Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2023 in the Lok Sabha in a few hours from now. It will be the last full budget of the Narendra Modi government before it faces the general elections in the summer next year.When the finance minister begins her address at 11 am, the Indian middle class and India Inc would be keenly waiting for some relief in wake of global meltdown. On Tuesday, the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament pegged India’s real growth in the range of 6-6.8 per cent depending on the downside and upside risks. The survey underlined the fact that the global agencies continue to project India as the fastest growing major economy despite the Covid-19 shocks, the Russia-Ukraine war and the policy rate hikes by the central banks across the world. UNION BUDGET 2023: FULL COVERAGELater, chief economic advisor V Anantha Nageswaran said that the Indian economy is poised to do better on the back of the reforms undertaken by the Centre and expected to clock a 6.5-7 per cent growth in the remaining part of the decade. He added that the inflation by and large is likely to be ‘well behaved’ in the upcoming fiscal barring headwinds. Here are the five big-ticket expectations from Nirmala Sitharaman’s fifth budget.
- Income tax relief: The salaried professionals are the taxpayers who have the most expectations from the Budget. The middle class has been hit the hardest by increasing prices of essentials and fuel price hike. The expectations are rife that the finance minister may tweak income-tax slabs to provide middle class a much needed relief. Recently, Sitharaman said she identifies herself as a middle class and understands the pressure faced by the section.
- Real estate sector: The real estate sector has managed to bounce back following the dry spell due to Covid-19 pandemic. The housing sector is eyeing a robust demand in the upcoming financial year. The key expectations include relaxations in taxes, reduction in stamp duty, reduction in GST on raw materials like cement and steel. Arihant Infrastructures, CMD, Ashok Chhajer told ANI that the government should focus on reducing home loan rates. “The government should reduce home loan rates. The affordable housing segment, which is capped at ₹45 lakh, should be changed to ₹60-75 lakh which is the average cost of a house in Metro cities and 2-tier cities,” said Chhajer.ALSO READ: After ‘smart recovery’ from Covid, what do MSMEs expect from Budget 2023
- Healthcare: The healthcare sector is expecting more spend on boosting the health infrastructure in the country. According to the Economic Survey tabled in the Parliament, the Centre’s share in the total health expenditure increased from 28.6 per cent in the financial year 2014-15 to 40.6 per cent in 2019-2020. The survey stated the government has also strengthened health infrastructure and prepared itself to address present and future needs, PTI reported.
- Railways: The Railway budget is included in the Union Budget which will be tabled today. The expectations of general public include controlling train ticket fares, focus on cleanliness in trains, increase in number of trains among others. The students have demanded that Railways run separate trains for them to appear for exams in other cities.
- Manufacturing: The experts have high expectations from the budget as they feel it will re-energise the manufacturing sector which is trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic impact. The sector is expecting new policies, concessions and other schemes for growth.