Key Highlights: Budget 2023-24

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    • Recently, the Union Finance Minister presented the Budget in Parliament.
      • Seven priorities of the budget or ‘Saptarishi’ are: 
        • Inclusive development, 
        • Reaching the last mile, 
        • Infrastructure and investment, 
        • Unleashing the potential, 
        • Green growth, 
        • Youth power and 
        • Financial sector.

    Budget highlights

    • Agriculture:
      • Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Program 
        • The program to be launched to boost availability of disease-free, quality planting material for high value horticultural crops.
      • GOBARdhan:
        • 500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme to be established for promoting circular economy.
      • Bio-Input Resource Centres:
        • Centre to facilitate one crore farmers to adopt natural farming over the next three years. 
        • For this, 10,000 Bio-Input Resource Centres to be set-up, creating a national-level distributed micro-fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network.
      • Agriculture Accelerator Fund:
        • Agriculture Accelerator Fund to be set-up to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas.
    • Environment:
      • PM-PRANAM:
        • “PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth” (PM-PRANAM) to be launched to incentivize States and Union Territories to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers.
      • MISHTI:
        • ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’, MISHTI, to be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, through convergence between MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund and other sources.
      • Green Credit Programme:
        • Green Credit Programme to be notified under the Environment (Protection) Act to incentivize and mobilize additional resources for environmentally sustainable and responsive actions.
      • Amrit Dharohar scheme:
        • Amrit Dharohar scheme to be implemented over the next three years to encourage optimal use of wetlands, enhance bio-diversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities.
    • Skill Development:
      • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0
        • It is to be launched to skill lakhs of youth within the next three years covering new age courses for Industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, and soft skills.
      • Skill India International Centres:
        • 30 Skill India International Centres to be set up across different States to skill youth for international opportunities.
    • Businesses & Start Ups:
      • National Data Governance Policy:
        • National Data Governance Policy to be brought out to unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia.
      • ODOPs (One District, One Product):
        • States to be encouraged to set up a Unity Mall for promotion and sale of their own and also all others states’ ODOPs (One District, One Product), GI products and handicrafts.
    • MSME:
      • PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM VIKAS): 
        • The first-of-its-kind package assistance endeavours to improve the quality of, scale and reach of the products made by traditional artisans and craftspeople. 
        • Components of the scheme would not provide for financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques and efficient green technologies, digital payments and social security. 
      • Vivad se Vishwas I: 
        • If MSMEs failed to execute contracts during the pandemic period, 95% of the forfeited amount relating to bid or performance security would be returned to them by the government or its undertakings. 
    • Education:
      • Eklavya Model Residential Schools:
        • Centre to recruit 38,800 teachers and support staff for the 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, serving 3.5 lakh tribal students over the next three years.
      • District Institutes of Education and Training:
        • District Institutes of Education and Training to be developed as vibrant institutes of excellence for Teachers’ Training.
      • National Digital Library:
        • A National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents to be set-up for facilitating availability of quality books across geographies, languages, genres and levels, and device agnostic accessibility.
    • Savings scheme for women – Mahila Samman Saving Certificate:
      • One-time new saving scheme Mahila Samman Saving Certificate for women to be made available for 2 years up to March 2025.
      • It will offer deposit facility of up to Rs 2 lakh in the name of women or girls for tenure of 2 years at fixed interest rate of 7.5 percent with partial withdrawal option.
    • Governance:
      • Entity DigiLocker:
        • Entity DigiLocker to be setup for use by MSMEs, large business and charitable trusts to store and share documents online securely.
      • Jan Vishwas Bill:
        • Jan Vishwas Bill to amend 42 Central Acts have been introduced to further trust-based governance.
    • The Urban Infrastructure Development Fund:
      • Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) will be established through use of priority Sector Lending shortfall, which will be managed by the national Housing Bank, and will be used by public agencies to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
      • It would provide the impetus needed for the growth of infrastructure in cities.
    • Technology:
      • Make AI in India and Make AI work for India:
        • Three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence to be set-up in top educational institutions to realise the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”.
    • Tourism:
      • ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative:
        • Sector specific skilling and entrepreneurship development to be dovetailed to achieve the objectives of the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative.
      • Vibrant Villages Programme:
        • Tourism infrastructure and amenities to be facilitated in border villages through the Vibrant Villages Programme.
    • Finance:
      • National Financial Information Registry:
        • National Financial Information Registry to be set up to serve as the central repository of financial and ancillary information for facilitating efficient flow of credit, promoting financial inclusion, and fostering financial stability. 
        • A new legislative framework to be designed in consultation with RBI to govern this credit public infrastructure.
      • Comprehensive review: 
        • Financial sector regulators to carry out a comprehensive review of existing regulations in consultation with public and regulated entities. Time limits to decide the applications under various regulations would also be laid down.

    Direct Taxes

    • Income Tax:
    • Budget 2023 focused on raising capital expenditure by the government, fiscal consolidation, and attractive incentives and rebates in the new income tax regime.
    • Income Tax payers:
      • No changes in the old tax regime
      • New tax regime to become the default tax regime. However, citizens can opt for the old tax regime.
      • No tax on income up to Rs 7.5 lakh a year in new tax regime (with inclusion of standard deduction)
      • Govt proposes to reduce highest surcharge rate from 37% to 25% in new tax regime
    • New Income Tax Slabs Under New Tax Regimes:
      • Rs 0-3 lakh: Nil
      • Rs 3-6 lakhs: 5%
      • Rs 6-9 lakhs: 10%
      • Rs 9-12 lakhs: 15%
      • Rs 12-15 lakhs: 20%
      • Rs Over 15 lakhs: 30%

    Indirect Taxes

    • Through increased Indirect Taxes, following products will get Cheaper:
      • Mobile phones
      • TV
      • Lab-grown diamonds
      • Shrimp feed
      • Machinery for lithium ion batteries
      • Raw materials for EV industry
    • Through reduction of Indirect Taxes, following products will get Costlier:
      • Cigarettes
      • Silver
      • Compounded rubber
      • Imitation Jewellery
      • Articles made from gold bars
      • Imported bicycles and toys
      • Imported kitchen electric chimney
      • Imported luxury cars and EVs

    Source: PIB