Last Updated on Feb 3, 2022 by Ayushi Mishra

The Union Budget proposals have a significant impact on the economy, corporates, and common man. The year 2022 marked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s fourth budget speech, which was the shortest in her time. While the country expected relief in the income tax slabs, no material proposal on that front came as a disappointment to the deprived or the salaried middle-class.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded the budget stating, “This budget is pro-poor. It addresses India’s future and is for India’s youth. The budget will create more growth and more jobs. This budget is for ‘Kissan Kalyan’ and it also focuses on ‘Garib Kalyan’.” Let’s take a look at the highlights of the Union Budget 2022.

This article covers:

Focus areas of the budget

Top focus of the budget this year are: 

  • PM Gati Shakti, inclusive development, productivity enhancement, sunrise opportunities, energy transition, climate action, financing of investments.
  • Capex target expanded by 35.4%, from Rs. 5.54 lakh cr. to Rs. 7.50 lakh cr. The effective capex for FY 2023 is seen at Rs. 10.7 lakh cr.
  • Productivity-linked incentive schemes in 14 sectors have received excellent response, with investment intentions worth Rs. 30 lakh cr.

Expenditure and deficit

  • In 2022-2023, the fiscal deficit of 6.4% of GDP is projected.
  • Scheme for financial assistance to states for capital investment outlay to be Rs. 1 lakh cr. for 2022-2023.
  • Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) is extended upto March 2023. The cover is also extended by another Rs. 50,000 cr. bringing total figure to Rs. 5 lakh cr. with focus on the hospitality and tourism sector. 

Taxes

  • Minimal tax changes were announced, indicating that the government may have reached a stable tax regime.
  • Surcharge on long-term capital gains is capped at 15%.
  • Alternate Minimum Tax for cooperative societies to be cut to 15%.
  • The government will tax income from digital asset transfers at 30%.
  • 1% TDS on transfer of virtual assets above a threshold.
  • Gift of virtual digital assets is also proposed to be taxed in the hand of the recipient.

Duties on industry

  • Import duty on certain chemicals is to be cut.
  • Import duty on cut and polished diamonds and gemstones is to be cut 5% and on sawn diamond to nil.
  • Customs duty concessions are to be given to certain consumer electronic devices to promote manufacturing across wearables, hearables, and specific mobile phone components.

Agri sector

  • Farm procurement value for FY 2023 to be Rs. 2.37 tn.
  • Kisan Drones for crop assessment, land records, and spraying of insecticides are expected to drive a wave of technology in the agri sector.
  • Natural farming will be promoted along the Ganga river corridor.
  • Domestic scheme introduced to cut reliance on oilseed imports.

Housing and urban planning

  • Rs. 48,000 cr. is allotted for PM Awas Yojana.
  • Rs. 60,000 cr. is allocated for providing access to tap water to 3.8 cr. households.
  • Government would promote the use of public transport in urban areas.

Electric vehicles

  • Battery swapping policy to allow EV charging stations for automobiles will be framed.
  • Private sector will be encouraged to create sustainable and innovative business models for battery and energy as a service, improving the efficiency in the EV ecosystem.

Clean energy

  • Rs. 19,500 cr. additional allocation for PLI for manufacturing high efficiency solar modules has been made.
  • Sovereign green bonds will be launched to fund green infra, to be part of the government’s borrowing programme in FY 2023.
  • Funds will be used for projects that will help reduce carbon intensity of the economy.

Finance and inclusion

  • A proposal to introduce Digital Rupee by RBI using blockchain technology starting 2022-2023 is made.
  • 100% of 1.5 lakh post offices will come on the core banking system, enabling financial inclusion and access to accounts through net banking, mobile banking, ATMs, and also provide online transfer of funds between post office accounts and bank accounts.
  • 75 digital banks in 75 districts will be set up by scheduled commercial banks to encourage digital payments.
  • The use of surety bonds as a substitute for bank guarantee will be made acceptable in government procurements.

Telecom

  • Spectrum auction will be conducted in 2022 for the rollout of 5G.
  • 5% of USO Fund would be provided for R&D and technology upgradation.
  • Contracts for laying optical fibre in villages to be awarded under BharatNet project under PPP in 2022-2023.

MSME

  • A fund with blended capital raised under co-investment model facilitated through NABARD to finance startups in agriculture and rural enterprises for farm produce value chain.
  • PE/VC invested Rs. 5.5 lakh cr. in startup, an expert committee will be set up to suggest measures to help attract investment.
  • Existing tax benefits for startups, which were offered redemption of taxes for three consecutive years, to be extended by one more year.
Ayushi Mishra

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