Budget 2023: FM Sitharaman to present Modi govt’s last Union Budget today

Budget 2023: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will deliver the Union Budget 2023 speech today on February 1, 2023 at 11 am. This will be the last full Budget of the Narendra Modi government ahead of general elections in 2024. The Budget is being presented at a time when the world economy is crippled by a slow down and are apprehending a recession.

The budget session that began Tuesday, will have 27 sittings till April 6 with a month-long break to examine the budget papers. After the first part of the session concluded on February 13, Parliament will reconvene on March 12 for the second part before it concludes on April 6.

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Recovery from Covid complete

As the Economic Survey projects India’s GDP growth at somewhere between the 6-6.8% range, India may remain the fastest growing economy in the world. According to the economic survey, India’s recovery from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic is complete.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected focus on aiding economic growth with the help of public sector capital expenditure. The public capex push also becomes important since the private sector investment revival is still tentative. But she also has the crucial task of not just maintaining the fiscal deficit target of 6.4%, but also providing a credible road map to bring it down further in the coming years, closer to the FRBM target.

Healthcare sector

Budget is expected to give a major push to the healthcare sector with an increase in expenditure on healthcare infrastructure. Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in view, the last two years Budget majorly focused on the country’s healthcare sector.

In the 2022-2023 budget, the Centre announced rolling out an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem which consists of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities.

The FM is expected to announce the PLI scheme for more sectors and also additional incentives for the sectors already covered under the PLI scheme.

Agriculture sector to remain in focus

As agriculture aides GDP growth and also provides employment to a lot of people, the Budget is likely to continue the government’s focus on this sector.

Analysts expect relief measures in the Budget including some reprieve for the salaried class, pensioners and the common man. While the salaried class is hoping reduction in tax liability and increase in take-home pay, the startup industry wants the government to raise the size of funds associated with promoting the start ups in order to boost their growth.

As the Budget session opened on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that this year’s Budget will aim to fulfill the aspirations of the common man.

Experts are expecting reduction in home loan rates. While many of themsay that the Budget should focus on further investments in roads, railways, ports, airports and highways, as well as slum rehabilitation schemes.

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