Budget 2024 | A Closer Look at India’s Budget 2024
Budget 2024: Budget Day is an eagerly anticipated event in India, with business owners as well as the general public waiting with eager anticipation to learn about the plans and programs that could help them. This year, in light of the upcoming elections, Budget 2024 was replaced by the Interim Budget. But the eminent Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has not been able to meet her promises of schemes and benefits to the delight of the public at large.
The FM announced on February 1, 2024, that her theme for this year’s budget will be “Viksit Bharat Budget 2024.” She reaffirmed that the nation continues to work to achieve Atmanirbhar Bharat. In the same way, the aspirations and welfare of Gareeb (poor), Mahila (women), Yuva (youth), and Annadata (farmers) will be the top priority regions within the Interim Budget 2024.
These are the most important highlights from the Interim Budget 2024.
Interim Budget 2024: Direct Tax Proposals
- The FM announced that the same tax rates will be maintained for FY 2024-25, which will be used for taxes on direct income. There will be no tax burden for taxpayers who earn earnings of less than Rs. 7 lakh as per the tax reforms.
- The tax rate of 22% applicable to corporate tax will apply to existing domestic businesses as well as 15% for new manufacturers.
- The FM announced that tax collections from direct tax have more than tripled in the past 10 years, and the number of return filers averaged 2.4 times.
- However, the processing time of tax returns has been reduced from 13 days in 2013-14 to a mere 10 days by 2023-24.
- The FM has suggested an extension of the period for tax benefits specific to beginning-ups and investments made by sovereign wealth funds or pension funds, as well as an exemption from tax for certain IFSC units that will expire on March 31, 2024. The extension has been extended until March 31, 2025.
Interim Budget 2024: Goods and Services Tax
- The FM announced that the average monthly gross GST collection has increased to Rs. 1.66 lakh crore for FY 24.
- It has seen an increase in the tax-friendly nature of the state’s revenue, ranging from 0.72 in 2012-16 to 1.22 after the GST timeframe of 2017-23.
- The FM announced that the same rates for customs, including duties on imports will be maintained for FY 2024-25.
Interim Budget 2024: Roadmap for Viksit Bharat 2047
The current budget focused its cues on the Viksit Bharat theme and the government envisioned the development of India before 2047. “Garib” (Poor) ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), ‘Yuva’ (Youth) and ‘Annadata’ (Farmers) are the four pillars of the Viksit Bharat Budget 2024. As part of the inclusive, people-focused development plan the Finance Minister has declared:
- There will be significant development of all types of infrastructure, both physical and digital, as well as social.
- Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) will help formalize and encourage financial inclusion.
- The government is planning to deepen and broaden the tax base by implementing GST.
- A resurgence in the financial sector has helped bring savings, credit, and investment back on the right track.
- A secure gateway known as GIFT IFSC is to be established to provide global financial and capital solutions for the economy.
- There will be a proactive approach to managing inflation.
Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan
- Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has resulted in savings of the equivalent of Rs. 2.7 lakh crore.
- 25 crore people have gotten out of multidimensional poverty.
- Assistance with credit has been granted to street vendors in the form of 78 lakh under PM-SVANidhi.
Empowering the Youth
- 1.4 million youngsters have been educated under the Skill India Mission.
- Inspiring youth to become entrepreneurs 43 crore loans have been granted through the PM Mudra Yojana.
- A corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore to fund tech-savvy youth with a 50-year, interest-free loan at low or nil interest rates charged to provide financing or refinancing.
Welfare of Farmers (Annadata)
- Direct financial assistance to 11.8 crore farmers in PM-KISAN.
- Crop insurance has been given to 4 crore farmers as part of the PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
- There is the integration of 1,361 mandis in the eNAM platform, which has enabled the trade quantity of Rs. 3 lakh crore.
- 30 million Mudra Yojana loan has been repaid to women entrepreneurs.
- In higher education, there has been a 28 percent increase in the number of females enrolled over the last 10 years.
- There are 43% of female students enrolled in STEM courses.
- One million women are helped through an estimated 83 lakh SHGs to become Lakhpati Didis.
Interim Budget 2024: Strategy Shift for Amrit Kaal as Kartavya Kaal
Sustainable Development/Green Energy
The Finance Minister emphasized the necessity of sustainable development and vowed to achieve the goal of ‘Net Zero 2070 by 2070 under Amrit Kaal. In this context the FM suggested:
- Viability gap funding to harness offshore wind energy to an initial output of one gigawatt.
- The coal gasification process is being set up with a liquefaction capacity of 100 MT by 2030.
- Blending phase-in of CNG, PNG, and compressed biogas to meet domestic use.
- Financial assistance for the purchase of biomass aggregation equipment.
- In addition, there will be rooftop solarization, providing one million households with the ability to receive as much as 300 units of electricity each month.
- The government is also planning to implement e-buses for public transport and to expand the electric vehicle ecosystem by assisting in the production and charging of electric vehicles.
- A new biomanufacturing scheme and foundry will be introduced to encourage eco-friendly alternatives.
- 1.3 million LED streetlights are to be put in as part of the SNLP scheme.
- The Blue Economy 2.0 scheme will be introduced to restore and improve mariculture and aquaculture along the coast.
Infrastructure and Investment
- The government has plans to launch three major rail corridor programs that include minerals, energy, and cement corridors, as well as the port connectivity corridor and the high-density corridors under Prime Minister Gati Shakti. It will improve the efficiency of logistics and lower costs.
- Foreign investment is pushed through bilateral investment treaties that are to be discussed.
- Expansion of existing airports as well as extensive development of new airports within the UDAN scheme.
- Urban transformation will take place in the Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat projects.
The FM stressed the necessity of inclusion in development under Amrit Kaal and an aspirational district program to help states accelerate their growth, including the creation of jobs. In this context,
- The government is promoting a cervical cancer vaccine for girls between 9-14 years old.
- The Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 schemes will accelerate the upgrade of Anganwadi centers to enhance nutrition delivery as well as early childhood care and development.
- A U-WIN platform will be developed for the immunization initiatives of Mission Indradhanush.
- Health insurance coverage in the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA Anganwadi workers and aids.
- A committee is expected to be set up to look at the issues that arise when establishing further medical colleges in India.
- The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) is close to achieving its goal of 3 million houses, with an additional 2 crore houses planned in the next five years.
- Housing for the middle-class scheme is introduced to help middle-class families purchase or build their own homes.
- States are encouraged to develop iconic tourist destinations to attract businesses and create opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
- Loans with no interest for a long time are to be offered to states to help encourage development.
- Port connectivity projects, tourism infrastructure, and other amenities will be set up on islands, including Lakshadweep.
Agriculture and Food Processing
- The government plans to encourage public and private investment in post-harvest activities.
- The use of Nano-DAP is expected to expand in all agroclimatic zones.
- Atmanirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyan strategy to be developed to achieve atma nirbharta oilseeds.
- A comprehensive dairy program for development is in the process of being formulated.
- Implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana will be speeded up to boost aquaculture productivity and double exports. It will also create more employment opportunities.
In addition five integrated aquaparks are to be created.
Interim Budget 2024: Allocations for Various Ministries and Schemes
The following allocations are suggested for various ministries in the Interim Budget 2024:
|INR (in lakh crore)
|Ministry of Defense
|Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
|Ministry of Railways
|Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
|Ministry of Home Affairs
|Ministry of Rural Development
|Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
|Ministry of Communications
|Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
On the other side these allocations are suggested for major schemes currently in force as part of the Interim Budget 2024:
- Mahatma Gandhi’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme Rs. 86,000 crore
- Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY – Rs. 7,500 crore
- Production Linked Incentive Scheme – Rs. 6,200 crore
- Modified Program for the Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystems Modified Programme for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystems Rs. 6,903 crore
- Solar Power (Grid) – Rs. 8,500 crore
- National Green Hydrogen Mission – Rs. 600 crore
Interim Budget vs. Full Budget:
To begin, let’s consider the distinction between the interim budget and the full budget. In contrast to a fully-fledged budget that covers the whole fiscal year An interim budget fills in the gaps until the new government is established. Consider it an interim financial plan that focuses on routine expenses and ongoing programs. This is why major tax reforms or policy changes are not usually on the table.
Election Code and Fiscal Prudence:
The code of conduct adopted by the Election Commission of India prevents the ruling party from making announcements that are deemed to be populist or introducing major policy changes in an election year. Therefore, even though the interim budget is expected to provide an accurate image of India’s finances do not expect fireworks.
Vote on Account: Keeping the Engine Running
A key aspect of the interim budget is “Vote on Account.” This allows the government to take money from the Treasury to cover essential expenses like salaries, debt service, and other ongoing programs. It helps ensure that the administration can work without a hitch until the new government is in place.
Budget 2024: Expectations for the budget in 2024
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman herself has minimized expectations, stating that the budget in February will be a basic affair that will keep the wheels running up to the time of elections. This means focusing on the most important spending with little policy tweaking. We expect to see the following be the case in Budget 2024:
Relaxation of ESOP taxation Entrepreneurs are rewarding their employees by offering ESOPs to encourage them to join startups. It is anticipated that a large number of startups will go public in the coming year. Therefore, it would be beneficial for startups to make the government’s ESOP tax rules more employee-friendly. Additionally, this will result in more jobs for startups.
Limit increase for interest on home loans: As of now, the maximum deduction for interest on a loan to purchase a property (self-occupied) is 2,00,000. However, this restricts the potential buyer’s possibility of purchasing a house. In many cities, the cost of homes has risen substantially, and as a result the interest rates on home loans have increased. Therefore the limit of Rs 2,00,000 should be considered.
Allowing interest on home loans in the tax system of 2017 In the tax system that has been changed, interest paid on mortgage properties that are rented out is permitted however, it is not permitted for properties that are self-occupied. To encourage homebuyers to buy homes, the inclusion of interest on home loan repayments under the new tax system is expected. In addition, it could enhance the credibility of the tax regime.
Increase the amount of deduction for 80D: Increase the limit of Sec 80D from 25,000 to 50,000 for regular individuals and 50,000-75,000 for senior citizens, as the amount of premium increases periodically.
Inclusion of 80D into the new tax regime Because medical insurance is an urgent need at the moment and medical insurance premiums are a necessity, allowing them to be deducted under the current tax system will expand the coverage and enhance the acceptance of the new tax system.
Bengaluru’s status as a metro city HRA Exemption: Despite Bengaluru’s recognition as an official metro city, its status as a non-metro area for income tax purposes only allows HRA deductions to 40%, in contrast to other cities in the metro. There is a need for it to be increased to 50%.
On the indirect tax front
option to modify GST returns: Errors in filed returns are only rectified in future return periods. We expect revisions to returns to be permitted and that’s an advantage for taxpayers as well as the department since it will reduce the number of notices and notifications. GSTN is working on this goal, and we’ll be able to see its workings when GSTN releases APIs.
electronic invoices to B2C transactions: Extending this requirement to B2C transactions will further cut down on tax evasion as well as ensure better compliance. However, it would increase the burden of compliance for small businesses, particularly ones that might require technological upgrades to meet these requirements.
Interim Budget 2024 Highlights:
While the interim budget for 2024 may not be a game changer, it provides valuable insight into the nation’s financial health as well as the country’s plans. For both individuals and businesses, understanding the budget’s purpose and direction can aid in making strategic plans and decisions.
Remember that the interim budget isn’t the last act. The full-blown budget for FY 2024-25 will be announced after the elections and will reflect the vision of the new government and its plans. So, keep an eye out to see the next chapter of the story of India’s economy!
Budget 2023 Highlights: What happened in the Budget 2023?
- First Budget of “Amrit Kaal”: This sets the stage for the next 25 years of growth in India.
- The economy is on the right track: 7% growth is predicted for FY 23, which is the highest among the major economies.
- Concentrate on key areas: inclusive development, green growth, infrastructure, youth power, and the financial sector.
- The new tax regime is the default; however, the old tax regime can be accessed.
- There is no tax on income of up to 7.5 lakh under the new rules (Rebate and Standard Deduction)
- The most expensive surcharge rate was reduced from 37 percent to 25% under the new system.
- New income tax slabs: 0-3 lakh (nil), 3-6 lakh (5%), 6-9 lakh (10%), 9-12 lakh (15%), 12-15 lakh (20%), and 15 lakh+ (30%).
- Highest ever allocation: Rs 2.4 lakh crore.
- 75 Vande Bharat trains are to be delivered by the end of August 2023.
- The increase was 33% to Rs. 10 lakh crore.
- To stimulate the growth of businesses, create new jobs, and draw private investment.
- The budget was increased by 13%, reaching an amount of Rs 5.94 lakh crore.
- Make sure you acquire new weapons, aircraft, and warships.
Other Key Points:
- Fiscal deficit target: less than 4.5% by 2025-26.
- More money is allocated to MSMEs in agriculture, education, housing, healthcare, and urban growth.
- Initiatives to ease the process of conducting business and the use of digital technology.
- The grain-free food program was extended to 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the major elements of Budget 2024?
In Budget 2024, the FM announced that the theme for the budget this year would be ‘Viksit Bhharat Budget 2024’. It envisions a more developed India by 2047. The four pillars of Viksit Bharat include “Garib” (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), “Yuva” (Youth) and “Annadata” (Farmers).
In addition, the FM also highlighted the change of focus from Amrit Kaal to Kartavya Kaal and focused on sustainable development infrastructure and investment, inclusive development, food processing, and agriculture.
The FM also declared that the existing tax rates would remain during FY 2024-25 on direct taxes. There is no tax obligation for taxpayers who earn earnings of less than Rs. 7 lakh in the new tax system. The tax rate of 22% applicable to corporate tax will be in effect for domestic companies that are already in operation, as well as 15% for newly formed manufacturing firms.
Will the tax slab change in 2024?
The FM announced in the Interim Budget 2024 that the same tax rates would remain for FY 2024-25, which will be used for direct taxes. There will be no tax obligation for taxpayers earning earnings of less than Rs. 7 lakh in the new tax system.
Are there any changes to the tax brackets in Budget 2024?
There is no modification to the tax slabs, as stated by the FM in the Interim Budget 2024.
What is a vote on account? How does it differ from the interim budget?
In the event of a presidential election, the current government will present the budget as an interim budget or a ‘Vote on Account’. The year in question, Budget 2024 was presented in the form of an interim budget on February 1, 2024. An interim budget helps bridge the gap until a new government is constituted, and typically there aren’t any major announcements or changes made. The budget provides information about the current economic state of taxes, the current state of the economy, and the proposed expenditures.
In contrast, a “vote of account’ refers to the time when the government that is presently in place requests approval from the parliament to use funds from the Consolidated Funds of India for government expenditures and programs up until the new government is formed.
What’s the difference between voting on an account and Appropriation Bill?
Voting on account refers to the time when the government that is presently in power requests permission from Parliament to use funds from the Consolidated Funds of India for programs and expenditures of the government until a new government has been established. A vote on account is defined in Article 116 of the Indian Constitution.
The Appropriation Bill allows the present government authority to take funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for expenses during the financial year. It is outlined by Article 114 of the Indian Constitution.
Typically, the Appropriation Bill is presented during the Lok Sabha after discussing the budget proposals made by the government in power. But, since the government is not able to withdraw money from the Consolidated Funds of India until the Appropriation Bill is approved and passed, the Constitution allows the Lok Sabha to make an advance grant for a portion of the fiscal year to cover the immediate expenses of the government. This is referred to as the “vote on account.”