The Indian Union Budget 2023, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, laid out a vision for the country’s economic growth and development. This budget was eagerly awaited, as it came at a time when the Indian economy was grappling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most prominent features of the budget was the massive allocation of funds toward infrastructure development. The government aims to invest a staggering Rs. 15.69 lakh crore in this sector over the next five years, with a particular focus on roads and highways, railways, urban development and housing, and irrigation systems. This investment is expected to create job opportunities and spur economic growth.
Another major highlight of the budget was the emphasis on digitalization and financial inclusion. The government announced the launch of a digital platform for small businesses, which will provide them access to credit, markets, and technology. This move is expected to empower the SME sector and help it recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic.
“The budget has delivered on all fronts right from driving capital investment to boosting consumption. We believe that a 33% increase in capital investment outlay along with a 9x increase in railway outlay over FY14 is a big impetus to boost infrastructure,” said Mr. Yuvraj Thakker, MD, Stoxbox.
Moreover, the changes in direct taxes bode well for the consumption side of the economy. The government also seemed focused on improving the ease of doing business by decriminalizing 3,000 legal provisions and also made efforts to improve compliance. By doing all this, it has managed to keep the fiscal deficit under control and is on the fiscal glide path which the market should take very positively, Mr. Yuvraj added.
“We believe that a lot of sectors, especially those which are closely linked to the economy, would benefit from the budget including housing, infrastructure, cement, steel, EPC, banks, etc. The government has done well by not tinkering with capital gains tax which sends out a strong message of policy stability to investors. To conclude, we believe that the government has done a tremendous job by ticking the right boxes for all sections of the society including corporates, middle class, start-ups, and SMEs,” said Mr. Yuvraj Thakker, MD, Stoxbox.
In a bid to reduce dependence on imports and promote domestic production, the government introduced a new policy aimed at boosting production within the country. This will not only help to curb the trade deficit but also create job opportunities.
The budget strikes a great balance between inclusivity through aid and skill development to major lower-income groups, growth through record high capex outlay at 10 lakh crores which is ~3.3% of GDP and still maintaining fiscal prudence by staying on the course at 5.9% deficit to GDP. This budget will help India reach the 5 trillion GDP mark with more robustness, said Ms. Sumita Pillai – Chief Executive Officer – of Torus Private Wealth.
“A combination of financial sector reforms and personal income tax relaxations like reduction in a surcharge (37 to 25%) and increase in the tax-free limit (5 to 7 lakh) will bring more financial inclusivity and further strengthen the penetration story of financial services in India.”
The agriculture sector received a significant boost, with the allocation of Rs. 2.23 lakh crore for various schemes aimed at improving irrigation systems, supporting the development of the fishery and aquaculture sector, and promoting the use of micro-irrigation.
The education sector received a major push in this budget, with the introduction of a new national education policy aimed at transforming the country’s education system. The government also allocated Rs. 5,000 crores for the establishment of new higher education institutions.
In conclusion, the Indian Union Budget 2023 lays out a comprehensive vision for the country’s economic growth and development. The massive allocation of funds towards infrastructure development and the emphasis on digitalization and financial inclusion are expected to drive economic growth and create job opportunities. The budget’s focus on making India a more inclusive and self-reliant nation bodes well for the country’s future.