Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tables Union Budget 2023-24

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tables Union Budget 2023-24

February 2, 2023 - 7:58 am

Budget Is Amrit Kaal-Blueprint For An Inclusive And Empowered Economy

On the surface, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's fifth budget checks all the appropriate boxes. It is also the last comprehensive budget for the present Bharatiya Janata Party administration before the general election of next year. Union's 2023–24 budget outlines the Amrit Kaal-Blueprint for an inclusive and empowered economy. The cornerstone of Amrit Kaal is a three-pronged approach driven by four transformative prospects. The three main goals of the economic agenda are to provide adequate opportunity for individuals, particularly young people, to stimulate growth and job creation, and to stabilise the macroeconomy. This Budget placed a strong emphasis on increasing government capital spending, fiscal stabilisation, and alluring incentives and rebates under the new income tax system.

What is the Budget?

The government's economic plan is outlined in the budget, which also serves as a political statement. However, in order to keep the deficit levels on an ex-post basis, the government's receipts and spending must balance on its ex-ante balance sheet for the upcoming year. Every year, the Union Budget is presented by the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Indian government. The customary "Bahi Khata" has been replaced this year by an Indian-made tablet as part of the Union Budget 2023.

Size of The Union Budget 2023-24

Estimated total spending for BE 2023–24 is 45,03,097 crore (45.03 lakh crore), of which 10,00,961 crore is capital spending (10 Lakh Crore). The Union Government's continued commitment to fostering economic growth through infrastructure development is seen in Budget 2023–24, which sees a 37.4% rise in capital expenditures over RE 2022–23. Effective Capital Expenditure increased by 30.1% over RE 2022–23 to 13,70,949 Crore (13.71 Lakh Crore) in BE 2023–24.

The 'Saptrishi' of the Budget 2023-24

Government's seven priorities for the Budget are Inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth and financial sector. These seven priorities complement each other.

Highlights of the Budget 2023-24

On Capital Expenditure

In 2023–2024, the central government would invest 10 trillion rupees (Rs. 10 lakh crore) in longer-term capital projects, continuing a policy undertaken to resurrect growth following the Covid crisis. The amount allotted is more than the budgeted amount of 7.5 trillion (7.5 lakh crore) rupees from the previous year and the largest ever. The 33% year-over-year growth is just just less than the 35% increase from the previous year. A 50-year loan with no interest is extended to state governments for one more year in order to encourage them to invest in infrastructure and implement complementary policies.

On Direct Tax

The new tax system will now be the default tax system, however citizens can still benefit from the previous tax system if they choose to. New tax legislation's updated tax slabs

  • Income between Rs 0 and Rs 3 lakh is not taxable under the new system.
  • Income above Rs 3 lakh and up to Rs 6 lakh to be taxed at 5% under the new regime.
  • Income of above Rs 6 lakh and up to Rs 9 lakh to be taxed at 10% under the new regime.
  • Income above Rs 12 lakh and up to Rs 15 lakh to be taxed at 20% under the new regime.
  • 30% tax will be applied on income over Rs 15 lakh.

Following FM's announcement of revisions to some customs and levies, certain things became more affordable while others became more expensive.

On Indirect Tax Proposals

Indirect tax solutions put an emphasis on tax structure simplification with lower tax rates to ease compliance burden and enhance tax administration. There are now only 13 basic customs duty rates available for commodities other than textiles and agricultural products, down from 21 previously. The basic customs duties, cesses, and surcharges on goods including toys, bicycles, cars, and naphtha have been slightly altered. Excise duty on the compressed biogas that has already been paid for with GST has been removed in order to prevent cascading taxes on blended compressed natural gas. The import of capital goods and equipment needed for the production of lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles is now exempt from customs duties.

On Proposals relating to MSMEs

The Budget suggests increased restrictions for micro businesses and specific specialists who wish to utilise the benefit of presumed taxes because it views MSMEs as the growth engines of our economy. The Budget only permits deduction for expenses incurred on payments made to MSMEs when payment is actually made in order to support MSMEs in timely receipt of payments.

On Start-ups

The Budget suggests moving up the date of incorporation for start-ups to 31.03.2024 in order to provide them with income tax incentives. It also offers the benefit of carrying forward losses on changes in start-ups' shareholding from seven to ten years after incorporation.

On Education

For the upcoming fiscal year, the Ministry of Education will receive a total of 1,12,898.97 crore from the Centre. Notably, this represents the ministry's greatest budgetary allocation to date. The outlay for the Department of School Education is 68,804,85 crore, while the Department of Higher Education has been given a budget of 44,094.62 crore. 

On Health 

A staggering Rs 88,956 crore has been set aside for health expenditures in the Union Budget 2023, an increase of Rs 2,350 crore or 2.71 percent from Rs 86,606 crore in FY23. The Department of Health and Family Welfare would receive Rs 86,175 crore from the entire ministry budget, whilst the Department of Health Research will receive Rs 2,980 crore.

On Defence

With an increase in the defence budget from 5.25 lakh crore to 5.94 lakh crore for 2023–2024, 1.62 lakh crore has been set aside for capital expenditures, which includes buying new weapons, aircraft, warships, and other military hardware. The 2023–24 budget documents state that 2,70,120 crores have been set up for revenue expenditures, which include costs for paying workers and maintaining facilities.


The government expects to save 1.47 lakh crore in subsidy spending in 2023-24 as opposed to 2022-23. In comparison, this sum represents more than half of the anticipated rise in gross tax revenue collection (GTR). From a Revised Estimate (RE) value of 30.43 lakh crore in 2022–23 to a Budget Estimate (BE) value of 33.6 lakh crore in 2023–24, GTR is anticipated to increase. It is vital to highlight that the likelihood of a considerably greater nominal GDP growth in 2023–2024 saving the budget's underlying math is lower if subsidies spending must rise significantly.

Summary of the Budget 2023-24

a concentration on infrastructure and investments that boost economic growth and jobs, measures to promote environmentally friendly or sustainable growth, and the simplification of direct taxes, including a raft of concessions to the middle and salaried classes, and pensioners, and, most importantly, doing all of this while ensuring the prosperity of all, especially the youth, women, farmers, Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes Aiming to actualize a "technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with solid public finances and a vibrant financial sector," the Budget plans were made with "India at 100" in mind. highlighting the need to give strong encouragement to growth and job creation as part of the economic agenda for realising this aim. Sitharaman declared it the "first Budget in Amrit Kaal" and sounded the election bell by highlighting the accomplishments of the current administration since that year.