Missed the Union Budget 2022 Speech? Here’s A Quick Rundown
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget 2022-23 today in the Indian parliament. Considered a non-populist budget focused on growth, this bold Budget has many things going to support the Indian economy. From announcing the PM Gati Shakti focus on infrastructure to taxing virtual digital assets, here are 20 things you need to know from the Union Budget speech:
1. At the outset, the Finance Minister said that the Union Budget 2022 would set the tone for the next 25 years of the Indian economy. Driving this would be four central pillars – PM Gati Shakti, Inclusive Development, Productivity Enhancement and Financing of Investments.
2. The fiscal deficit in the current year is expected to be 6.9% of GDP (against 6.8% in Budget estimates) and Fiscal deficitin 2022-23 estimated at 6.4% of GDP.
3. PM Gati Shakti is an infrastructural and logistical boost to the Indian economy. Under the scheme, the government will undertake a number of measures, such as expanding the National Highways Network by 25,000 kilometres in 2022-23, with a budget allocation of Rs. 20,000 crores.
4. In the Union Budget Speech, the FM mentioned the Indian Railways would develop new products and logistics services to support small farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises. One Station One Product will be popularised to help local businesses and supply chain.
5. Four hundred new-generation energy-efficient Vande Bharat trains will be introduced in India over three years.
6. The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to MSMEs has been expanded to Rs 5 lakh crore, and the end date has been extended to March 2023.
7. Through the productivity linked incentive scheme, the government is eyeing an additional 60 lakh jobs over the next five years.
8. Under the Nal Se Jal scheme, the FM has allocated Rs. 60,000 crore that will equip an additional 3.8 crore households with tap water.
9. The biggest announcement has come in the space of virtual digital assets, with a tax of 30% levied on their transfer.
10. The virtual digital assets will also attract a 1% TDS. Losses from digital assets cannot be offset against any gains.
11. Tax deduction limit increased from 10 per cent to 14 per cent on employer’s contribution to the NPS account of State Government employees.
12. The Reserve Bank of India will launch a blockchain-based Indian digital rupee in the coming year.
13. A new provision has for updated tax returns has also been announced in the Union Budget Speech. Updated returns can now be filed for up to 2 years from the relevant end date of IT filings.
14. In a boost for the electric vehicle industry, the FM announced a battery swapping policy that will permit more users to swap their EV batteries. Additionally, the FM said the private sector would be encouraged to develop more innovative battery and energy services.
15. A new digital university will be set up to promote digital education. Simultaneously, the One Class, One TV Channel program that imparts education to students of classes 1-12 will be increased from 12 to 200 TV channels to provide children in rural areas and those from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to access better education.
16. The Union Budget 2022 has introduced the interoperability of post offices and banks. This means that all 1.5 lakh post offices in the country will be equipped with digital services. This will increase digital financial inclusion.
17. Seventy-five districts in the country will get 75 digital banking units by scheduled commercial banks to improve digital payments in the country.
18. In view of the increasing mental health issues in the country on account of the pandemic, the FM has announced a National Tele Mental Health Program in the Union Budget Speech.
19. The FM also announced the launch of more sovereign green bonds as part of the government’s borrowing programme this year to fund more green infrastructure projects.
20. E-passports embedded with e-chips will be rolled out to make overseas travel simpler.
Additional Read: How to explain the Budget to the youth
The Union Budget 2022 did a complete skip on taxation and work-from-home policies that were largely expected by the market. However, as the FM made clear in her Union Budget Speech, this Budget is geared towards the growth of the Indian economy and boosting the country’s progress over the next 25 years.
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