Union Budget 2024 Key Highlights

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 14/03/2024

The Union Budget announcement is one of the most anticipated events in the country where both businesses and local citizens eagerly wait for the schemes and declarations that could potentially benefit them.

On February 1st, 2024, the honourable Finance Minister, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman, announced the interim budget for FY 2024.

It is to be noted that this year’s Union Budget has been substituted by the Interim Budget due to the upcoming elections in 2024.

The FM has announced that the theme for Budget 2024 will be “Viksit Bharat Budget 2024”.

Interim Union Budget Highlights 2024

The income tax rebate limit is increased to ₹7 lakh, no income tax for annual salary up to ₹7 lakh.

  • Common ITR Form for the added convenience of taxpayers with a grievance mechanism to be robust and stringent.

  • The maximum income tax rate for personal income is 39%, while the maximum surcharge rate is lowered to 25% from 37%.

  • Salaried individuals are still eligible for a standard deduction of ₹50,000.

  • The tax exemption limit for non-government salaried taxpayers has been increased to ₹25 lakh on leave encashment.

  • Presumptive tax limits have been increased for some professionals as well as micro-enterprises.

  • Relief worth ₹10,000 crores for sugar cooperatives to claim all the payments directed to sugarcane farmers before 2016-17.

  • Max limit of ₹2 lakhs for loan encashment and cash deposits by PCARDBs and PACS.

  • Max limit of ₹3 crores for TDS on withdrawal of cash for cooperative societies.

  • Income tax exemption for boards and authorities established for housing and development.

  • Converting gold into electronic gold receipts will not be treated as a capital gain.

  • TDS rates were reduced to 20% from 30% on the taxable part of the EPF (Employee Provident Fund) withdrawal under non-PAN scenarios.

  • Tax exemption for Agniveer Corput Fund payments.

  • Gains from Market Linked Debentures will be taxable.

  • 100 Joint Commissioners to be deployed for a reduction in small appeals.

  • Liquidators are to be decriminalised from 2024 under section 276A.

  • Tax slabs have been lowered to 5 from 6 with an increased tax exemption limit of ₹3 lakh.

Union Budget 2024 - A Powerful Vision Towards Viksit Bharat 2047

As mentioned above, the theme of the current union budget is “Viksit Bharat”, with the government visualising India as a developed nation by 2047.

  • The four main pillars of the Viksit Bharat scheme are Gareeb (poor), Mahila (women), Annadata (farmers), and Yuva (youths). Aiming at a people-centric development plan, the FM has announced the following:

  • Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) will promote financial inclusion and formalisation.

  • Significant development across all major forms of infrastructure: digital, social, and physical.

  • Plans to broaden tax base with GST.

  • Proactive plans to manage inflation.

  • Plans to strengthen the financial sector by bringing investments, credits, and savings back on track.

  • Garib ka Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan

  • Direct Benefit Transfer, or DBT, has resulted in savings of around ₹2.7 lakh crore.

  • Around 78 lakh street vendors have been provided with credit assistance through PM-SVANidhi.

  • Around 25 crore people in India have moved out of poverty.

The welfare of “Annadata”

  • Under the PM-KISAN scheme, about 11.8 crore farmers have been provided with direct financial assistance.

  • Under PM Fasal Bima Yojana, crop insurance has been provided to 4 crore farmers.

  • Under eNAM, 1,361 mandis have been integrated, boasting a trading volume worth ₹3 lakh crore.

Naari Shakti - Empowerment of Women

30 crore Mudra Yojana loans have been sanctioned to the female entrepreneurs.

  • STEM courses have seen an impressive female enrollment of 43%.

  • More than 70% of the houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana have been given to women in rural areas.

  • Enrollment of female students in higher education has increased by 28%.

Youth Empowerment

  • Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youths.

  • 43 crore loans have been disbursed under PM Mudra Yojana to encourage entrepreneurship in Indian youth.

Union Budget 2024 - Transition from Amrit Kaal to Kartavya Kaal

Green Energy & Sustainable Development

The FM announced that a coal liquefaction and gasification capacity of 100MT is expected to be established by 2030.

Phased mandatory blending of CBG (compressed biogas) in piped natural gas (PNG) for domestic usage and compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport purposes.

The government is planning to bring more electric buses for public transport. With an aim to strengthen the EV ecosystem, more attention will be given to the charging infrastructure and manufacturing of electric vehicles.

Under the SNLP scheme, 1.3 crore LED-based street lights will be installed.

The Blue Economy 2.0 scheme is all set to launch with an aim to adapt and restore the mariculture and coastal aquaculture in the country.

Investment and Infrastructure

New airports will be developed while the existing ones will be expanded under the UDAN scheme.

NaMo Bharat and Metro Rail projects will lead to a large-scale urban transformation.

Three new railway corridors will be implemented under the PM Gati Shakti: a high-traffic density corridor, an energy, mineral and cement corridor, and a port connectivity corridor. The main objective here is to reduce costs while improving logistics efficiency.

Agriculture and Food Processing

The FM announced that the government is ready to promote public as well as private investment in activities related to post-harvest.

A comprehensive and efficient program will be formulated for dairy development.

The Nano-DAP application is all set to be expanded across the agro-climatic zones in the country.

The implementation of PM Matsya Sampada Yojana will be improved to double exports, increase productivity, and generate a higher number of job opportunities.

Atmanirbhar Oilseed Abhiyan will be implemented to establish self-dependence for oilseeds.

Inclusive Development

Healthcare

Cervical cancer vaccination is being promoted for females between 9 to 14 years of age.

Health coverage provided under the Ayushman Bharat Yojna will be further extended for all Aganwadi workers.

A special committee will be announced to analyse the major issues faced in the establishment of medical colleges in the country.

A U-WIN digital platform will be launched to fuel Mission Indradhanush.

Tourism

Interest-free long-term loans will be sanctioned to states to encourage the development of the tourism sector.

All the states will be encouraged to focus on the establishment of iconic tourist centres, including marketing and branding at the global level.

The framework for tourist centre ratings will be based on the services and facilities.

Housing

A housing scheme for the middle class will be launched to encourage the middle class to build or purchase their own houses.

The PM Awas Yojana is very close to touching the target of 3 crore houses. An additional target of 2 crore houses will be kept for the next five years.

Income Tax Union Budget 2024

Direct Tax Proposals

There are no changes in the income tax slabs; the same tax rates will be followed. Under the new tax regime, there will be no tax liability for taxpayers with income below ₹7 lakh.

22% of the corporate tax rate will be applicable to the existing domestic companies, while some new ones will attract a tax rate of 15%.

The Finance Minister announced that the processing time for income tax returns (ITR) has been reduced to just 10 days in 2023-24 from 93 days.

A proposal to extend the timeline for specific tax benefits for investments made via pension funds/sovereign wealth funds and certain startups. The time limit for tax exemption for some special IFSC units has been extended up to March 2025 from March 2024.

Goods and Service Tax (GST)

The FM announced that the average gross GST collection per month has almost doubled to an amount of ₹1.66 lakh crore in the fiscal year 2024.

FM stated that custom rates, import duties, etc., will not change in FY2024-25.

Budget Allocation for 2024-25

Nominal GDP (Real GDP + Inflation)

The nominal GDP for the fiscal year 2024 is estimated to be 11%.

India’s real GDP is estimated at 7.3% for this year and 7% for the next year.

Tax Revenue

The Indian government is expecting to collect more revenue from income tax, GST, and corporate tax than it estimated in the interim budget.

Indirect and direct tax revenue targets for this fiscal year are ₹15.29 lakh crore and 18.23 lakh crore, respectively. The combined tax collection estimate is ₹33.61 lakh crore.

Capital Expenditure

Planned capital expenditure for the current year has been increased to ₹10 lakh crore from ₹7.3 lakh crore last year.

The government will focus more on encouraging states to increase their expenditure on key projects and on building better overall infrastructure in the country.

Fiscal Deficit

The fiscal deficit for the current year is recorded at 5.9%, a slight decrease from 6.4% during the last fiscal year.

Privatisation/Disinvestment

The disinvestment target is expected to be missed for the 6th consecutive fiscal year.

The estimated government target for the next fiscal is ₹50,000 crore.

Borrowing

The gross borrowing budget is ₹15.43 lakh crore for this fiscal.

The government is planning to increase its investment in transportation infrastructure like building roads and bridges.

Budget Allocations for Important Schemes and Ministries for 2024

Ministry Budget (in ₹ lakh crore)
Ministry of Defence 6.2
Ministry of Railways 2.55
Ministry of Home Affairs 2.03
Ministry of Rural Development 1.77
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways 2.78
Ministry of Communications 1.37
Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers  1.68
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare 1.27
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution  2.13

Source: Union Budget

Budget Allocation for Important Schemes

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: ₹86,000 crore

Ayushman Bharat: ₹7,500 crore.

Solar Power Grid: ₹8,500 crore

Production Linked Incentive Scheme: ₹6,200 crore

Modified Program for Development of Semiconductors & Display Manufacturing Ecosystem: ₹6,903 Crore

National Green Hydrogen Mission: ₹600 crore

Meaning of Union Budget - What Exactly is the Union Budget?

The Union Budget is the annual budget of the country. Also known as the Annual Financial Statement, it is announced in February, right before the start of a new fiscal year, i.e. April to March.

According to Article 112 of our Constitution, the Union Budget refers to a statement of all the estimated expenses and receipts of the government for an upcoming fiscal year.

Union Budget is classified into two broad categories:

Revenue Budget: It is the portion of the budget that outlines the expected revenue collection and expenditure of the government within the year. It majorly includes revenue collection from taxes and a few other resources.

Capital Budget: It is the portion of the budget that outlines all the assets and liabilities of the government.

Objectives of Union Budget 2024

The primary objective of the Union Budget is to stimulate higher economic growth, ensure efficient resource allocation, promote social equality and justice, and maintain economic stability.

Interim Vs Full Budget: What is the Difference?

Since elections are due in 2024, an interim budget is announced by the Finance Minister instead of a full budget.

A full budget is planned and announced for a fiscal year starting from April 1st to March 31st. It covers the entire fiscal year.

On the other hand, an interim budget is announced as an interim measure until the new government has come to power.

The incumbent government can not pass a full-fledged fiscal budget. Thus, an interim budget is passed to provide the government with temporary financial assistance and to gain a vote on account.

Union Budget Expectations - What was Expected from the Union Budget 2024 Before the Announcement? <

Increase in Home Loan Interest Limit: Currently, the maximum deduction available on the repayment of home loan interest is ₹2 lakh. However, this amount is very low looking at the significant increase in the property rates. For this reason, the interest limit on home loans needs to be increased.

Inclusion of Home Loan Under New Tax Regime: As per the new tax regime, interest payment on a rented-out home/property is allowed.

But the same can not be said for the self-occupied home/property. With an aim to encourage more people to buy their own houses, the new tax regime is expected to include home loan interest repayment.

Increased Tax Deduction Limit u/s 80D: The budget 2024 is expected to increase the tax deduction limit u/s 80D to ₹50,000 from ₹25,000 for policyholders and their dependents, and from 50,000 to 75,000 for policyholder’s parents above 60 years. This is necessary to look at the increasing health insurance policy premium cost.

Inclusion of Deductions u/s 80 D in New Tax Regime: Inclusions of section 80D are necessary to encourage people to prioritise their health by investing in health insurance. Including the budget for the insurance sector will eventually increase the acceptance of the new tax regime.

Final Words

Although the interim union budget 2024 is a temporary measure until the formation of a new government, it provides us with a detailed insight into the current financial health and future vision of the government.

Understanding the budget will help businesses as well as individuals to devise better strategies and make informed financial decisions.

Note that the interim budget is not the final financial statement. Once a new government is formed after elections in 2024, a full budget for the financial year 2024-25 will be announced, highlighting the future vision and plans of the Indian government.

Budget and Insurance 2024: Enjoy Tax Deductions with Your Health Insurance Policy

While the full-fledged budget for 2024-25 is yet to be disclosed, one thing is sure: it will definitely include Section 80D tax deductions on health insurance premiums.

By investing in Tata AIG health insurance, you can enjoy dual benefits: Reduce your tax burden and Enjoy comprehensive healthcare coverage.

There are many more benefits of health insurance apart from the excellent tax deductions. These include financial coverage during unforeseen medical circumstances, cashless treatment at any hospital, budget-friendly premium rates, a wide range of add-ons, and more.

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FAQS

Who presented the first union budget of independent India?

The first union budget after the independence of India was presented on November 26th, 1947, by Shri R.K Shanmukham Chetty. It presented a gross revenue of ₹171.15 crore and an estimated expenditure of ₹197.29 crore. Defence expenditure at that time stood at ₹92.74 crore.

When will the full budget for 2024 be announced?

The full budget for FY 2024 and 25 will be announced after the successful formation of the new Indian government.

How many budgets have been presented until this year?

Since the independence of India, a total of 91 budgets have been passed. The union budget 2024-25 will be the 92nd union budget.

Disclaimer / TnC

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