Budget 2024 Expectations: Will FM Nirmala Sitharaman Bring Cheer to the Common Man?

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Budget 2024 Expectations: Will FM Nirmala Sitharaman Bring Cheer to the Common Man?

New Delhi, January 27, 00:00 IST

As the anticipation builds for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s presentation of the Budget 2024 on February 1, 2024, expectations and concerns from various sectors are being voiced. The live updates capture key insights and recommendations from experts across different industries.

Essential Public Transport Infrastructure Development

00:00 IST, Jan 27

Manish Rathi, Co-founder, and CEO of IntrCity SmartBus emphasizes the need for the government to focus on developing essential public transport infrastructure. He suggests the creation of centralized bus terminals on national highways, similar to airport development, to facilitate inter-city passenger movement. Rathi also proposes allowing passenger buses to carry commercial cargo, reducing wastages and costs for consumers.

Challenges Faced by the IT Industry

23:11 IST, Jan 26

The IT industry is facing challenges related to the processing of refunds, especially in cases pending at the Appellate level due to the backlog of pre-GST cases. Payal Thaker, Partner, Indirect Tax, BDO India, urges the quick processing of matters and disbursement of refunds. Additionally, she highlights the complexities introduced by the ‘zero-rated supply’ rule for supplies to Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and calls for a streamlined process.

Emphasis on Fiscal Discipline and Policy Continuity

21:10 IST, Jan 26

V.P. Nandakumar, MD & CEO at Manappuram Finance, expects the Finance Minister to maintain fiscal discipline while supporting growth. Stressing the importance of policy continuity, he suggests an increase in capital expenditure, infrastructure spending, and measures to enhance rural income and employment.

Fiscal Deficit Target and Multiple Fronts Approach

19:48 IST, Jan 26

Economists at Icra and Barclays anticipate a fiscal deficit target of 5.3% for the fiscal year 2024-25. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) notes that India, amidst global challenges, needs to work on multiple fronts simultaneously, including economic and social development, investment, industry, trade, and infrastructure.


Standard Deduction Hike for Salaried Taxpayers

16:51 IST, Jan 26

Surabhi Marwah, Tax Partner at EY India, advocates for an increase in the standard deduction for salaried taxpayers from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000. She highlights the rise in the cost of living and suggests that the deduction should align with the current inflation index.

Impact of Last Year’s Capex Push

16:02 IST, Jan 26

The government’s significant capex stimulus in the previous budget has contributed to fostering economic growth and attracting private sector investment. Analysts attribute the substantial increase in government capital expenditure to be a catalyst for India’s economic growth.

Thrust on Investments and Extended Concessional Tax Regime

15:29 IST, Jan 26

FICCI recommends maintaining a thrust on public capital expenditure in the upcoming budget, emphasizing the need to attract global manufacturing investments. The industry body suggests extending the concessional tax regime for manufacturing operations for at least five years to provide stability and confidence to investors.

Social Security for Domestic Workers and Education Budget Overview

14:43 IST, Jan 26

The government is considering extending social security benefits to domestic workers, aligning with the Social Security Code of 2020. Over the last decade, the education budget has seen substantial increases, focusing on skill development, improving quality, and addressing teacher shortages.

India’s Competitiveness as a Global Manufacturing Hub

13:59 IST, Jan 26

FICCI calls for creating an enabling environment for India to emerge as a global manufacturing hub. It suggests extending the concessional tax regime for manufacturing operations for five years to attract global investments, complementing the success of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes.

Halwa Ceremony and CII Proposals

13:48 IST, Jan 26

The traditional Halwa ceremony marks the final phase of Union Budget preparation, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reviewing preparations along with key officials. CII proposes a balanced, sustainable, and broad-based growth agenda in light of geopolitical uncertainties.

Tier-2 Cities in HRA Tax Exemption List

12:33 IST, Jan 26

EY’s pre-Budget wish list suggests including tier-2 cities like Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Pune, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad in the list of metro cities for calculating House Rent Allowance (HRA) exemptions.

Key Factors for Investors and Enhanced Allocation for Farm Sector

11:44 IST, Jan 26

Investors are advised to focus on manufacturing incentives, infrastructure-related capital expenditure, and disinvestment strategies. The government is expected to increase allocations for key farm sector schemes in the interim Budget to boost the rural economy.

NPS-Style Scheme for Child Education and FM Sitharaman’s Task

11:41 IST, Jan 26

Experts propose a focused scheme for easing the burden of saving for higher education, similar to the National Pension Scheme (NPS). As the interim Budget approaches, expectations are high for measures aimed at making India more ‘atmanirbhar’ and addressing key sectors like manufacturing and agriculture.

These live updates provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse expectations and recommendations from various sectors as India awaits the unveiling of Budget 2024. The Finance Minister’s decisions will play a crucial role in shaping the economic trajectory of the country in the coming fiscal year. Stay tuned for more updates as the Budget session progresses.

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