to over ₹ 79,000 crore. The government has also promised 50 new airports and helipads.
  • For the railways, the minister announced an outlay of ₹ 2.4 lakh crore — the highest in almost a decade and four times the last year’s budget. “This is about nine times the outlay made in 2013-14,” she said, comparing it with the last year of the Congress-led UPA governance.
  • The Permanent Account Number (PAN) will be used as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies. The KYC process will be simplified and a one-stop update of identity will be established through Digi locker service and Aadhaar.  A system of ‘Unified Filing Process’ will be set-up to streamline the current process of duplication for multiple departments for ease of business.
  • To settle commercial disputes, the government will bring another dispute resolution scheme. There will be a one-stop solution for reconciliation of IDs maintained by various government agencies, the minister said.
  • With a focus on switching to green fuel, the government is targeting 5 MT of Green Hydrogen production by 2030, Ms Sitharaman said.
  • The fiscal deficit target of 6.4 per cent will be retained in the revised estimate for the current fiscal. For the next fiscal 2023-2024, it will be cut down to 5.9 per cent of the GDP, Ms Sitharaman said.

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