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Pre-Budget 2023 Highlights: Expectations high as stakeholders look for tax benefits

Pre-Budget Expectations 2023, Highlights: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget tomorrow.

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: January 31, 2023 20:04 IST
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Facebook)

India Budget 2023-24, Highlights, January 30:  The Budget session began on Tuesday with President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament. “By 2047, we have to build a nation that will be connected to the pride of the past and which will have all the golden chapters of modernity. We have to build an India that will be ‘Aatmanirbhar’ and capable to fulfill its humanitarian duties.” President Murmu said. The session will extend till April 6 and have 27 sittings over 66 days with a recess from February 14 to March 12.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget tomorrow. Expectations are high that she will meet the demands of all stakeholders, including the common man who is reeling under the price rise. The finance minister has held several rounds of discussions with various stakeholders, and final touches are being given to the Union Budget for 2023-24 which will be unveiled in the Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Monday called an all-party meeting today, a day ahead of the start of the Budget Session of Parliament. The customary meeting, called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, was held in the Parliament Annexe Building. At the meeting, opposition parties the Adani Group issue and the conduct of governors in some states ruled by them, news agency PTI reported. Joshi assured that the government was willing to discuss every matter allowed by rules and sought their cooperation. “We seek the opposition’s cooperation in running Parliament smoothly,” Joshi told reporters after the meeting which was attended by 37 leaders, representing 27 parties.

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Pre-Budget 2023 Highlights: The Budget Session of Parliament session will have 27 sittings over 66 days with a recess from February 14 to March 12. Follow this space for latest news updates

18:57 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Who presented the first Indian budget? Who presented the most budgets? Click to know

Did you know who presented the first Budget in India? In which year? Who was the first Indian PM to present a Budget? Who has presented the highest number of budgets? Read on to know more.

*Scottish economist James Wilson presented the first Indian Budget 163 years ago in 1860

*After Independence, then Finance Minister RK Shanmukham Chetty presented the first Budget on 26th November 1947 Read more.

18:35 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Economic Survey 2023: A broad-based recovery has lifted all major sectors above pre-pandemic levels. But that is about to be tested by slowing global growth

The assumptions and assessments of India’s annual Economic Survey and Budget last year went awry within weeks of tabling them. Russia invaded Ukraine. Inflation ran riot. A year later, the war continues. The inflation genie is yet to be bottled. Will this fiscal be any different?

To be sure, as the Economic Survey 2022-23 notes, the Indian economy looks more upbeat than many others, given the circumstances. A broad-based recovery is underway and has lifted all major sectors above the pre-pandemic levels this year. But that is about to be tested by slowing global growth amid tighter financial conditions. The full effects of aggressive rate hikes by global central banks through 2022 will play out this year. A cache of troubles — high global debt burden, rising debt servicing costs, tight external financing conditions, geopolitical risks, and extreme weather events — threaten to pile on. Read more

17:54 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Agriculture sector has done well, needs ‘re-orientation’: Economic Survey

Observing that the Indian agriculture sector has been growing, the Economic Survey 2022-23 said Tuesday it needs “re-orientation” in view of challenges like adverse impacts of climate change, fragmented landholdings, and rising input costs.

The Survey, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha, noted, “The Indian agriculture sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent during the last six years. It grew by 3.0 per cent in 2021-22 compared to 3.3 per cent in 2020-21.” Read more.

16:15 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Economic Survey projects India’s GDP growth to slow down to 6.5% in FY 2024 — Key highlights

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tuesday tabled the pre-Budget Economic Survey 2022-23 in Parliament after President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses.

The Economic Survey document was prepared by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and formulated under the supervision of the chief economic adviser V Anantha Nageswaran. It gives insights into the state of the economy and various indicators in the current financial year 2022-23 (April-March) and outlook for the next year.

The first economic survey reportedly came into existence in 1950-51, when it used to be a part of the Budget. In the 1960s, it was separated from the Budget. Know the key highlights of the survey here.

15:54 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Retail, wholesale inflation moderating, core inflation still a challenge: Economic Survey

Stating that both wholesale and retail inflation are on the descending slope of the surge that hit the Indian economy in the first half of the current fiscal, the Economic Survey on Tuesday pointed out the inflation challenge in FY24 should be a “lot less stiff” than it has been this year.

The Survey said the upside risks to India’s projected inflation rates may outweigh the downside risks with any possible re-emergence of Covid-19 in China that can trigger supply chain disruptions, along with the geopolitics associated with oil, which can affect imported inflation. Read more.

15:42 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Highlights from the Economic Survey

The Economic Survey was tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, here are the key points from the survey:

  • India’s economy will grow 6.5% in 2023-24, compared to 7% in the current fiscal and 8.7% in 2021-22. 
  • India will remain the fastest-growing major economy in the world, the pre-Budget Economic Survey stated. 
  • It also mentioned that the current account deficit may continue to widen as global commodity prices remain elevated and that the Rupee may come under pressure. 
  • “6.8 per cent inflation for the current fiscal is not high enough to deter private consumption or low enough to weaken investment. Borrowing cost may remain ‘higher’ for a longer period and entrenched inflation may prolong the tightening cycle,” the survey added. 
  • It said India’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic “was relatively quick” and that the country has withstood an extraordinary set of challenges better than most economies.
15:35 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Economic Survey: Decline in demand for MGNREGS due to growth in rural economy

The Year-on-Year (YoY) decline in monthly demand for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) work is emanating from the normalisation of the rural economy due to strong agricultural growth and a swift bounce-back from Covid-19, said the Economic Survey 2022-23.

The Survey, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, noted, “The number of persons demanding work under MGNREGS was seen to be trending around pre-pandemic levels from July to November 2022. This could be attributed to the normalisation of the rural economy due to strong agricultural growth and a swift recovery from Covid induced slowdown, culminating in better employment opportunities.” Read more.

15:26 (IST)31 Jan 2023
6.8% inflation not too high to deter private consumption, or weaken inducement to invest: Economic Survey

RBI’s projection of retail inflation at 6.8 per cent in the current fiscal is neither too high to deter private consumption, nor so low as to weaken inducement to invest, the Economic Survey said on Tuesday.

However, entrenched inflation may prolong the tightening cycle and therefore, borrowing costs may stay ‘higher for longer’, it said.

The Economic Survey 2022-23 was tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Survey details the state of economy in the current fiscal, while giving a sneak peek into the future. Read more.

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15:26 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Economic Survey lists growth outlook pointers, flags current account deficit challenge

The Indian economy is seen growing 6.0-6.8 per cent with a baseline real GDP growth of 6.5 per cent in the next financial year 2023-24 on the back of a rebound in private consumption, higher capital expenditure, near-universal vaccination coverage enabling spending on contact-based services, and strengthening of the balance sheets of the corporates, says the Economic Survey for 2022-23 tabled in Parliament on Tuesday (January 31).

Challenges and risks

The Survey has listed risks and challenges from widening current account deficit (CAD) amid elevated commodity prices, likelihood of further rate increases in policy rates by the US Federal Reserve, the challenge of the depreciating rupee, and further possible loss of export stimulus amid slowing world growth and shrinking global market size along with ongoing monetary tightening exercise globally with “entrenched inflation” expected to prolong the tightening cycle. Read more.

13:52 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Indian economy to grow 6.5% next fiscal year: Economic Survey

India's economy is projected to slow to 6.5 per cent in the fiscal year starting April but will remain the fastest growing major economy in the world as it fared better in dealing with the extraordinary set of challenges the globe has faced, the Economic Survey 2022-23 said on Tuesday.

India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.5 per cent in 2023-24 compares with an estimated 7 per cent expansion in current fiscal year (April 2022 to March 2023) and 8.7 per cent in the previous year.

Like the rest of the world, India too faced an extraordinary set of challenges in tightening financial conditions and supply chain disruptions from a prolonged war in Europe but "withstood them better than most economies", the annual document detailing the state of the economy said. (PTI)

12:40 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Union Budget should allocate adequate funds to tackle climate change: Chargeup

"Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time and with its devastating effects on ecosystems and communities, it is critical that the upcoming Union Budget allocates adequate resources to tackle it. The last budget was promising for the EV sector and discussed a new battery-swapping policy. A higher allocation was also made to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. However, as the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, we are still far from achieving our ambitious goals of net zero carbon emissions by 2070. The need of the hour is to broaden the focus. More funds need to be allocated towards developing climate technology designed to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and create more sustainable pathways for development. A greater focus needs to be laid on renewable sources of energy such as solar power and wind energy, energy efficiency measures, smart grids, and boosting the electric vehicle's ecosystem. Companies and startups operating in the sector must be given benefits like PLIs, subsidies, and lower GST on the import of raw materials or equipment, etc. Investors and startup incubators backing such players should be provided tax exemptions and other capital gain benefits. By prioritizing climate tech incentives in the upcoming Union budget, India can lead the way toward a greener future for all citizens," said Mr. Varun Goenka, CEO & Co- Founder, of Chargeup. 

12:14 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Budget signal from states for FM: Capital spending gets boost

The Centre is likely to renew its thrust on capital expenditure in the upcoming Budget, buoyed by some visible traction in capex spending by states late in the current financial year. After remaining muted for the first seven months of 2022-23, capital spending by states has seen a sharp pickup in November, with 18 major states — including Gujarat, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha — posting a 49.7 per cent year-on-year increase at Rs 44,647 crore. For the financial year so far till November, these 18 states have seen a rise of 5.7 per cent in their capital expenditure to Rs 2.44 lakh crore, primarily on account of the sharp pickup seen in November, according to official data.

Capital expenditure by these 18 states in November accounts for 18.3 per cent of the overall capital spending during April-November. Capex by states such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh has more than doubled in November as against the corresponding period last year. For states such as Odisha, the rise in capex is nearly five-fold, while for Bihar, it is an over three-fold increase in November.

Read More

11:44 (IST)31 Jan 2023
We need to build Aatmanirbhar Bharat by 2047, says President Murmu

While addressing a joint sitting of both Houses Tuesday, President Droupadi Murmu said an Aatmanibhar Bhart needed to be built by 2047. "By 2047, we have to build a nation that will be connected to the pride of the past and which will have all the golden chapters of modernity. We have to build an India that will be 'aatmanirbhar' and capable to fulfill its humanitarian duties," President Murmu said. 

"An effective system has been put in place to end corruption. The government is of the clear opinion that corruption is the biggest enemy of democracy and social justice. A continuous fight against corruption going on for past years," President Droupadi Murmu said.

Follow our Parliament Budget Session Live blog for the latest updates. 

 

10:30 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Education Budget 2023: From focus on research to upskilling, here is what stakeholders looking for

As the Union Budget 2023-24 will be presented on February 1, various stakeholders from the education sector share what are their budget expectations for this year.

Stakeholders from the technology and medical sector expect to see a boost in research and development, more budgetary allocation for modern and state-of-the-art tools and equipment.

‘Investment in technology and upskilling is needed’: Prof Himanshu Rail, Director, IIM Indore

Fresh flows of funding and incentives must be made into programmes like Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan and FutureSkills Prime. Implementation and audit taskforces must be built to accelerate and catalyze various ongoing broadband expansion and quality improvement projects. Investing in the advancement and enrichment of various technology and skilling platforms for students and educators like DIKSHA, NISHTHA, SWAYAM, etc. A detailed roadmap and resource allocation for escalating the implementation of the National Educational Technology Forum.

Read More

09:11 (IST)31 Jan 2023
Union Budget 2023: Realtor demands more sops, tax benefits for affordable housing sector

Moew sops for the affordable housing sector, increasing the range of price and greater tax concession are some of the demands of the real estate consultancy group Anarock from the upcoming Union Budget to revive the “sluggish” sector.

According to Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock, a survey conducted by his firm found that from 39 per cent buyers going for affordable houses in 2018, 26 per cent have shown interest in 2022 in the top seven cities.

In numbers, Of the 6.30 lakh unsold units, over 27 per cent are of affordable stock, the survey claims.

Read More

21:00 (IST)30 Jan 2023
Ahead of Budget Session from tomorrow, Opposition raises Adani issue, women quota bill in all-party meet

The Centre on Monday called an all-party meeting today, a day ahead of the start of the Budget Session of Parliament. The customary meeting, called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, was held in the Parliament Annexe Building.

At the meeting, opposition parties the Adani Group issue and the conduct of governors in some states ruled by them. Joshi assured that the government was willing to discuss every matter allowed by rules and sought their cooperation. 'We seek the opposition's cooperation in running Parliament smoothly,' Joshi told reporters after the meeting which was attended by 37 leaders, representing 27 parties. Read more

19:51 (IST)30 Jan 2023
Expectations from digital and technological applications in education and developments so far

The education sector has several expectations from digital and technology applications. It expects the applications to help students overcome different constraints and divides of access, distance, availability of time, language, finances, choices and preferences, learning styles, learning pace and learning paths etc. It is also hoped that technology can be leveraged to reduce non-teaching workload for teachers.

Digital and technology applications have the ability to provide teaching-learning materials for teachers as well as management tools for the administrators. Additionally, students will be able to learn about things that are difficult to experience in real life through technology – for example deep sea exploration, nuclear explosions, volcanic eruptions etc. Support for students is also expected to cover Personalized Adaptive Learning (PAL) for learners including those with physical and learning disabilities and for administrators by providing them real time, actionable data for decision making. Deloitte India's Kamlesh Vyas writes

19:36 (IST)30 Jan 2023
Expectations running high as Sitharaman gears up to present her 5th Budget

With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman getting ready to present the last full budget of the Modi 2.0 government, expectations are high that she will meet the demands of all stakeholders, including the common man who is reeling under the price rise.

The finance minister has held several rounds of discussions with various stakeholders, and final touches are being given to the Union Budget for 2023-24 which will be unveiled in the Lok Sabha on February 1.

"The Budget to be announced will be an exercise of managing several objectives: movement to fiscal prudence, stimulating growth without accompanying inflation, garnering more resources through non-tax measures and providing sops where necessary. As all these objectives would run in different directions, the FM will exercise considerable dexterity to move ahead decisively on all counts," said Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, Bank of Baroda. (PTI)

18:01 (IST)30 Jan 2023
Stalin to DMK MPs: At Parliament’s budget session, raise issues like report on Adani Group, BBC documentary ban

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M K Stalin has urged party MPs to raise issues like the ban on BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the most recent controversy surrounding Adani Group and its economic effects during the upcoming budget session of Parliament, which starts on January 31. At a meeting Sunday, Stalin asked the DMK MPs to support the Congress on all the important issues.

Long standing demands for Tamil Nadu to be exempted from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), preference for locals in Union government jobs in the state, international status for Madurai airport, recognising native Tamils as employees of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), issue of the sharing of power with Tamils in Sri Lanka, and speedy completion of AIIMS in Madurai are among the other issues the DMK MPs likely to raise in the budget session. Read more

16:29 (IST)30 Jan 2023
Indian investors light on duration, heavy on short-end ahead of budget

Indian government debt market participants have lowered their position in longer-duration bonds but remain invested in the shorter end of the curve on expectations of another year of elevated government borrowings, investors and traders said.

"Looking at the current levels, it seems the markets are light, especially on the long end, and are expecting a heavy borrowing calendar," said Vijay Sharma, senior executive vice president at PNB Gilts. "Chances of any positive surprise are more as major negatives are already factored in at current levels."

Barclays and Goldman Sachs have predicted the borrowing to be higher, at 16.80 trillion rupees, and the former expects the benchmark 10-year bond yield to trade in a 7.50%-7.75% range in the April-June quarter amid a glut of fresh supply.

The benchmark 7.26% 2032 bond yield was last at 7.40%, 14 basis points above the lows hit earlier in the month on easing U.S. and domestic inflation. Most market participants believe the 7.40% level on the benchmark paper should be the near-term peak and if there is any positive surprise in the borrowing schedule, the light positions are likely to trigger a rally. (Reuters)

With a shift to faceless assessments over the past two or more years, taxpayers have been facing practical difficulties in obtaining the orders giving effect to appellate orders, which in turn impacts their receipt of refunds determined, if any. (Representational image via Unsplash)

What to expect on direct tax in Union Budget 2023

The Finance Ministry has indicated that India is on track towards meeting the targeted fiscal deficit of 6.4% of GDP for FY 2022-23, given higher tax revenue buoyancy.

While this is good news, there remains much to be done in terms of strengthening tax revenues. India’s tax-to-GDP ratio stands at 10-11%, which is significantly lower than the average of other emerging economies where it is 21% of GDP, while the corresponding ratio for OECD nations is 33%.

Against this background, one may expect the upcoming Budget to continue its focus on fiscal consolidation through increased tax revenues. Fiscal consolidation, coupled with simplification and rationalisation may be the overarching themes of this Budget.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before presenting the Union Budget in New Delhi last year. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

The nuts and bolts of a Union Budget

On February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget for the next financial year (2023-24). Given that the next general elections will be in early 2024, this Budget is likely to be the last full-fledged Budget for the current government. As such, the economics of making a budget might also have to reconcile with the politics around it.

Be that as it may, here are some of the fundamentals of budget-making that one needs to know before the Union Budget is presented. Familiarity with the nuts and bolts of how a budget is prepared will help readers to see the Union Budget in perspective.

The upcoming Union Budget before the general elections of 2024 will be important. So will the stance of the Central Bank with inflation remaining a concern. (Express Photo via Praveen Verma, left, Reuters photo, right)

The 4 things you can expect on the economic front in 2023

In many ways, 2022 was a tumultuous year. Beginning with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to central banks raising rates aggressively to tackle inflation, to the horrific wave of the pandemic that is now unfolding in China, the economic fallout of these events has been severe.

Global growth prospects have been steadily downgraded as the year progressed. So, what are the four things to look forward to next year? What will be the trajectory of interest rates both globally and domestically? What are the prospects for the Indian and the global economy? We explain

Lower growth rate comes with several associated risks. For one, it will make the already uncomfortable levels of joblessness in the country worse. (Reuters, file)

Inflation moderating, but the big worry this year is growth: Here’s why

Official data has showed retail inflation grew by 5.7% in December — the fourth successive month when retail inflation has moderated. This was seen as a relief, given that inflation was the biggest economic story of calendar year 2022. The elevated inflation levels robbed people of their purchasing power and worsened India’s trade deficit, which resulted in India’s currency becoming weaker and the RBI losing significant forex reserves as it tried to stem the rupee’s slide.

But Does that mean inflation has been tamed now? Why is economic growth a bigger worry this year? We answer your questions on inflation and growth

According to news agency PTI, the government is unlikely to announce capital infusion for public sector banks (PSBs) in the upcoming Budget as their financial health has improved significantly and they are on track to earn a combined profit of Rs 1 lakh crore. Their capital adequacy ratio is much above the regulatory requirement and varies between 14-20 per cent.

Meanwhile, Ernst & Young (EY) said Sunday that the government is expected to provide a more rationalised TDS framework to reduce the compliance burden for taxpayers, besides a revamped new concessional tax regime by providing additional benefits like the standard deduction. The Budget wishlist of EY also highlights that the government should provide some respite to low- and mid-income taxpayers with annual income up to Rs 20 lakh on the personal income tax side.

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First published on: 25-01-2023 at 11:37 IST
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