New Delhi :
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the Union Budget 2023-24 in the Lok Sabha on February 1. Hit by the rising cost of living and worsening job market, the middle class is hoping for some relief from FM Sitharaman in the forthcoming budget, which is also the last full-year budget before the 2024 general elections.
There is a glimmer of hope for the middle class as the finance minister recently indicated that she understands the pressures of the middle class as she too belongs to the same strata.
FM Sitharaman is likely to lower income tax rates and introduce revised slabs for salaried individuals in the upcoming budget. The tax slabs have remained unchanged since the Budget 2016-17 except for the introduction of a concessional income tax regime a few years ago.
The government is expected to reduce the 30 percent and 25 percent tax rates under the new regime.
The experts want the basic exemption limit to be increased to Rs 5 lakh, from Rs 2.5 lakh at present, to give more disposable income to the common man.
Experts say that the minimum tax exemption limit for senior citizens (60 years age to 80 years age) should be increased to Rs 7.5 lakh from the current threshold of Rs 3 lakh.
Currently, the basic tax exemption limit is Rs 3 lakh for senior citizens (those who are over 60 years of age).
“Very senior citizens who are aged above 80 years should be exempt from tax if their income is up to Rs 12.5 lakh,” ASSOCHAM said in a pre-budget note.
Long-term capital gains (LTCG) from the sale of listed equity shares are taxable if the gain exceeds Rs 1 lakh per annum. This category of long-term assets has enjoyed total tax exemption since 2004, since these transactions were subject to Securities Transaction Tax (STT).
In the last budget, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman laid out the grand plan of introducing 400 semi-high-speed, next-generation Vande Bharat trains in the next three years.
Over and above what was announced earlier, the government is likely to unveil plans for another 400 new Vande Bharat trains in this year’s budget.
The ministry aims to gradually replace all existing high-speed trains, including the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis, to increase the speed on major routes to over 180 kmph.
Union Budget 2023-24 will likely pave way for the legalization of the permanent account number (PAN) as a single business identification. The government is reportedly mulling rolling out the legal and operational framework for the adoption of the PAN number.
This will apply to all businesses securing approvals.
The new provision will help investors save a lot of effort as they will no longer have to fill in multiple identifications details – there are 20 different IDs including GSTIN, TIN, and EPFO – for accessing the National Single Window System (NSWS) for project-related clearances and approvals.
(edited from moneycontrol.com)