On February 1, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the final budget of the second term of the Narendra Modi government. However, as the government faces a general election this year, in April-May, the upcoming budget will be an ‘interim’ one; the full budget for financial year 2024-25 will be tabled in July.

People watch the Union Budget 2023-24 being presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament. (HT PHOTO)

In India, a financial year begins on April 1, ending on March 31 the following year. Here’s a look, meanwhile, at five major announcements from last year’s budget:

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Income tax: No changes were made to the old tax regime; the finance minister, however, revised tax slabs under the new system. Accordingly, the basic exemption limit was hiked to 3 lakh from 2.5 lakh under the new regime, while the tax rebate was increased to 7 lakh from 2 lakh. Also, the standard deduction of 50,000, available under the old regime, was extended to the new one too.

Additionally, the new regime was made the default tax system.

Capex hike: For a third consecutive year, the capital investment outlay received a major push, and was increased by 33% to 10 lakh crore. The overall capital investment outlay was around 3.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Health and education: 89,155 crore were allocated to this sector. FM Sitharaman also announced a mission to eradicate Sickle Cell Anemia by 2047. She further stated that 157 new nursing colleges will be established, these being in addition to the 157 medical colleges established since 2014, when the current government first came to power.

PM Awas Yojana: The outlay for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) was enhanced 65% to 79,000 crore. In the previous budget, this allocation stood at 48,000 crore.

Agriculture: To encourage startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas, an Agriculture Accelerator Fund was announced. Further, the agriculture credit target was hiked to 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries.

A new sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) was also unveiled with a targeted investment of 6,000 crore to further enable activities of fishermen, fish vendors and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises).

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