Budget 2023 Live: BJP Leaders Hail Budget; Oppn Lashes Out, Calls It 'Anti-Poor'

Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while addressing the media, after the budget presentation, said that the budget is 'beautifully balanced' in her opening remarks.

Earlier, while presenting the Union Budget 2023 on 1 February, in the Lok Sabha, announced that those earning an income of up to Rs 7 lakh will be exempted from paying the income tax under the New Tax Regime.

She also added that the New Tax Regime will be the default regime.

Here are the key highlights of Union Budget 2023:

  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Budget hopes to build on foundation of previous budget and blueprint for India@100

  • PM Awas Yojana is being enhanced by 66% to over Rs 79,000 crore

  • Capital investment outlay being increased by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore, which would be 3.3% of GDP

  • 157 new nursing colleges will be established in colocation with the existing 157 medical colleges established since 2014

  • Rs 2.40 lakh crore outlay for railways is highest ever, 9 times more than 2013-14 outlay

  • Agri Credit target to be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore, 'Agriculture Accelerator Fund' to be set up to encourage startups by young entrepreneurs


'Focus on Primitive Tribal Groups is a Welcome Step'

"Welcome PM's trust in millets. Odisha millet mission is a pioneering initiative. I'm happy that millet was given importance in budget. Focus on new-world technologies like artificial intelligence is appreciable. The focus on primitive tribal groups is a welcome step," says Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.


' Govt Committed To Increase Income of Farmers': Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah hails announcements on cooperative sector, says government is committed to increase income of farmers.


'PM Doesn't Care': Rahul Gandhi

Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi, slammed the budget and said that this proves that the government "has no roadmap to build India's future."


'Will Take India Forward': Union Min Anurag Thakur

"First budget of Amrit Kaal has created a strong base for India's bright future. People from all sectors and every state of the country will benefit from this budget. This has a lot to offer to our youth. This is a budget that will take India forward," says Union Minister Anurag Thakur.


'Will Boost Border Infrastructure': Defence Ministry on Budget

"The allocation under this segment has doubled in two years since FY 2021-22. This will boost the Border infrastructure thereby creating strategically important assets like Sela Tunnel, Nechipu Tunnel and Sela-Chhabrela Tunnel & will also enhance border connectivity," the Defence Ministry said while reacting to the Union Budget.


'Has Betrayed Hopes': P Chidambaram

Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the Budget has betrayed the hopes of a vast majority of people.

According to him, it shows how far removed the government is from the people and their concerns about life, livelihood and the growing inequality between the rich and the poor.

“Let me begin by pointing out, with regret, that the FM has not mentioned the words unemployment, poverty, inequality or equity anywhere in her speech," he said.


'Budget for Growth & Development': Hardeep  Puri

It's a budget for growth and development. In the last 2 years, we faced many difficulties but thanks to farsighted policies of PM, we are back to pre-Covid level of economic activities in every sector. Capital expenditure increased by 33% to Rs 10 lakh Cr," Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.


'Budget Will Drown Country in Debt': Delhi Dy CM Manish Sisodia

While reacting to the Union Budget, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says:

"Most worrisome thing about budget is that it will drown country in debt."


'Price of Wheat Will Come Down': Finance Minister

"The government has decided to release wheat into the market due to which the price of wheat will come down. Before the budget, we had already taken action to ease wheat prices," says Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


'Those Who Want To Remain in Old Tax Regime Can Stay': FM

"We are not compelling anybody. Those who want to remain in Old can still remain there. But the new one is attractive because it gives a greater rebate. It also provides for simplified & smaller slabs, smaller lower rates of taxation & also slabs which are nicely broken down," says Union Finance Minister Nirmila Sitharaman.


'Budget Gives Leg-Up To Capital Investment': FM

"The Budget gives a big leg-up to capital investment, it also attends to MSMEs as they are the engine of growth, it sustains capital investment and also gives a push to the private sector while also giving tax reliefs to individuals and middle class," Union Finance Minister said.


'New Tax Regime Has Got Greater Incentives': FM

"The new taxation regime has now got greater incentives, and attractions so that people can unhesitatingly move from the old to the new. We are not compelling anyone. But the new one is now attractive as it gives greater rebates," Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, while addressing the media, after the budget.


'Trying To Unleash Digital Economy': FM Sitharaman

"We are looking at a futuristic fintech sector, people will be trained through Industrial Revolution 4.0, we are trying to unleash digital economy in various walks of life," the finance minister said in an address to the media.


FM Highlights 4 Emphasis Points of Budget

The Finance Minister, while addressing the media, talked about the 4 emphasis points in the budget:

1) Empowering women

2) Tourism and training of youth for readying themselves for tourism

3) PM Vikas which is about 'those making things with their hands'

4) Green sector


Markets End Flat After Budget

Sensex ends almost flat after sharp fluctuations in markets post budget presentation.


'Nothing In The Budget For Poor People': Cong Prez Kharge

"The budget was presented by the Modi govt keeping in view the upcoming Assembly polls in 3-4 states. There's nothing in the budget for poor people & to control inflation. No steps for jobs, to fill govt vacancies & MNREGA," Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, said, according to news agency ANI.


' Will Benefit Poor, Women & Middle Class': Madhya Pradesh CM

"This budget is for the welfare of every sector and every state of the country. It's for benefit of the poor, women & middle-class people along with empowering weaker sections & the youth," says Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.


'Budget Shows Far-Sighted Leadership of PM Modi': Nadda

"First budget of Amrit Kaal shows the visionary and far-sighted leadership of PM Modi. This budget shows our stable economy, power of young India and multicultural work ethics," BJP national president JP Nadda said, according to ANI.


'Budget Balanced But Misses Out On Key Real Estate Sector Demands'

“The 2023 Budget, in a pre-election year, sought to build on the roadmap laid down by previous budgets, focusing on inclusive development, fostering growth and job creation while keeping the macro-economy in a stable yet growth-oriented mode," Dr Samantak Das, Chief Economist, and Head of Research and REIS, India, JLL said.

"It has given more money into the hands of individuals and households which would, to a large extent, ease out the increasing pressure on account of home loan EMIs and rising home prices," he pointed out.

"The increase in allocation for PMAY by a significant 66% would help continue capital flow under CLSS and other related schemes. Addressing the need for creating sustainable cities of tomorrow through urban planning, ease of land availability and promoting TOD schemes will be key towards sustainable development moving forward," he said.

"Focus on overall infrastructure development and on Tier 2 and 3 cities will be key to overall economic development. The Budget is a balanced one for the economy while missing out on key real estate sector demands," he added.


Budget 2023 To Drive Investments In Economy: HDFC Chief Economist

"The budget recognised that it would have to continue playing the lead role in driving investments in the economy given the rising global risks and only a nascent recovery in the private capex cycle. The capital outlay for 2023-24 was raised to INR 10 lakh crore, a rise of 33% year on year," said Abheek Barua, Chief Economist and Executive Vice President, HDFC Bank.

"The budget also pays heed to the need for fiscal consolidation reducing its fiscal deficit target to 5.9% of GDP in 2023-24 from 6.4% in 2022-23. The resultant lower than expected market borrowing number is likely to bring some relief for the bond market. We see the 10-year bond yield to moderate towards 7-7.1% in FY24," he told The Quint.

Burual also said that the adjustments in income tax slabs are likely to boost consumption and savings in the economy, benefitting taxpayers particularly at the lower brackets of the income pyramid.


Sharp Fluctuation in Markets 

The stock market is witnessing sharp fluctuation post-Budget presentation, with Sensex plummetting 700 points and Nifty falling 200 points after the rise witnessed in the morning.


'Isn't Addressing Real Sentiment of Country': KC Venugopal

"This budget isn't addressing real sentiment of country that's unemployment and price rise. It only had fancy announcements that were made earlier too but what about implementation? Only insurance companies were benefited from PM Kisan Yojana not farmers," says Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal.


PM Modi Hails Budget For Being Centric To Women, Middle Class

"First budget of Amrit Kaal will build a strong foundation for building a developed India. This budget will fulfil dreams of aspirational society including poor people, middle-class people, farmers," PM Narendra Modi said.

Here are the highlights from his speech:

  • This Budget gives preference to the underprivileged.

  • This Budget fulfils dreams of aspirational society including poor, middle class and farmers.

  • This Budget is for sustainable future.

  • Digital payment to be introduced in the agriculture sector.

  • Budget for Vishwakarmas: "Those toiling traditionally through their hands for the country, 'Vishvakarma' are the creators of this country," PM Modi said.

  • We have reduced tax-rate and have given relief accordingly.


Maximum Deposit Limit Upped For Senior Citizens'

The maximum deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme will be enhanced from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, FM Sitharaman announced.


'Disappointing Budget': Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav

"It's a Budget presented keeping elections in mind. While some relaxations have been given to the middle class, the government hasn't said anything about Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers, employment or youth. Railways was also ignored. It has been a disappointing budget," Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav told news agency ANI.


‘Sapno Ka Saudagar Budget’: JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan

"There is nothing in this Budget. It is like ‘Sapno Ka Saudagar’ - nothing comes true when you wake up after a dream. Also, nothing was mentioned about how to control inflation and unemployment," JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan told news agency ANI.


What Gets Costlier, and What Gets Cheaper

Here are things which are likely to get cheaper

Mobile Phones, as FM Sitharaman announced an import duty cut on mobile phone equipment

Television Sets, as customs duty was cut on parts of TV panels

Lab-grown diamonds, as customs duty reduced on seeds used for its manufacturing

Shrimp feed, so as to promote exports

Here are things which are likely to get costlier:

Cigarettes, tax upped by 16 percent

Articles made from gold bars

Kitchen electric chimney

Compounded rubber


'No Mention Of MGNREGA, Employment': Tharoor  

"There was no mention of MGNREGA, poor rural labour, employment and inflation. Some fundamental questions remained to be answered," Congress MP Shashi Tharoor told news agency ANI, although he added that there were some good things in the Budget.


Congress Takes A Dig At The Union Budget-2023


'Standard Deduction Hiked' 

My third proposal is for the salaried class and the pensioners including family pensioners, for whom I propose to extend the benefit of standard deduction to the new tax regime. Each salaried person with an income of Rs 15.5 lakh or more will thus stand to benefit by Rs 52,500.


Cigarettes To Get Costlier

"National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) on specified cigarettes was last revised three years ago. This is proposed to be revised upwards by about 16 per cent," FM Sitharaman said.


No Income Tax for Earnings Up to Rs 7 Lakh

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that people earning an income up to Rs 7 Lakh will have to pay no income tax. The rebate has been increased from Rs 5 lakh earlier to Rs 7 lakh now.

Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.

Surcharge Rate Reduced From 37% to 25%

"The current tax rate in country is 42.74%, among the highest in world. Budget-23 proposes to reduce the surcharge rate from 37% to 25% in the New Tax Regime. This will result in the reduction of the maximum tax rate to 39%," FM Sitharaman said.


Customs Duty Slashed on Many Products

"I propose to reduce the number of basic Customs Duty rates on goods other than textiles and agriculture, from 21% to 13%. As a result, there are minor changes in the basic custom duties, cesses & surcharges on some items including toys, bicycles, automobiles," FM Nirmala Sitharaman said.


Big Announcements For Environment

  • Green credit programme will be notified under the Environment Protection Act

  • Budget provides for Rs 35,000 cr for priority capital investment towards energy transition & net zero objective

  • Govt targeting 5 MT of Green Hydrogen production by 2030

  • Govt to support setting up of battery energy storage of 4,000 MwH

  • Green credit programme will be notified to incentivise environmentally sustainable and responsible actions by companies

  • Govt to take up mangrove plantation along the coastline under the new MISHTI scheme

  • Govt to promote conservation values through a scheme to encourage optimal use of wetlands

  • Allocating adequate funds for scrapping old polluting vehicles of govt


'Fiscal Deficit at 6.4%'

"The current fiscal deficit is at 6.4 percent of the GDP," FM Sitharaman announced, adding that the economy is on the right path and aims to bring the fiscal deficit down to 4.5 percent of the GDP by 2025-26.

"The fiscal deficit target for FY 2023-2024 is at 5.9% of the GDP," FM Sitharaman said.


'Special Savings Scheme For Women'

"In line with the sentiment of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Mahila Samman Savings Certificate to be launched wherein women can make deposits of up to Rs 2 lakh at an interest rate of 7.5% for maximum two years ," FM Sitharaman said.

This is a one-time saving scheme, she added.


'Skill Development For Youth'

"PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will be launched to skill lakhs of youth within the next three years. The digital ecosystem for skilling will be enhanced with the launch of a digital platform," FM Sitharaman said.


'Unity Malls To Be Set Up To Promote Indigenous Products'

"A Unity Mall should be set up in the capital city of each state where sale and purchase of ODOPs or 'One District One Product', GI Products and other handicraft can take place," FM Sitharaman said.


'Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence To Be Set Up'

"For realising the vision of Make AI in India and Make AI work for India, 3 Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set up in top educational institutions," FM Sitharaman added.

"Leading industry players will partner in conducting inter-disciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications & scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health and sustainable cities," she added.

Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.

Highlights From Education

  • 38,800 teachers will be hired for Ekalavya Model Residential Schools

  • National Digital Library for children and adolescents will be set up for facilitating quality books

  • States will be encouraged to set up physical libraries for them at panchayat and ward levels and provide infrastructure for accessing the National Digital Library resources:

Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.

'Capital Investment Outlay Upped By 33%'

"Capital investment outlay being increased by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore, which would be 3.3% of GDP," FM Sitharaman said.


'Highest Ever Railways Budget'

"Rs 2.40 lakh crore outlay for railways is highest ever, 9 times more than 2013-14 outlay," FM Sitharaman said.


'New Nursing Colleges To Be Introduced': FM

"157 new nursing colleges will be established in colocation with the existing 157 medical colleges established since 2014," FM Nirmala Sitharaman said.

"ICMR Labs will be made available for research and innovation", she added.

Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.

'Awas Yojana Budget Upped By 66%'

  • PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman-package of assistance for traditional artisans and craftspeople has been conceptualised, will enable them to improve quality, scale & reach of their products, integrating with MSME value chain: FM Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament

  • Agriculture Accelerator Fund to be set up to encourage startups by young entrepreneurs.

  • A new programme to promote research in Pharma will be launched

  • PMPVTG Mission- Prime Minister Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Group is being launched -- Rs. 15,000 cr will be made available.

  • PM Awas Yojana is being enhanced by 66% to over Rs 79,000 crore


Sitharaman Lists 'Seven Priorities' of Union Budget

Speaking in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Union Budget 2023-24 focuses on seven priorities, the “saptrishi guiding us through Amrit Kaal”. These are:

  1. inclusive development

  2. reaching the last mile

  3. infrastructure and investment

  4. unleashing the potential

  5. green growth

  6. youth power

  7. financial sector

Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.

Big Announcements For Agriculture Sector

  • PPP for cotton production, digital infrastructure for agriculture.

  • India is at the forefront of promoting millets or 'Shree Anna'. Jowar, Ragi, Kuttu, Bajrahave been an integral part of diet since Centuries. Govt to support Hyderabad-based millet institute as Centre of Excellence.

  • Agri Credit target to be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore

  • Agriculture Accelerator Fund to be set up to encourage startups by young entrepreneurs.

  • New sub scheme in PM Matsya Samapada Yojana with investment of Rs 6,000 crore

  • To enhance yield of extra long staple cotton, government will adopt a cluster-based and value chain approach

Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.
Catch all live updates of the Union Budget 2023 presentation here.

Key Highlights of the Introduction of Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget:

  • This is the first Budget in 'Amrit Kaal', says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

  • Finance minister says this Budget hopes to build on foundation of previous budget and blueprint for India@100.

  • In the 75th year of Independence, the world has recognised India as a bright star

  • India's growth at 7 percent in current fiscal highest among major economies; Indian economy on right track. The world appreciates India's achievements

  • We ensured that no one went hungry during pandemic by providing free foodgrains to 80 crore poor people

  • In times of global challenges, G-20 presidency gives us opportunity to strengthen India's role in global order

  • Indian economy has increased in size from being 10th to 5th largest in last nine years


'Per Capita Income Doubled'

"The efforts of this government since 2014 have ensured that all citizens have a better quality of life as well as life of dignity. The per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh," FM Sitharaman said.


'G-20 Presidency Puts India on Global Map'

"G-20 Presidency gives India the unique opporunity to put itself on the global map. Indian Ecoomy has increased in size from being the tenth to the fifth largest economy in the world," FM Sitharaman said.


FM Sitharaman Begins Budget Speech

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman begins presenting the last full Budget of the Modi 2.0 govt.


Sonia Gandhi Arrives At Parliament

Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi arrives at Parliament ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget today.


'This Will Be The Best Budget'

"This will be the best budget. This will be a pro-poor, pro-middle class budget," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, news agency ANI has reported.


How India Spends, Earns

Last year, Sitharaman, in her Budget speech, remarked that spending would be upped to an estimated Rs 39.45 lakh, which will lead to further widening of the fiscal deficit.

The Quint breaks down how the government spends its money and what its sources of income are.

Read here.


PM Modi Arrives at Parliament, Cabinet Meeting Begins 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Parliament to attend the Budget Session, where FM Sitharaman will present Union Budget 2023.

The Union Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Modi has begun at the Parliament. After the Cabinet approves the Budget 2023, it will be presented in Lok Sabha at 11.00 am.


Union Budget 2023 to be 'Paperless' Again

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived at the Parliament carrying a digital tablet wrapped in a traditional 'bahi-khata' style pouch to present yet another paperless Budget.

With the tablet carefully kept inside a red cover with a golden-coloured national emblem embossed on it instead of the briefcase, she went straight to Parliament after meeting President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

When was the Budget Briefcase replaced with the 'bahi-khata', and when did it go paperless, read here to find out.


FM Sitharaman Arrives at Parliament

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has arrived at the Parliament ahead of Budget presentation, scheduled to be presented at 11.00 am in Lok Sabha.

A Union Cabinet meeting will be held at 10 am following which the finance minister will present the Budget.


India’s Tax Reforms: Will Modi Govt’s 2023 Budget Be Middle-Class Friendly?

Over the last three years, before every Union Budget, we have presented a case for introducing a consumption-based tax on the ultra-rich (maybe the top 1 percent at first and then expanding the base to the top 5-10 percent wealth-endowed class of citizens over a three to five-year road map).

Introducing a ‘consumption-based’ tax on the ultra-rich isn’t just about ‘socio-economic justice’, or about ensuring distributive equity as important as that is, it’s also about being practical about the macro-fiscal realities the Union government faces.

Among these are an asymmetrically skewed direct-indirect tax revenue base (heavily dependent on indirect taxes), a widening fiscal deficit, lesser tax-non tax revenue sources available to the government, which has made it to borrow more over the last few years for deficit financing purposes.

Read the full analysis here.


Markets Open in Green

Ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the markets opened with a positive sentiment, with Sensex up by 437.32. Meanwhile, nifty was above 17,750.


Nirmala Sitharaman Meets President Murmu

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, MoS Pankaj Chaudhary and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance met President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget 2023-24.


Nirmala Sitharaman Arrives at Finance Ministry

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived at the finance ministry ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2023.


Economic Survey Predicts GDP Growth Between 6-6.8% in Financial Year 2023-24

The Economic Survey presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, 31 January, projected a real GDP growth of 6.5 percent for the Indian economy in the financial year 2023-23, starting April 2023.

The GDP growth (in real terms) is estimated to be 7 percent for the financial year ending in March 2023. This comes after an 8.7 percent real GDP growth was recorded in the previous financial year (FY 2021-22), the central government indicated.


IMF Forecasts Growth in India at 6.8% In 2024

While the fear of a recession looms and this year is expected to witness slugging numbers in terms of economic development, special praise finds its way to India.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the January update of its World Economic Outlook said on Tuesday, 31 January, that the country's path to a strong economic model and making the population digitally compliant have been tough but helped greatly.

The global growth which is estimated at 3.4 percent in 2022 is projected to fall to 2.9 percent in 2023 and then rise to 3.1 percent in 2024. World trade growth is expected to decline in 2023 to 2.4 percent and rise to 3.4 percent in 2024, IMF said.

India is projected to surpass Germany to become the fourth-largest economy by 2027 is expected to expand faster than Japan by 2028.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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