Budget 2024: What To Expect

As India gears up for the presentation of its interim Budget for 2024, expectations are running high among various stakeholders. The interim Budget, often seen as a precursor to the full budget, sets the tone for the government’s financial strategy and policy direction for the upcoming fiscal year.

Taxation: A Key Focus

A central aspect of the Budget expectations revolves around the income tax regime. In the previous fiscal year, the government revised the basic exemption limit and restructured the tax slabs under the new income tax regime. Taxpayers are eagerly anticipating further relief, possibly through increased exemptions or more favorable slab rates. This comes against the backdrop of the government’s efforts to simplify the tax structure and enhance compliance.

Logistics and Green Energy: High on the Agenda

The logistics sector, critical to India’s economic growth, is hopeful for a boost in the Budget. Key expectations include prioritization of capital expenditure in major infrastructure projects and financial incentives to spur growth. Similarly, the green energy sector, pivotal in India’s commitment to environmental sustainability, is looking forward to measures that facilitate easier access to financing for renewable energy initiatives. This is especially significant as India aims to achieve a substantial portion of its energy mix from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

Real Estate and Homebuyers: Seeking Support

The real estate sector, which has a ripple effect on numerous industries, is also in focus. Homebuyers are seeking an increase in the limit of deductions for home loan interest and relaxation of TDS rules for property purchases. Such measures could invigorate the housing market and provide a fillip to the overall economy.

Agriculture: The Lifeline of the Economy

Agriculture, a sector that supports a large segment of the Indian population, is expected to receive substantial attention in the Budget. With recent challenges such as unseasonal rains affecting crop yields, there is a strong case for enhanced financial support and relief measures for farmers. This could involve direct financial assistance, crop insurance schemes, and initiatives to increase the marketability and profitability of agricultural produce.

Defense: Strengthening National Security

Defense spending is another area of interest, particularly given the geopolitical dynamics in the region. There is an expectation of increased allocation to modernize and strengthen the armed forces, which could include procurement of advanced weaponry, technology upgrades, and improved infrastructure for defense forces.

Market Reactions and Corporate Sector

The interim Budget is also closely watched by the stock markets and corporate sector for cues on policy directions. Fiscal discipline, investment in infrastructure, and business-friendly policies can boost investor sentiment and drive economic growth. Companies are looking for measures that ease regulatory burdens, provide tax incentives, and encourage research and development, especially in high-growth sectors like technology and manufacturing.

Social Welfare and Education

The government is also expected to focus on social welfare schemes and education. With a significant portion of India’s population still grappling with poverty and lack of access to basic amenities, there is a need for enhanced spending on health, education, and social security programs. The Budget could introduce new schemes or strengthen existing ones aimed at improving living standards and providing better opportunities for the underprivileged sections of society.