Union Budget also known as the annual financial statement, is a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for a particular year.
According to Article 112 of the Indian Constitution, the Union Budget is responsible for keeping the account of the government’s finances for the fiscal year that runs from 1st April to 31st March. The Union Budget is classified into two parts-revenue budget and capital budget.
The Revenue budget contains the government’s revenue receipts and expenditure, revenue expenditure is the expenditure incurred on day to day functioning of the government and on various services offered to citizens, while the Capital budget comprises of the government’s capital receipts and payments.
Loans from public, foreign governments and RBI forms a major part of the capital receipts. Capital expenditure is the expenditure on development of machinery, equipment, health facilities and other services. When the government’s expenditure is greater than the total revenue collected, a state of fiscal deficit occurs.
India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced the Finance Bill 2022. The budget is being seen as a pro-growth Budget which gives importance to capital expenditure and investments to power the country’s GDP growth forward during the coronavirus pandemic.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman added a conscious decision of not increasing the taxes was taken by the government because of the hardship that people have been facing due to the pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated Sitharaman and her team saying that the budget will benefit everyone, especially the poor section of the society.
“This budget addresses the immediate needs to ensure the economy is robust…it will also ensure more investment, more infrastructure, more growth, especially of the poor and those from backward sections of the society.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Major Points of the Union Budget 2022-23:
- Taxation: The minimum taxable income will remain the same and so do the basic tax slabs. The government will now tax the capital gains made while selling cryptos at 30%. The capital loss suffered while selling crypto cannot be set off against any other income.
- Employment: The Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is expected to create 60 lakh jobs. Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood (DESH-Stack e-portal) will encourage and empower the citizens to skill or up skill through online training. Startup will be provided with tax incentives for one more year, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will encourage and help to create, and develop and produce more software solutions.
- Health: The overall growth and development of the infra sector will help in providing better healthcare services to all the citizens. The Covid-19 pandemic Budget focuses on addressing Tele Mental Health program which is a step in the right direction and will also benefit a large number of patients who are battling with depression, anxiety or any other health related issues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Housing: 80 lakh houses will be completed for the eligible beneficiaries of PM Awas Yojana, across both rural and urban India. The government has already allocated ₹48,000 crore for this project. The construction of houses will have a positive effect on the economy and will provide employment to thousands of labours.
- Digital Currency: The RBI will introduce central digital currency using blockchain in 22-23. The tax regulation of such currency is also made clear.
“The gross GST collections for the month of January 2022 are ₹1,40,986 crores which is the highest since the inception of GST.”FM Nirmala Sitharaman
However, the senior leader of the opposition party P Chidambaram criticised the Union Budget for the year 2022-2023. He termed the speech of the Finance Minister as the most capitalist speech to be ever read by an FM.
“I was astonished, shocked that the Finance Minister was outlining a plan for the next 25 years. Government seems to believe that the present doesn’t need any attention and the public can be asked to wait patiently until ‘Amrit Kaal’ dawns. This is mocking the people of India.”
The budget estimates the effective capital expenditure of the Central Government at Rs 10.68 lakh crore in 2022-23, making about 4.1 per cent of the GFP. The Finance Minister said that the country is expected to grow at 9.27 per cent in the coming year.
“With a focus on four pillars of development-inclusive development, productivity enhancement, energy transition and climate action, the budget gives a blueprint of economy from India at 75 to India at 100.”