The Union Budget for 2023-2024, presented by the Finance Minister of India, outlines the government’s economic and financial plans. That is for the coming fiscal year. The budget addresses various sectors and initiatives, to drive growth, improve the standard of living, and promote entrepreneurship. From investments in infrastructure and education to the simplification of tax laws and financial procedures. The budget promises to have far-reaching impacts on the Indian economy.
In this article, we will explore the key highlights of the Union Budget 2023-2024. Including investments in the agriculture and fisheries sector, financial empowerment, and tax reforms.
Provisions for the Labor and Agriculture Sectors
- EPFO doubles its reach: With the number of EPFO subscribers reaching 27 crores. The government has ensured that the welfare of the labor force remains a priority.
- A Boost for Agriculture: An Agriculture Accelerator Fund has been announced to give a push to startups in the agriculture sector. That has bought with it a special scheme aimed at boosting the fisheries industry.
- Tribal Education Takes the Front Seat: The Government is planning to employ 38,800 students for the eklavya schools. This is bound to greatly enhance the quality of education.
Infrastructure Development: On the Rise
- Railways Get a Capital Injection: The railway is getting a 2.40 lakhs capital outlay, and the Indian Railways is set to see significant upgrades in the near future.
- Taking to the Skies: A total of 50 new airports and heliports will be built to provide enhanced connectivity options for citizens.
- Urban Areas Get a Facelift: The government has allocated Rs. 10,000 crores annually for the urban infrastructure fund to enhance the living conditions in urban areas.
- 100 Transport Projects to Receive Funding: With Rs. 75,000 crores allocated for transport infrastructure projects, citizens can expect improved transport facilities.
Pushing the Frontiers of Technology
- AI Centers of Excellence: Three Centers of Excellence will be set up to promote research and innovation in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
- Simplifying KYC: The Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure will be simplified, and PAN will be used as a standard business identifier.
- Expanding DigiLocker: The scope of DigiLocker, a digital platform for the safe and secure storage of important documents, will be increased.
- Cutting Red Tape: Over 39,000 compliances have been reduced, and the Jan Vishwas Bill will be used to amend 42 laws, making it easier for citizens to conduct business.
Focus on Energy and Skill Development
- Energy Transmission Gets a Boost: Rs. 35,000 crores has been allocated for energy transmission, signaling a push towards a more sustainable energy sector.
- Bio Input Research Centers: 10,000 bio-input research centers will be set up, with a focus on boosting the agricultural sector.
- Skill India Takes to the World Stage: 30 Skill India International centers will be set up to provide training and education in various trades.
- NFIR: The National Financial Information Registry (NFIR) will be launched to provide a centralized database for financial information.
MSMEs and Women’s Empowerment
- Cost-Cutting for MSMEs: The cost of MSME credit will be reduced by 1%, and Rs. 9,000 crores will be infused into the corpus for MSME credit.
- A Safe Haven for Women’s Savings: The Mahila Samman Bachat Scheme, offering savings accounts for women at 7.5%, will be launched with an allocation of Rs. 2,00,000.
- SCSS Enhanced: The Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS) has been enhanced from 15 lahks to 30 lahks, providing a better quality of life for senior citizens.
Direct and Indirect Tax Reforms
- Promoting Domestic Manufacturing and Exports: The government is promoting domestic manufacturing and exports by offering tax exemptions on capital goods and lithium batteries.
- Cheaper Mobile Devices and Cameras: Mobiles and camera lenses are set to become more affordable, while imported goods such as gold, silver, and diamonds, as well as cigarettes and rubber, will become more expensive
The Union Budget 2023-2024 aims to drive economic growth and improve the standard of living in India. The budget emphasizes investment in infrastructure, education, and entrepreneurship. Key highlights include the doubling of EPFO numbers, the creation of 50 new airports and heliports, and the allocation of Rs. 2.40 lakh crore for Railways. The budget also includes a focus on the agriculture and fisheries sector, financial empowerment, and reducing the tax burden for the middle class. Overall, the budget lays the foundation for a strong and sustainable economy in India.
Those were the highlights of the Union Budget 2023-24 but if you would like to get a better in-depth look at it. Here is the link to the official document on the government site.
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