Budget 2024 Summary

Budget 2024 Summary


Inclusive Development and Growth
Social Justice
Exemplary Track Record of Governance,
Development and Performance (GDP)
Economic Management
Global Context
Vision for ‘Viksit Bharat’
Strategy for ‘Amrit Kaal’
Infrastructure Development
Amrit Kaal as Kartavya Kaal
Revised Estimates 2023-24
Budget Estimates 2024-25 

Direct taxes 25
Indirect Taxes 26
Economy – Then and Now

Interim Budget 2024-2025
Speech of
Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of Finance
February 1, 2024


1. The Indian economy has witnessed profound positive
transformation in the last ten years. The people of India are
looking ahead to the future with hope and optimism.

2. With the blessings of the people, when our Government
under the visionary and dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime
Minister Shri Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014, the country
was facing enormous challenges. With ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka
Vikas’ as its ‘mantra’, the Government overcame those
challenges in right earnest. Structural reforms were undertaken.
Pro-people programmes were formulated and implemented
promptly. Conditions were created for more opportunities for
employment and entrepreneurship. The economy got a new
vigour. The fruits of development started reaching the people at
scale. The country got a new sense of purpose and hope.
Naturally, the people blessed the Government with a bigger

3. In the second term, our Government under the leadership
of Hon’ble Prime Minister doubled down on its responsibilities to
build a prosperous country with comprehensive development of
all people and all regions. Our Government strengthened its
‘mantra’ to ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas’. Our
development philosophy covered all elements of inclusivity,
 social inclusivity through coverage of all strata of the
society, and
 geographical inclusivity through development of all
regions of the country.
4. With the ‘whole of nation’ approach of ‘Sabka Prayas’, the
country overcame the challenge of a once-in-a-century
pandemic, took long strides towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’,
committed to ‘Panch Pran’, and laid solid foundations for the
‘Amrit Kaal’. As a result, our young country has high aspirations,
pride in its present, and hope and confidence for a bright future.
We expect that our Government, based on its stupendous work,
will be blessed again by the people with a resounding mandate.

Inclusive Development and Growth

5. Our humane and inclusive approach to development is a
marked and deliberate departure from the earlier approach of
‘provisioning up-to-village level’. Development programmes, in
the last ten years, have targeted each and every household and
individual, through ‘housing for all’, ‘har ghar jal’, electricity for
all, cooking gas for all, bank accounts and financial services for
all, in record time.
6. The worries about food have been eliminated through free
ration for 80 crore people. Minimum support prices for the
produce of ‘Annadata’ are periodically increased appropriately.
These and the provision of basic necessities have enhanced real
income in the rural areas. Their economic needs could be
addressed, thus spurring growth and generating jobs.

Social Justice

7. Our Government is working with an approach to
development that is all-round, all-pervasive and all-inclusive
(सर्वांगीण, सर्वस्पर्शी और सर्वसमवर्ेर्शी). It covers all castes and
people at all levels. We are working to make India a ‘Viksit
Bharat’ by 2047. For achieving that goal, we need to improve
people’s capability and empower them

8. Previously, social justice was mostly a political slogan. For
our Government, social justice is an effective and necessary
governance model. The saturation approach of covering all
eligible people is the true and comprehensive achievement of
social justice. This is secularism in action, reduces corruption,
and prevents nepotism (भवई-भतीजवर्वद). There is transparency
and assurance that benefits are delivered to all eligible people.
The resources are distributed fairly. All, regardless of their social
standing, get access to opportunities. We are addressing
systemic inequalities that had plagued our society. We focus on outcomes and not on outlays so that the socio-economic
transformation is achieved.

9. As our Prime Minister firmly believes, we need to focus on
four major castes. They are, ‘Garib’ (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’
(Women), ‘Yuva’ (Youth) and ‘Annadata’ (Farmer). Their needs,
their aspirations, and their welfare are our highest priority. The
country progresses, when they progress. All four require and
receive government support in their quest to better their lives.
Their empowerment and well-being will drive the country

Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan

10. We believe in empowering the poor. The earlier approach
of tackling poverty through entitlements had resulted in very
modest outcomes. When the poor become empowered partners
in the development process, government’s power to assist them
also increases manifold. With the pursuit of ‘Sabka ka Saath’ in
these 10 years, the Government has assisted 25 crore people to
get freedom from multi-dimensional poverty. Our Government’s
efforts are now getting synergized with energy and passion of
such empowered people. This is truly elevating them from

12. PM-SVANidhi has provided credit assistance to 78 lakh
street vendors. From that total, 2.3 lakh have received credit for
the third time.

13. PM-JANMAN Yojana reaches out to the particularly
vulnerable tribal groups, who have remained outside the realm
of development so far. PM-Vishwakarma Yojana provides end-toend support to artisans and craftspeople engaged in 18 trades.
The schemes for empowerment of Divyangs and Transgender
persons reflect firm resolve of our Government to leave no one

Welfare of Annadata

14. Farmers are our ‘Annadata’. Every year, under PM-KISAN
SAMMAN Yojana, direct financial assistance is provided to
11.8 crore farmers, including marginal and small farmers. Crop
insurance is given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima
Yojana. These, besides several other programmes, are assisting
‘Annadata’ in producing food for the country and the world.

15. Electronic National Agriculture Market has integrated
1361 mandis, and is providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with
trading volume of ` 3 lakh crore.

16. The sector is poised for inclusive, balanced, higher growth
and productivity. These are facilitated from farmer-centric
policies, income support, coverage of risks through price and insurance support, promotion of technologies and innovations
through start-ups.

Empowering Amrit Peedhi, the Yuva

17. Our prosperity depends on adequately equipping and
empowering the youth. The National Education Policy 2020 is
ushering in transformational reforms. PM ScHools for Rising India
(PM SHRI) are delivering quality teaching, and nurturing holistic
and well-rounded individuals.
18. The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth,
upskilled and reskilled 54 lakh youth, and established 3000 new
ITIs. A large number of new institutions of higher learning,
namely 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS and 390 universities have
been set up.
19. PM Mudra Yojana has sanctioned 43 crore loans
aggregating to ` 22.5 lakh crore for entrepreneurial aspirations
of our youth. Besides that, Fund of Funds, Start Up India, and
Start Up Credit Guarantee schemes are assisting our youth. They
are also becoming ‘rozgardata’.

20. The country is proud of our youth scaling new heights in
sports. The highest ever medal tally in Asian Games and Asian
Para Games in 2023 reflects a high confidence level. Chess
prodigy and our Number-One ranked player Praggnanandhaa put
up a stiff fight against the reigning World Champion Magnus
Carlsson in 2023. Today, India has over 80 chess grandmasters
compared to little over 20 in 2010.

Momentum for Nari Shakti

21. The empowerment of women through entrepreneurship,
ease of living, and dignity for them has gained momentum in
these ten years.
22. Thirty crore Mudra Yojana loans have been given to
women entrepreneurs. Female enrolment in higher education
has gone up by twenty-eight per cent in ten years. In STEM
courses, girls and women constitute forty-three per cent of
enrolment – one of the highest in the world. All these measures
are getting reflected in the increasing participation of women in
23. Making ‘Triple Talaq’ illegal, reservation of one-third seats
for women in the Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies, and
giving over seventy per cent houses under PM Awas Yojana in
rural areas to women as sole or joint owners have enhanced
their dignity.

Exemplary Track Record of Governance, Development and
Performance (GDP)

24. Besides delivering on high growth in terms of Gross
Domestic Product, the Government is equally focused on a more
comprehensive ‘GDP’, i.e., ’Governance, Development and
25. Our Government has provided transparent, accountable,
people-centric and prompt trust-based administration with‘citizen-first’ and ‘minimum government, maximum governance’

26. The impact of all-round development is discernible in all
sectors. There is macro-economic stability, including in the
external sector. Investments are robust. The economy is doing
27. People are living better and earning better, with even
greater aspirations for the future. Average real income of the
people has increased by fifty per cent. Inflation is moderate.
People are getting empowered, equipped and enabled to pursue
their aspirations. There is effective and timely delivery of
programmes and of large projects.

Economic Management

28. The multipronged economic management over the past
ten years has complemented people-centric inclusive
development. Following are some of the major elements.
(1) All forms of infrastructure, physical, digital or social,
are being built in record time.
(2) All parts of the country are becoming active
participants in economic growth.
(3) Digital Public Infrastructure, a new ‘factor of
production’ in the 21st century, is instrumental in
formalization of the economy.

(4) Goods and Services Tax has enabled ‘One Nation,
One Market, One Tax’. Tax reforms have led to
deepening and widening of tax base.
(5) Strengthening of the financial sector has helped in
making savings, credit and investments more
(6) GIFT IFSC and the unified regulatory authority, IFSCA
are creating a robust gateway for global capital and
financial services for the economy.
(7) Proactive inflation management has helped keep
inflation within the policy band.

Global Context

29. Geopolitically, global affairs are becoming more complex
and challenging with wars and conflicts. Globalization is being
redefined with reshoring and friend-shoring, disruption and
fragmentation of supply chains, and competition for critical
minerals and technologies. A new world order is emerging after
the Covid pandemic.
30. India assumed G20 Presidency during very difficult times
for the world. The global economy was going through high
inflation, high interest rates, low growth, very high public debt,
low trade growth, and climate challenges. The pandemic had led
to a crisis of food, fertilizer, fuel and finances for the world, while
India successfully navigated its way. The country showed the way forward and built consensus on solutions for those global
31. The recently announced India-Middle East-Europe
Economic Corridor is a strategic and economic game changer for
India and others. In the words of Hon’ble Prime Minister, the
corridor “will become the basis of world trade for hundreds of
years to come, and history will remember that this corridor was
initiated on Indian soil”.

Vision for ‘Viksit Bharat’

32. Our vision for ‘Viksit Bharat’ is that of “Prosperous Bharat
in harmony with nature, with modern infrastructure, and
providing opportunities for all citizens and all regions to reach
their potential”.
33. With confidence arising from strong and exemplary trackrecord of performance and progress earning ‘Sabka Vishwas’, the
next five years will be years of unprecedented development, and
golden moments to realize the dream of developed India @
2047. The trinity of demography, democracy and diversity
backed by ‘Sabka Prayas’ has the potential to fulfill aspirations of
every Indian.
34. As Hon’ble Prime Minister in his Independence Day
address to the nation mentioned, “There is no dearth of
opportunities; as many opportunities as we want. The country is
capable of creating more opportunities. Sky’s the limit”.

Strategy for ‘Amrit Kaal’

35. Our Government will adopt economic policies that foster
and sustain growth, facilitate inclusive and sustainable
development, improve productivity, create opportunities for all,
help them enhance their capabilities, and contribute to
generation of resources to power investments and fulfil
36. Guided by the principle ‘Reform, Perform, and Transform’,
the Government will take up next generation reforms, and build
consensus with the states and stakeholders for effective

37. It is an important policy priority for our Government to
ensure timely and adequate finances, relevant technologies and
appropriate training for the Micro, Small and Medium
Enterprises (MSME) to grow and also compete globally. Orienting
the regulatory environment to facilitate their growth will be an
important element of this policy mix.
38. Aligning with the ‘Panchamrit’ goals, our Government will
facilitate sustaining high and more resource-efficient economic
growth. This will work towards energy security in terms of
availability, accessibility and affordability.
39. For meeting the investment needs our Government will
prepare the financial sector in terms of size, capacity, skills and
regulatory framework.

Aspirational Districts Programme

40. Our Government stands ready to assist the states in faster
development of aspirational districts and blocks, including
generation of ample economic opportunities.

Development of the East

41. Our Government will pay utmost attention to make the
eastern region and its people a powerful driver of India’s growth.

PM Awas Yojana (Grameen)

42. Despite the challenges due to COVID, implementation of
PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) continued and we are close to
achieving the target of three crore houses. Two crore more
houses will be taken up in the next five years to meet the
requirement arising from increase in the number of families.

Rooftop solarization and muft bijli

43. Through rooftop solarization, one crore households will
be enabled to obtain up to 300 units free electricity every month.
This scheme follows the resolve of Hon’ble Prime Minister on the
historic day of consecration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Following benefits are expected.
a. Savings up to fifteen to eighteen thousand rupees
annually for households from free solar electricity and
selling the surplus to the distribution companies;
b. Charging of electric vehicles;

c. Entrepreneurship opportunities for a large number of
vendors for supply and installation;
d. Employment opportunities for the youth with technical
skills in manufacturing, installation and maintenance;

Housing for middle class

44. Our Government will launch a scheme to help deserving
sections of the middle class “living in rented houses, or slums, or
chawls and unauthorized colonies” to buy or build their own

Medical Colleges

45. Several youth are ambitious to get qualified as doctors.
They aim to serve our people through improved healthcare
services. Our Government plans to set up more medical colleges
by utilizing the existing hospital infrastructure under various
departments. A committee for this purpose will be set-up to
examine the issues and make relevant recommendations.

Cervical Cancer Vaccination

46. Our Government will encourage vaccination for girls in age
group of 9 to 14 years for prevention of cervical cancer.

Maternal and child health care

47. Various schemes for maternal and child care will be
brought under one comprehensive programme for synergy in
implementation. Upgradation of anganwadi centres under
“Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0” will be expedited for improved nutrition delivery, early childhood care and

48. The newly designed U-WIN platform for managing
immunization and intensified efforts of Mission Indradhanush
will be rolled out expeditiously throughout the country

Ayushman Bharat

49. Healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme will be
extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers.

Agriculture and food processing

50. The efforts for value addition in agricultural sector and
boosting farmers’ income will be stepped up. Pradhan Mantri
Kisan Sampada Yojana has benefitted 38 lakh farmers and
generated 10 lakh employment. Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of
Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana has assisted 2.4 lakh
SHGs and sixty thousand individuals with credit linkages. Other
schemes are complementing the efforts for reducing postharvest losses, and improving productivity and incomes.
51. For ensuring faster growth of the sector, our Government
will further promote private and public investment in
post-harvest activities including aggregation, modern storage,
efficient supply chains, primary and secondary processing and
marketing and branding.

Nano DAP

52. After the successful adoption of Nano Urea, application of
Nano DAP on various crops will be expanded in all agro-climatic

Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan

53. Building on the initiative announced in 2022, a strategy
will be formulated to achieve ‘atmanirbharta’ for oil seeds such
as mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower. This
will cover research for high-yielding varieties, widespread
adoption of modern farming techniques, market linkages,
procurement, value addition, and crop insurance.

Dairy Development

54. A comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers
will be formulated. Efforts are already on to control foot and
mouth disease. India is the world’s largest milk producer but
with low productivity of milch-animals. The programme will be
built on the success of existing schemes such Rashtriya Gokul
Mission, National Livestock Mission, and Infrastructure
Development Funds for dairy processing and animal husbandry.

Matsya Sampada

55. It was our Government which set up a separate
Department for Fisheries realizing the importance of assisting
fishermen. This has resulted in doubling of both inland and
aquaculture production. Seafood export since 2013-14 has alsodoubled. Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada
Yojana (PMMSY) will be stepped up to:
(1) enhance aquaculture productivity from existing 3 to
5 tons per hectare,
(2) double exports to ` 1 lakh crore and
(3) generate 55 lakh employment opportunities in near
Five integrated aquaparks will be setup.

Lakhpati Didi

56. Eighty-three lakh SHGs with nine crore women are
transforming rural socio-economic landscape with
empowerment and self-reliance. Their success has assisted
nearly one crore women to become Lakhpati Didi already. They
are an inspiration to others. Their achievements will be
recognized through honouring them. Buoyed by the success, it
has been decided to enhance the target for Lakhpati Didi from
2 crore to 3 crore.

Technological Changes

57. New age technologies and data are changing the lives of
people and businesses. They are also enabling new economic
opportunities and facilitating provision of high-quality services at
affordable prices for all, including those at ‘bottom of the
pyramid’. Opportunities for India at the global level are expanding. India is showing solutions through innovation and
entrepreneurship of its people.

Research and Innovation for catalyzing growth, employment
and development

58. Prime Minister Shastri gave the slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai
Kisan”. Prime Minister Vajpayee made that “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan
Jai Vigyan”. Prime Minister Modi has furthered that to “Jai
Jawan Jai Kisan Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan”, as innovation is
the foundation of development.
59. For our tech savvy youth, this will be a golden era.
A corpus of rupees one lakh crore will be established with
fifty-year interest free loan. The corpus will provide long-term
financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest
rates. This will encourage the private sector to scale up research
and innovation significantly in sunrise domains. We need to have
programmes that combine the powers of our youth and

60. A new scheme will be launched for strengthening
deep-tech technologies for defense purposes and expediting

Infrastructure Development

61. Building on the massive tripling of the capital expenditure
outlay in the past 4 years resulting in huge multiplier impact on
economic growth and employment creation, the outlay for the
next year is being increased by 11.1 per cent to eleven lakh, eleven thousand, one hundred and eleven crore rupees
(` 11,11,111 crore). This would be 3.4 per cent of the GDP.


62. Three major economic railway corridor programmes will
be implemented. These are:
(1) energy, mineral and cement corridors,
(2) port connectivity corridors, and
(3) high traffic density corridors.
The projects have been identified under the PM Gati Shakti for
enabling multi-modal connectivity. They will improve logistics
efficiency and reduce cost.

63. The resultant decongestion of the high-traffic corridors
will also help in improving operations of passenger trains,
resulting in safety and higher travel speed for passengers.
Together with dedicated freight corridors, these three economic
corridor programmes will accelerate our GDP growth and reduce
logistic costs.
64. Forty thousand normal rail bogies will be converted to the
Vande Bharat standards to enhance safety, convenience and
comfort of passengers.

Aviation Sector

65. The aviation sector has been galvanized in the past
ten years. Number of airports have doubled to 149. Roll out of
air connectivity to tier-two and tier-three cities under UDANscheme has been widespread. Five hundred and seventeen new
routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers. Indian carriers have
pro-actively placed orders for over 1000 new aircrafts. Expansion
of existing airports and development of new airports will
continue expeditiously.

Metro and NaMo Bharat

66. We have a fast-expanding middle class and rapid
urbanization is taking place. Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat can be
the catalyst for the required urban transformation. Expansion of
these systems will be supported in large cities focusing on
transit-oriented development.

Green Energy

67. Towards meeting our commitment for ‘net-zero’ by 2070,
the following measures will be taken.
a. Viability gap funding will be provided for harnessing
offshore wind energy potential for initial capacity of
one giga-watt.
b. Coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT
will be set up by 2030. This will also help in reducing
imports of natural gas, methanol, and ammonia.
c. Phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas
(CBG) in compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport
and piped natural gas (PNG) for domestic purposes will
be mandated.

d. Financial assistance will be provided for procurement
of biomass aggregation machinery to support

Electric Vehicle Ecosystem

68. Our Government will expand and strengthen the e-vehicle
ecosystem by supporting manufacturing and charging
infrastructure. Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport
networks will be encouraged through payment security

Bio-manufacturing and Bio-foundry

69. For promoting green growth, a new scheme of
bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be launched. This will
provide environment friendly alternatives such as biodegradable
polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs.
This scheme will also help in transforming today’s consumptive
manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative

Blue Economy 2.0

70. For promoting climate resilient activities for blue economy
2.0, a scheme for restoration and adaptation measures, and
coastal aquaculture and mariculture with integrated and
multi-sectoral approach will be launched.

Comprehensive development of tourist centres

71. The success of organizing G20 meetings in sixty places
presented diversity of India to global audience. Our economic
strength has made the country an attractive destination for
business and conference tourism. Our middle class also now
aspires to travel and explore. Tourism, including spiritual
tourism, has tremendous opportunities for local
72. States will be encouraged to take up comprehensive
development of iconic tourist centres, branding and marketing
them at global scale. A framework for rating of the centres based
on quality of facilities and services will be established. Long-term
interest free loans will be provided to States for financing such
development on matching basis.

73. To address the emerging fervour for domestic tourism,
projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and
amenities will be taken up on our islands, including
Lakshadweep. This will help in generating employment also.

Promoting Investments

74. The FDI inflow during 2014-23 was USD 596 billion marking
a golden era. That is twice the inflow during 2005-14.
For encouraging sustained foreign investment, we are
negotiating bilateral investment treaties with our foreign
partners, in the spirit of ‘first develop India’.

Reforms in the States for ‘Viksit Bharat’

75. Many growth and development enabling reforms are
needed in the states for realizing the vision of ‘Viksit Bharat’.
A provision of seventy-five thousand crore rupees as fifty-year
interest free loan is proposed this year to support those
milestone-linked reforms by the State Governments.

Societal Changes

76. The Government will form a high-powered committee for
an extensive consideration of the challenges arising from fast
population growth and demographic changes. The committee
will be mandated to make recommendations for addressing
these challenges comprehensively in relation to the goal of
‘Viksit Bharat’.

Amrit Kaal as Kartavya Kaal

77. Our Government stands committed to strengthening and
expanding the economy with high growth and to create
conditions for people to realize their aspirations. Hon’ble Prime
Minister in his Independence Day address to the nation, in the
75th year of our Republic said; we “commit ourselves to national
development, with new inspirations, new consciousness, new
resolutions, as the country opens up immense possibilities and
opportunities”. It is our ‘Kartavya Kaal’.
78. Every challenge of the pre-2014 era was overcome
through our economic management and our governance. These
have placed the country on a resolute path of sustained high growth. This has been possible through our right policies, true
intentions, and appropriate decisions. In the full budget in July,
our Government will present a detailed roadmap for our pursuit
of ‘Viksit Bharat’.

Revised Estimates 2023-24

79. The Revised Estimate of the total receipts other than
borrowings is ` 27.56 lakh crore, of which the tax receipts are
` 23.24 lakh crore. The Revised Estimate of the total expenditure
is ` 44.90 lakh crore.
80. The revenue receipts at ` 30.03 lakh crore are expected to
be higher than the Budget Estimate, reflecting strong growth
momentum and formalization in the economy.
81. The Revised Estimate of the fiscal deficit is 5.8 per cent of
GDP, improving on the Budget Estimate, notwithstanding
moderation in the nominal growth estimates.

Budget Estimates 2024-25

82. Coming to 2024-25, the total receipts other than
borrowings and the total expenditure are estimated at ` 30.80
and 47.66 lakh crore respectively. The tax receipts are estimated
at ` 26.02 lakh crore.
83. The scheme of fifty-year interest free loan for capital
expenditure to states will be continued this year with total outlay
of ` 1.3 lakh crore.

84. We continue on the path of fiscal consolidation, as
announced in my Budget Speech for 2021-22, to reduce fiscal
deficit below 4.5 per cent by 2025-26. The fiscal deficit in
2024-25 is estimated to be 5.1 per cent of GDP, adhering to that
85. The gross and net market borrowings through dated
securities during 2024-25 are estimated at ` 14.13 and
11.75 lakh crore respectively. Both will be less than that in
2023-24. Now that the private investments are happening at
scale, the lower borrowings by the Central Government will
facilitate larger availability of credit for the private sector.

Vote on Account

86. I will be seeking ‘vote on account’ approval of the
Parliament through the Appropriation Bill for a part of the
financial year 2024-25.

Direct taxes

87. Over the last ten years, the direct tax collections have
more than trebled and the return filers swelled to 2.4 times.
I would like to assure the taxpayers that their contributions have
been used wisely for the development of the country and
welfare of its people. I appreciate the tax payers for their
88. The Government has reduced and rationalized tax rates.
Under the new tax scheme, there is now no tax liability for tax
payers with income up to ₹ 7 lakh, up from ₹ 2.2 lakh in the
financial year 2013-14. The threshold for presumptive taxation
for retail businesses was increased from ₹ 2 crore to ₹ 3 crore.
Similarly, the threshold for professionals eligible for presumptive
taxation was increased from ₹ 50 lakh to ₹ 75 Lakh. Also,
corporate tax rate was decreased from 30 per cent to 22 per cent
for existing domestic companies and to 15 per cent for certain
new manufacturing companies.

89. In the last five years, our focus has been to improve
tax-payer services. The age-old jurisdiction-based assessment
system was transformed with the introduction of Faceless
Assessment and Appeal, thereby imparting greater efficiency,
transparency and accountability. Introduction of updated income
tax returns, a new Form 26AS and prefilling of tax returns have made filing of tax returns simpler and easier. Average processing
time of returns has been reduced from 93 days in the year
2013-14 to a mere ten days this year, thereby making refunds

Indirect Taxes

90. By unifying the highly fragmented indirect tax regime in
India, GST has reduced the compliance burden on trade and
industry. The industry has acknowledged the benefits of GST.
According to a recent survey conducted by a leading consulting
firm, 94 per cent of industry leaders view the transition to GST as
largely positive. According to 80 per cent of the respondents, it
has led to supply chain optimisation, as elimination of tax
arbitrage and octroi has resulted in disbanding of check posts at
state and city boundaries. At the same time, tax base of GST
more than doubled and the average monthly gross GST
collection has almost doubled to ₹ 1.66 lakh crore, this year.
States too have benefited. States’ SGST revenue, including
compensation released to states, in the post-GST period of
2017-18 to 2022-23, has achieved a buoyancy of 1.22. In
contrast, the tax buoyancy of State revenues from subsumed
taxes in the pre-GST four-year period of 2012-13 to 2015-16 was
a mere 0.72. The biggest beneficiaries are the consumers, as
reduction in logistics costs and taxes have brought down prices
of most goods and services.

91. We have taken a number of steps in Customs to facilitate
international trade. As a result, the import release time declined
by 47 per cent to 71 hours at Inland Container Depots, by 28 per
cent to 44 hours at air cargo complexes and by 27 per cent to
85 hours at sea ports, over the last four years since 2019, when
the National Time Release Studies were first started.

Tax proposals

92. As for tax proposals, in keeping with the convention, I do
not propose to make any changes relating to taxation and
propose to retain the same tax rates for direct taxes and indirect
taxes including import duties. However, certain tax benefits to
start-ups and investments made by sovereign wealth or pension
funds as also tax exemption on certain income of some IFSC units
are expiring on 31.03.2024. To provide continuity in taxation,
I propose to extend the date to 31.03.2025.
93. Moreover, in line with our Government’s vision to improve
ease of living and ease of doing business, I wish to make an
announcement to improve tax payer services. There are a large
number of petty, non-verified, non-reconciled or disputed direct
tax demands, many of them dating as far back as the year 1962,
which continue to remain on the books, causing anxiety to
honest tax payers and hindering refunds of subsequent years.
I propose to withdraw such outstanding direct tax demands up
to twenty-five thousand rupees (₹ 25,000) pertaining to the
period up to financial year 2009-10 and up to ten-thousand rupees (₹ 10,000) for financial years 2010-11 to 2014-15. This is
expected to benefit about a crore tax-payers.

Economy – Then and Now

94. In 2014 when our Government assumed the reins, the
responsibility to mend the economy step by step and to put the
governance systems in order was enormous. The need of the
hour was to give hope to the people, to attract investments, and
to build support for the much-needed reforms. The Government
did that successfully following our strong belief of ‘nation-first’.
95. The crisis of those years has been overcome, and the
economy has been put firmly on a high sustainable growth path
with all-round development. It is now appropriate to look at
where we were then till 2014 and where we are now, only for
the purpose of drawing lessons from the mismanagement of
those years. The Government will lay a White Paper on table of
the House.
96. The exemplary track record of governance, development
and performance, effective delivery, and ‘Jan Kalyan’ has given
the Government trust, confidence and blessings of the people to
realize, whatever it takes, the goal of ‘Viksit Bharat’ with good
intentions, true dedication and hard work in the coming years
and decades.
97. With this, I commend the interim budget to this august

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