Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered her Budget speech, presenting the Interim Budget 2024-25 at Parliament on Thursday, February 1, a day after the commencement of the Budget Session. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a balanced budget. This was Nirmala Sitharaman’s sixth Union Budget. The full-fledged budget will be presented by the new government that comes to power after the elections.
The interim budget – a short-term financial plan – seeks Parliament nod for a grant in advance to meet the government’s essential expenditure for the first four months of the new financial year.
The Budget Session of Parliament began yesterday with President Droupadi Murmu addressing the joint meeting of both Rajyya Sabha and Lok Sabha. The session will conclude on February 9.
10 Key Highlights of Interim Budget 2024-25; you should not miss
1. Direct taxes
- FM proposes to retain same tax rates for direct taxes
- Direct tax collection tripled, return filers increased to 2.4 times, in the last 10 years
- Government to improve tax payer services
- Outstanding direct tax demands upto Rs 25000 pertaining to the period upto FY 2009-10 withdrawn
- Outstanding direct tax demands upto Rs 10000 for financial years 2010-11 to 2014-15 withdrawn
- This will benefit one crore tax payers
- Tax benefits to Start-Ups, investments made by Sovereign wealth funds or pension funds extended to 31.03.2025
- Tax exemption on certain income of IFSC units extended by a year to 31.03.2025 from 31.03.2024
2. Indirect taxes
- FM proposes to retain same tax rates for indirect taxes and import duties
- GST unified the highly fragmented indirect tax regime in India
- Average monthly gross GST collection doubled to Rs 1.66 lakh crore this year
- GST tax base has doubled
- State SGST revenue buoyancy (including compensation released to states) increased to 1.22 in post-GST period(2017-18 to 2022-23) from 0.72 in the pre-GST period (2012-13 to 2015-16)
- 94% of industry leaders view transition to GST as largely positive
- GST led to supply chain optimization
- GST reduced the compliance burden on trade and industry
- Lower logistics cost and taxes helped reduce prices of goods and services, benefiting the consumers
3. Reforms in the States for ‘Viksit Bharat’
- A provision of Rs.75,000 crore rupees as fifty-year interest free loan is proposed to support milestone-linked reforms by the State Governments.
4. Tourism sector
- States to be encouraged to take up comprehensive development of iconic tourist centres including their branding and marketing at global scale.
- Framework for rating of the tourist centres based on quality of facilities and services to be established.
- Long-term interest free loans to be provided to States for financing such development on matching basis.
- 3 major economic railway corridor programmes identified under the PM Gati Shakti to be implemented to improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost
- Energy, mineral and cement corridors
- Port connectivity corridors
- High traffic density corridors
- Forty thousand normal rail bogies to be converted to Vande Bharat standards.
6. Research and Innovation for catalyzing growth, employment and development
- A corpus of Rs.1 lakh crore to be established with fifty-year interest free loan to provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates.
- A new scheme to be launched for strengthening deep-tech technologies for defence purposes and expediting ‘atmanirbharta’.
7. Rooftop solarization and muft bijli
- 1 crore households to obtain 300 units free electricity every month through rooftop solarization.
- Each household is expected to save Rs.15000 to Rs.18000 annually.
8. Ayushman Bharat
- Healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme to be extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers.
9. PM Awas Yojana (Grameen)
- Despite COVID challenges, the target of three crore houses under PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) will be achieved soon.
- Two crore more houses to be taken up in the next five years.
- Capital expenditure outlay for Infrastructure development and employment generation to be increased by 11.1 per cent to Rs.11,11,111 crore, that will be 3.4 per cent of the GDP.
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