Highlights from the Union Budget 2022-2023Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the union budget in the parliament today. The union-budget 2022-2023 is getting a mixed review across the industries. The opposition is accusing it of a budget made for the rich. In this article, The Second Angle will collate information and bring significant highlights from the budget.
Why is this budget important?
As the global pandemic is easing down and the countries are trying to revive their economy. After two waves of pandemics India’s economy was majorly hit and is trying to revive and expand. The reason for concern is the Economic Survey 2021-2022 presented in the parliament has only projected an 8.5 per cent growth for this financial year. This is lower than the number projected by the National Statistics Office (NSO) in its advance estimates of 2021- 22. NSO projected a 9.2 per cent expansion. Moreover, it is also lower than the growth estimated by the IMF in its Worl Economic Outlook for the current year and the next.
One of the significant announcements was the five big infrastructure projects. Under the Prime Minister GatiShakti Master plan, the government is planning to expand its highways by 25,000 kilometres. The seven engines of infrastructure that is roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways, and logistics infrastructure will be merged in the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan.
The Nal se Jal scheme which is a fiver river link project across various states have been allocated Rs 60,000 crore. The already rolled out scheme is an initiative to make water available to every household.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was boosted by an additional Rs 48,000 crore. The ministry also said that it will build 80 lakh homes for identified eligible beneficiaries, and also identify eligible beneficiaries for 60,000 houses under PMAY in rural and urban areas.
Sitharaman announced the auction of the 5 G spectrum in 2022. She further confirmed that for the private firms to provide services the auction will be conducted to roll out 5G mobile services within 2022-23.
In an initiative to boost the vision of digital India, the budget has allocated funds for 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) across India via scheduled commercial banks. She added that the government is encouraging of benefits of digital banking and will ensure it reaches every corner of the country in a consumer-friendly way.
Another scheme that got boosted in the budget was The Ujjwala Scheme. Sitharaman announced that the scheme which has already targeted over 8 core households will extend to a further one crore households. However, the increased price of gas and its impact on the scheme was not mentioned.
An initiative that has received appreciation even from the critiques of the government is a national programme for mental health catering to the area and the need for mental health issues worsened in the country by the pandemic. The national tele-mental health programme will be launched. India’s acclaimed mental health institute NIMHANS will undertake this task that is to be operated under a network of twenty-three mental health centres of excellence.
The investors in cryptocurrency were glued to the budget as there were several announcements in the past indicating a regulation on the virtual currency. That turned out to be true. The investors are worried after the finance minister has declared that cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens will come under the tax net.
Another aspect that got due attention was the minimal changes to the personal income tax structure. This was relieving for various sections which were majorly hit by the pandemic.