Union Budget was a Game-Changer but No Immediate Relief to the Laymen

A lot of firsts happened in the Union Budget of 2022-23. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's budget presentation was the shortest one since 2019. The speech lasted only one hour and 31 minutes. FM Sitharaman did her presentation using a tablet and not a bahi-khata. Out of all the announcements, read up the ones that stood out the most.
Union Budget was a Game-Changer but No Immediate Relief to the Laymen

What Are The Key Highlights?

The fourth budget of Modi 2.0 was unveiled today, where most policies were announced aiming at growth, inflation and uncertainties of COVID-19. The budget speech was short but failed to woo the salaried professionals. There were no deductions in the income tax or LTCG abolition. However, a few announcements caught everyone’s eyes.

The main focus of today’s budget was on capital expenditure and digital push. Sitharaman said capital investment holds the key to speedy and sustainable revival. The government will invest Rs 7.50 lakh crore as CAPEX next year. CAPEX will be done to improve the infrastructure and economic activity of the country.

Later in the budget, Sitharaman announced the decision to tax digital asset transfers at 30%, the highest tax band in the country. The government had not confirmed anything on cryptocurrency. Instead of banning it, the centre decided to tax it. Furthermore, Sitharaman also announced that RBI will introduce a digital rupee this year powered by blockchain. It’s expected that digital currency will give a big boost to our digital economy leading to a cheaper management system.

There was a lot of emphases made on the infrastructure sector. The national highway network will be expanded by 25,000 km in FY23. Under PM Gati Shakti, 100 cargo terminals will be developed and 400 new generation trains will be brought in the next three years. For the housing sector, there will be 60,000 houses for beneficiaries in rural and urban areas. All the CAPEX allocation and housing schemes are made to spur consumption.

Are There Any Concerns?

The only downside this time was that there was no announcement on the income tax deduction. Some tax relief for people with disabilities was announced. Other than that, there was no tax relief for the salaried class. This was upsetting for laymen who expected relief from rising inflation.

What Lies Ahead?

The Union Budget carries hopes for millions, from laymen to businessmen. There are some prerequisites that everyone expects. This time the budget’s entire focus was shifted. The larger concerns remained untouched, like rising inflation from commodity prices. There is an indirect relief provided to the poor and the middle class but no immediate action. It seems that this year could turn out to be a difficult one due to inflation and global issues.

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