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Key Takeaways of Union Budget 2022

Key Takeaways of Union Budget 2022

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 presented the Union Budget for the Financial year 2022-23, with the prime focus to accelerate the growth of the economy at a faster rate, providing a wide range of opportunities to business sectors and also creating job opportunities for 6 million people. The Budget gives due Consideration to the Agriculture, healthcare, MSMEs, and infrastructure Sectors. It also focussed on certain goals to be achieved during the Amrit Kal period of 25 years which will directly benefit the Youth, Women, and the farmers.

The Key Highlights of the Budget are:

  • Fiscal deficit target: The country’s total expenditure is estimated at Rs 39.45 lakh crore in FY2023, while receipts other than borrowings are estimated at Rs 22.84 lakh crore. The fiscal deficit for FY2023 is projected at 6.4 percent of GDP.
  • Updating returns: Taxpayers now have an opportunity to modify errors and file updated returns within a period of two years of the relevant assessment year.
  • Tax deduction limit: The tax deduction limit for state government employees on the employer’s contribution to the National Pension System will be increased to 14% from 10 % to bring them to the same level as that of the Central government employees.
  • Digital assets: Any income arising from the transfer of any virtual digital asset will be taxed at 30%. Tax must be deducted at source on the payment made in relation to the transfer of a virtual digital asset at 1% of such consideration above a monetary threshold.
  • LTCG: The surcharge on long-term capital gains arising from the transfer of any type of asset will be capped at 15%
  • Digital rupee: The Reserve Bank of India will issue a currency In Digital form based on blockchain and other technology starting from FY2023. “Introduction of Central Bank Digital Currency will give a big boost to the digital economy,” the finance minister said and will turn out to be a big advantage in the aura of Technological advancement.
  • SEZ Act: The Special Economic Zones Act will now be substituted with new legislation that will allow states to become active partners in developing enterprises and becoming service hubs. This will cover all large existing and new industrial Enterprises to optimally utilize the infrastructure and enhance export competitiveness amongst the market players.
  • Financial assistance to states for capital investment: The outlay for the ‘Scheme for Financial Assistance to States for Capital Investment’ has gradually jumped to Rs 1 lakh crore in FY2023, from Rs 15,000 crore in the revised estimate for the current year, in providing financial aid to the states in catalyzing overall investments in the economy. These 50-year interest-free loans are over and above the normal borrowings which are allowed to the states and such Finacial Assistance will be used for PM Gati Shakti-related and other productive capital investments.
  • Rail network: With the Implementation of the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme, nearly 2,000 km of the network will be brought under the domain.
  • Vande Bharat trains: generation of 400 new Vande Bharat trains, that are to be built over the next three upcoming years.
  • Gati Shakti Master Plan: The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan primarily focuses on seven engines such as roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways, and logistics infrastructure, which will pull forward the economy in unison. The Gati Shakti Master Plan for expressways will be drawn up in FY2023 and 100 new cargo terminals will be built over the next three years. The national highway network will be expanded by 25,000 km in FY2023.
  • EV battery-swapping policy: Acknowledging the constraint of free space required in urban areas for setting up charging stations for electric vehicles, the finance minister proposed to introduce a new battery-swapping policy and frame inter-operability standards. The private sector would be encouraged to develop sustainable and innovative business models to Invest in such projects.
  • 5G rollout: Spectrum auctions will be conducted in the current year to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services by private telecom companies.
  • Natural farming, Kisan drones: Chemical-free natural farming will be promoted across the country, with the core focus on agricultural land along the Ganga River in the first stage. The procurement of wheat in the Rabi season and the estimated procurement of paddy in Kharif season for 2021-22 will add Rs 2.37 lakh crore indirect payment of minimum support prices to farmers’ accounts. Encouraging the farmers to make use of Kisan drones for the purpose of crop assessment, digitization of land records, and spraying of insecticides and nutrients.
  • Mental health program: Due to the ongoing situation of COVID-19 various mental programs will be started to improve the quality of mental health. Counseling and care services shall be provided from time to time.
  • Digital education: With children having lost almost two years of formal education due to the pandemic, the ‘One Class-One TV Channel’ program of PM eVIDYA will now be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels. This will help all states to provide supplementary education in respective regional languages for classes 1 to 12. A Digital University will be set up to provide world-class quality universal education with a personalized e-learning experience. This will be available in diverse Indian languages and with ICT formats.
  • Paperless e-bill system: A completely paperless, end-to-end online e-bill system will be started off for use by all central ministries for their procurements as an Initiative to enhance transparency and to reduce delays in payments.
  • E-passports: E-passports installed with embedded chips and futuristic technology will start rolling out in FY203 to make overseas travel more convenient and easy.
  • Housing: The government will allocate Rs 48,000 crore for PM Awas Yojana and cover-up 8 million houses for the scheme’s identified and eligible beneficiaries in rural and urban areas in FY203.
  • Defense: To reduce imports and promote AtmaNirbharta in equipment for the armed forces, 68% of the capital procurement budget will be reserved for the domestic defense industry. Private industry will be encouraged to take up design and development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation and other entities.
  • Post office banking: All 150,000 post offices in the country will become part of the core e-banking system, enabling access to accounts through internet banking, mobile banking, and ATMs and also allowing online transfers between post offices and bank accounts. This will help farmers and senior citizens residing in rural areas, enabling interoperability and financial inclusion.
  • Solar modules: To facilitate the domestic manufacturing of 280GW of installed solar energy capacity by 2030, the government will also make an additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore under the production-linked incentive scheme for the production of high-efficiency solar Modules and also Encourage Private Sector Enterprises to manufacture such Modules in order to increase its usage.

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