News/City Updates

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces Union Budget 2022-23

On the morning of 1 February, 2022, the India’s Minister of Finance , Nirmala Sitharaman, has announced the Union Budget for the Financial Year 2022-23. To promote Digital India, she has yet again presented a paperless budget in a tablet, wrapped in a Bahi Khata, a red sleeve. The presentation of the Union Budget involved announcements regarding imposition of tax on crypto currencies, digital currency, a push for electric vehicles keeping clean energy in consideration, and other important announcements.

Under the Union Budget, 2022, the National Highway network will be expanded by 25,000kms and contracts for four Multi Modal Logistic Parks (MMLP) shall be rewarded. Additionally, 400 new-generation Vande Bharat trains shall be manufactured in the next three years, under the PM Gati Shakti plan. Chemical-free natural farming will be focused, and Kisan Drones will be used to monitor the crop growth. Rs. 1,400 crore to be allocated for the development of 123MW hydro power and 27MW solar power projects during FY22-23. Additionally, Rs. 19,500 crore will be allocated, under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, for the manufacturing of high-efficiency solar modules, with a goal to develop 280GW of solar power capacity.

Rs. 60,000 crore will be allocated, from the Union Budget, for the Har Ghar Nal Se Jal scheme, to provide tap water facility in each household. Also, Rs. 48,000 crore for FY2022-23 under the PM Housing Scheme.  All the 1.5 lakh post offices will come under the core banking system, enabling online money transfer between post office accounts and bank accounts. This will be helpful, especially for farmers and senior citizens in rural areas. ATMs will also be installed at all the post offices. The Government of India will also issue e-Passports, with embedded chips installed in them.

States will be encouraged to revise the syllabus of agricultural universities, to meet needs of organic farming, and modern-day agriculture. In a bid to move towards cleaner energy, the Financial Minister announced the battery swapping policy, and establishment of charging stations, to address the charging issue with Electric Vehicles (EV). An auction will be conducted in FY22, to rollout 5G mobile services, for the network providers. Also, contracts will be awarded for laying optical fiber in rural areas, under Public Private Partnership (PPP) in FY2022-23, as a part of the BharatNet Scheme. The completion of this project is expected in the next five years.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue digital currency during the FY2022-23. Transfer of any virtual digital asset, such as crypto currencies and NFTs, to be taxed at 30 percent. 25% of the Defence Research and Development (R&D) Budget will be allocated to start-ups and other private institutions. They shall be encouraged to develop the defence platforms and equipment in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Tax exemption for start-ups will be extended by one year, making it a total of four years of tax exemption benefit. A promotional task force will be set up to promote Animation, Visual effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC), offering a potential employment opportunity for the youth.

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