Edited By: Namit Singh Sengar
Last Updated: January 18, 2023, 16:51 IST
“I Belong to the middle class, understand their pressures, ” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman a few days before presenting the budget 2023.
Sitharaman had said that she was aware of the pressures of the middle class but also recalled that the present government has not imposed any fresh taxes on them.
Sitharaman will present the budget amid expectations from various sectors of the economy. The minister has assured that the government can do more for the middle class as its population is growing and it has become sizable now.
Broadly, the Indian middle class is also hoping to see some announcements in the budget. Reportedly, some of the expectations are;
- There is a growing demand that the government will raise the income tax limit and provide relief to the middle class taxpayers.
- The middle class is urging the budget to focus more on job creation.
- Health insurance- Covid-19 reiterated the need for health insurance. The demand is to increase the deduction limit under section 80D. The sector has even demanded lower GST on health insurance.
- Affordable housing: More rebates for home loans. Tax rebate on purchase of self-occupied house which currently stands at Rs 2 lakh.
- Curtailing inflation and rising cost of living.
Apart from the above expectations, there are sectoral demands from various corners of the economy. Recently, UBS India expected that the budget will be more rural- and infra-focused. The upcoming budget is likely to boost rural/agri spending by $10 billion, a growth of 15 per cent over FY23, and maintain double-digit 20 per cent growth in public capex over the current fiscal, given that the nation will be going to the polls in mid-2024.
The budget session of Parliament will commence on January 31 and end on April 6. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the budget for 2023-24 on February 01.
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