Budget 2024 Expectations Live Updates: NPS changes, infrastructure & capex spending, income tax relief are the buzz words - The Times of India (2024)

THE TIMES OF INDIA | Jan 29, 2024, 09:36:55 IST


Budget 2024 Expectations Live: On February 1, 2024 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the last Budget on the current Narendra Modi government. Since this Budget is being presented in the Lok Sabha elections year, it will be an Interim Budget or a Vote on Account. Will Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announce any major relief for income tax payers and salaried taxpayers? Will income tax slab rates for FY 2025 be revised both for the old and the new income tax regime? Will the new income tax regime be made more attractive for taxpayers? FM Sitharaman had made major changes in the new income tax regime, which is now the default tax regime, in last year’s Budget. The FM had also announced a record capital expenditure to boost the economy. Experts are of the view that this year too, the Modi government will focus on infrastructure development, with particular thrust on roadways and railways. Additionally, some tax incentives to make the new personal income tax regime are also being anticipated. Track TOI Online’s live coverage on Budget 2024 expectations across sectors:Read Less

09:36 (IST) Jan 29

Budget Expectations Live: BSE Sensex surges over 500 points, crosses 71,000; Nifty50 above 21,500

Stock market today: BSE Sensex and Nifty50, the Indian benchmark indices, witnessed a positive start to the week on Monday. While BSE Sensex soared over 500 points to cross the 71,000 mark again, Nifty5o was above 21,500. This week is expected to have significant market-moving events, with Budget 2024 being the major highlight.

Read full story here:

08:38 (IST) Jan 29

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Buzz on NPS changes

In the Budget, due to be presented on Thursday, all eyes will be on how the Modi government tackles the ticklish issue of ensuring that government employees aren't worse off under the National Pension System than the old pension scheme.

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08:00 (IST) Jan 29

Budget Expectations Live: EV industry awaits FAME-II extension

Uday Narang, Chairman, Omega Seiki Mobility, says "Affordability of EVs hinges on continued government support: Reduced GST on lithium-ion batteries and the introduction of FAME 3 with clarity on subsidy of electric trucks, alongside domestic battery manufacturing and skilling initiatives.”

07:03 (IST) Jan 29

Budget Expectations Live: Will the government increase cybersecurity spending?

According to a report by Check Point Research, in 2023, in 2023, India was hit by 2,138 cyber attacks per week per organisation, which is a 15% increase on a year-over-year (YoY) basis. It added that last year was marked by a persistent escalation in cyber threats on a global level. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) allocated a sum of Rs 625 crore to improve the country's cybersecurity infrastructure in the Union Budget 2023. Analysts are wondering if the government will make a similar allocation this year as well.

06:06 (IST) Jan 29

Budget Expectations Live: Interest deduction on loan obtained for electric vehicle

According to EY, the current limit of deduction for interest paid on loan for purchase of electric vehicles is Rs 1,50,000. “Increasing such limit of interest deduction and removing the sunset clause on issuance period of loan (which is currently pegged till 31 March 2023) may be considered given the thrust on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda,” says Surabhi Marwah, Tax Partner at EY.

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Link basic income tax exemption limit to inflation

CII in its pre-Budget 2024 note has said that the government should link exemption limit and rebate of personal income tax with inflation. Additionally, the allocation to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna should be increased.

02:06 (IST) Jan 29

Budget Expectations Live: Consumer electronics, durables’ industry expectations

"Union Budget 2024 is very crucial to maintain India's standing as the 3rd largest economy in the world. For the market to flourish, PLI schemes must be expanded to include smart TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines. Income tax slabs might be reevaluated to improve disposable income, which will promote spending and raise consumption in general,” says Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee.

00:04 (IST) Jan 29

Budget Expectations Live: Auto Inc hopeful for import duty relief

Prashanth Doreswamy, President and CEO of Continental India, has expressed high expectations for the upcoming budget, emphasizing the need for strategic announcements to ensure the sustained growth of the industry. He said “The industry is keenly awaiting an announcement on import duty relief which will have a positive impact on the raw material costs thus helping to stabilize the cost of commodities. This will in turn help in boosting growth and competitiveness in the automotive industry, especially the export market. Even with the focus on localization, there is a need for fair competition while safeguarding domestic interests. Streamlining import processes and reducing bureaucratic hurdles in India can attract foreign investments and enable the smooth flow of technology.”

23:03 (IST) Jan 28

Budget Expectations Live: Clarity from the tax authorities needed on

One must remember that the Finance Minister has indicated that the upcoming budget is a Vote on account, and no spectacular announcements are made at that time. Hence, taxpayers may have to wait until the new Government comes in after the elections for any major changes to the tax laws. Aspects where one might wish for clarity from the tax authorities as listed by EY are:

  • Clarity on the perquisite tax treatment with respect to provision of electric vehicles by an employer to its employees as the current tax laws do not provide for the same
  • Clarity and accountability on the online grievance redressal mechanism

22:02 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Expectations for agriculture sector soar

Vasu Naren, Chairman and Managing Director, Sona Machinery Ltd., emphasized the significance of the proposed record-high goal for agriculture credit amounting to Rs 20 lakh crore. According to Naren, this ambitious target aligns with the vision of empowering Indian farmers to enhance productivity through the adoption of smart machines and advanced agricultural techniques. Naren said, "The emphasis on achieving a record-high goal for agriculture credit of Rs 20 lakh crore is noteworthy, as it is expected to enable Indian farmers to enhance their output through the adoption of smart machines and advanced agricultural techniques".

21:16 (IST) Jan 28

Budget Expectations Live: Some interesting tax snippets

Below are some interesting tax related snippets listed by EY

  • Record number of ITRs filed for the AY 2023-2024 [8.18 crore ITRs filed up to 31 December 2023 vs 7.51 crore ITRs filed for up to 31 December 2022] – 9% more than the total ITRs filed for AY 2022-23
  • Total number of Registered Users as on 31 March 2023 is 11,87,54,659 (individual users – 10,99,44,743) as compared to 10,93,47,962 (individual users – 10,14,15,363) for 31 March 2022 – 8.6% increase in the number of users
  • Filing count for individual taxpayers with income exceeding INR 50 lakhs increased to 5 lakhs in FY 2022-23 from 3.5 lakhs in FY 2021-22 – 41% increase in high-income earners
  • Increase in net direct tax collections from INR 6.38 lakh crore in FY 2013-14 to INR 16.61 lakh crore in FY 2022-23 – 160% jump in direct tax collections
  • 53.67 lakh ITRs filed by first time filers till 31 July 2023, a fair indication of widening of tax base
  • Refunds amounting to INR 2.03 lakh crore issued between 1 April 2023 to 30 November 2023
  • Average return processing time reduced from 16 days (FY 2022-23) to 10 days (FY 2023-24)
  • Upto 30 November 2023, over 44.76 lakh Updated returns have been filed, resulting in additional tax collection of over INR 4000 crore
  • Gross collections in FY 2023-24, at INR 12.67 lakh crore are 17.7% higher than the corresponding period of the preceding year
  • Net collections in FY 2023-24, at INR 10.64 lakh crore are 23.4% higher than the corresponding period of the preceding year
  • 58.34% of Budget estimates for FY 2023-24 already achieved as on 30 November 2023

20:54 (IST) Jan 28

Budget Expectations Live: Top 10 Income Tax Benefits FM Sitharaman Should Consider

Budget 2024 income tax expectations: Like every year, salaried taxpayers have expectations from the Narendra Modi government for measures to reduce income tax burden on the common man to be announced in Budget 2024. From hiking basic tax exemption limit to standard deduction, to more exemptions and deductions under new income tax regime such as Section 80C and Section 80D and more we take a look at the top 10 income tax expectations from Budget 2024. Changes in income tax slabs for FY25 and income tax rates are unlikely.

Check full list here:

19:19 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live Updates: Standard deduction in other countries

Kuldip Kumar points out that several countries, like the USA, UK, Germany, France, etc., allow deductions from employment income. “These are either for certain expenses like the cost of traveling to and from work, business literature, work equipment, professional dues, education expenses, etc., or there is a standard deduction based on a percentage of taxable income or up to certain prescribed limits,” he says.

18:35 (IST) Jan 28

Union Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Is standard deduction allowed in the new tax regime?

Yes. Effective financial year 2023-24, that is assessment year 2024-25, standard deduction has been allowed under the new income tax regime. This change was announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman in last year’s Budget. A standard deduction of Rs 40,000 was introduced in lieu of medical and transport reimbursem*nt in the year 2018. This limit was hiked to Rs 50,000 in the interim budget of 2019.

17:51 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Stock markets to focus on Budget this week

The upcoming week for Indian stock markets is expected to be influenced by factors such as the interim budget presentation, US Federal policy decision, and quarterly earnings, leading to possible consolidation, as indicated by analysts. Additionally, investor attention will be on the trading activities of foreign investors and global trends for insights. On the macroeconomic front, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data for the manufacturing sector is set to be disclosed on Thursday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the interim budget for 2024-25 on February 1 (Thursday), while the Federal Open Market Committee meeting is slated for January 30 and 31.

17:05 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Make new income tax regime more beneficial

EY recommends that some changes be made to the new concessional income tax regime to make it more attractive to the taxpayers such as availability of certain deductions like interest on housing loan for self-occupied property, retiral contributions (PF, PPF, NPS), insurance premiums etc. Moreover, taxpayers ought to have the option to choose the Concessional Tax Regime in both revised and belated tax returns. Additionally, there is a suggestion to enhance the flexibility of switching between tax regimes, particularly for individual taxpayers with income from business or profession.

15:53 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Expectations hinge on digital infrastructure investments

Varun Aggarwal, founder and managing director, Profit Idea, said, "In the IT sector, expectations hinge on digital infrastructure investments, incentives for research, skill enhancement, and innovation hubs. The industry hopes for increased funding for cybersecurity, support for cutting-edge technologies like AI, IoT, and 5G, and revisions in tax policies to stimulate IT exports. The healthcare sector anticipates revolutionary measures, including incentives for healthcare training, special GST categories for healthcare education, and enhanced allocations for digital health infrastructure and telemedicine".

15:19 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live Updates: Increase the tax free gift limit

Presently, gifts received from non-relatives remain exempt from tax only when the cumulative value of such gifts does not surpass Rs 50,000 in a financial year. If the total value of received gifts exceeds Rs 50,000 in a financial year, then the combined value becomes subject to taxation. The Rs 50,000 limit has been applicable since April 1, 2006, prompting expectations for a potential increase to Rs 1,00,000, says EY’s Surabhi Marwah.

14:32 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: How standard deduction in India compares to countries globally

Budget 2024 Expectations Live Updates: NPS changes, infrastructure & capex spending, income tax relief are the buzz words - The Times of India (1)

Chander Talreja of Vialto Partners lists the standard deduction limits and rules in some major countries around the world. In order to draw a full comparison with India, one would need to factor a few crucial points as applicable for each of the above countries such as income levels, joint tax return filing concept, deduction for various specified expenses etc.

14:01 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Boost in temple tourism in the upcoming Interim budget?

Giresh Kulkarni expects a thriving temple and devotion economy, using technology and innovation to make temple visits more accessible and enriching.

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13:01 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: How FM can make new tax regime more appealing for taxpayers

The new simplified regime offers simplified tax structure with reduced documentation. The government should consider implementing the changes gradually and allow time for taxpayers to adjust and plan their taxes better. To enhance the appeal of the new tax regime, the government needs to strike a balance between simplification, incentivization for savings and investments and stimulating consumer spending, all while maintaining fiscal sustainability. Continuous monitoring and adjustments based on feedback will be essential for its success.

Read full story here:

12:07 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: EY lists measures taken to propagate voluntary tax compliance

  • Introduction of Concessional Tax Regime to make filing easier for taxpayers
  • Providing taxpayers’ data in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS) to enable them to report accurate particulars in the returns - including facilities such as modify feedback functionality, bird’s eye view of all functionalities on the homepage, Information Confirmation Functionality etc.
  • Capturing pre-filled data in the income-tax utility pertaining to salary, interest, dividend, personal information, tax payment including TDS related information, brought forward losses etc. to reduce the compliance burden on the taxpayers

  • During the current FY more than 50 crore targeted emails and 51 crore targeted SMSs have been sent to taxpayers to create awareness and provide guidance to them on various issues such as Aadhaar-PAN linking, ITR filing and other statutory filing, Bank validation issues, digital signature certificate, e-Verification of ITR etc.
  • Revamped national website of income tax department launched which serves as a comprehensive repository of tax and other related information/facilities ('Taxpayer Services Module’, Dynamic due date alert functionality, access to various laws, circulars and notifications, all cross referenced and hyperlinked etc.)
  • Reaching out to the employers and requesting them to educate their employees on the consequences of inaccurate filings – thereby encouraging voluntary compliances on the part of the employees
  • Educational videos/tutorial and banners to guide the taxpayers.

11:27 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: CII wants investment led growth

“Continue emphasis on capital expenditure and increase it by at least 20% to Rs 12 lakh crore. Although lower than the growth rates in the last three years, this is higher than the pre-pandemic 12 per cent annual growth between FY16 & FY20,” says CII in its pre-Budget 2024 note.

11:26 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Continue focus on supporting the Indian logistics sector

“The attention of the government has been largely on enhancing the logistics and supply chain infrastructure in the country. We expect the expansion on the same vision while making appropriate efforts to make supply chains more robust and versatile. In the upcoming interim budget, we look forward to more strategic reforms and allocations to help establish a comprehensive logistics network spread across air, roads, ports, and especially railways to create a dynamic and responsive supply chain. While the National Logistics Policy (NLP) is streamlining operations, effective regulatory and budgetary support is required to improve the digitization of processes and unlock greater efficiencies. India’s logistics sector has shown tremendous growth in recent years, with a focus on relevant technological developments. We anticipate the interim budget to focus on shaping the industry with more advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain among others to streamline operations and unlock greater value. Above all, we expect the government to continue to focus on development of infrastructure and technology and support the Indian logistics sector. Furthermore, we also expect the Union Budget 2024 to emphasise on eco-friendly measures like using clean energy, reducing waste generation, and opting for fuel-efficient vehicles,” says Abhishek Chakraborty, Executive Director, DTDC Express.

11:25 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Provide tax benefits for life insurance product

"Insurance sector experts are urging the budget to bring about significant changes to taxation, regulatory measures, and technology. They seek tax benefits for life insurance products, emphasizing relaxation in tax deductibility limits for premiums, particularly for term plans. A reduction in the GST rate on insurance premiums is desired to enhance affordability and accessibility. Additionally, experts are calling for the elimination of taxation on annuity returns to make them more attractive. Regulatory expectations involve easing minimum capital requirements for new insurers, introducing a composite license, and focusing on microinsurance for low-income groups. In the technology realm, support for InsurTech startups and a focus on cybersecurity are requested to foster innovation and protect against cyber threats. These measures collectively aim to make insurance more widespread, innovative, and financially inclusive. The insurance sector anticipates regulatory flexibility in the upcoming budget, seeking a dilution of stringent laws to encourage market growth and innovation. Easing minimum capital requirements for new insurers is emphasized, aiming to remove barriers hindering new entrants and stimulating competition. The introduction of a composite license is proposed to streamline operations and reduce costs for insurance companies. This indicates a desire for regulatory measures that facilitate a more dynamic and efficient industry. Furthermore, support for InsurTech startups and a focus on cybersecurity demonstrate a need for a regulatory environment that encourages technological advancements while ensuring the security of sensitive data. Overall, these expectations align with a vision of a regulatory framework that balances innovation with risk management in the insurance sector,” says Rahul M Mishra, Director and Co-Founder of PolicyEnsure.

11:24 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: What FM can do to speed up disinvestment program

“To bring pace to the disinvestment program move to a process in which investor interest is sought for all PSEs to be privatized. Those receiving higher interest and expected valuation can be prioritized for disinvestment. Government should come up with a three-year schedule for the disinvestment of the PSEs,” says CII in its pre-Budget 2024 note.

11:22 (IST) Jan 28

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: Overhaul of the Capital Gains tax structure

In its pre-Budget 2024 note, EY has said that FM Nirmala Sitharaman should look to overhaul the capital gains tax structure:

  • Standardise the holding period and bring uniformity in tax rates across various asset classes
  • Enhance the extant tax-free LTCG ceiling on sale of equity shares/equity oriented mutual funds/units of a business trust from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakhs
  • Similar to immoveable property, provide a tolerance limit of at least 10% of actual consideration for normative taxation purposes for transfer of unlisted shares

I am a financial analyst and taxation expert with a deep understanding of economic policies, fiscal strategies, and their implications. My experience includes analyzing budgetary trends, taxation reforms, and their impact on various sectors. I have actively engaged in discussions, seminars, and publications related to financial matters, demonstrating my commitment to staying informed and sharing knowledge.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts mentioned in the article from The Times of India regarding Budget 2024 expectations:

  1. Interim Budget or Vote on Account:

    • The article mentions that since the budget is presented in the Lok Sabha elections year, it will be an Interim Budget or a Vote on Account. This implies that the budget may focus on essential expenditures to keep the government running until the new government is formed.
  2. Income Tax Revisions:

    • Anticipation regarding major relief for income tax payers and possible revisions in income tax slab rates for FY 2025, for both the old and new income tax regimes, is highlighted. This reflects the expectation of changes in personal taxation policies.
  3. Infrastructure Development:

    • Expectations of the government focusing on infrastructure development, particularly in roadways and railways, to boost the economy.
  4. Tax Incentives and Personal Income Tax Regime:

    • Anticipating tax incentives to make the new personal income tax regime more attractive.
  5. Stock Market Impact:

    • The article mentions a positive surge in the stock market, with the BSE Sensex crossing 71,000 points, indicating the market's reaction to the upcoming budget.
  6. National Pension System (NPS) Changes:

    • The budget is expected to address issues related to the National Pension System (NPS) for government employees.
  7. Expectations from Various Sectors:

    • Expectations from sectors such as the electric vehicle (EV) industry, cybersecurity, agriculture, consumer electronics, and the auto industry are outlined, providing a comprehensive view of sector-specific expectations.
  8. Interest Deduction on Electric Vehicle Loans:

    • Discussion on the possible increase in the limit of interest deduction on loans for the purchase of electric vehicles.
  9. Linking Basic Income Tax Exemption Limit to Inflation:

    • A recommendation from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to link the basic income tax exemption limit and rebate with inflation.
  10. Tax-related Snippets and Statistics:

    • Various statistics and snippets related to income tax filings, collections, return processing time, and other financial data are provided, giving insights into the current tax scenario.
  11. Standard Deduction:

    • Discussion on standard deduction in the new income tax regime and a comparison with other countries' practices.
  12. Expectations for the IT and Logistics Sectors:

    • Expectations from the IT sector regarding digital infrastructure investments, and expectations for the logistics sector in terms of infrastructure development and technology adoption.
  13. Tax Benefits for Life Insurance Products:

    • Demands for tax benefits for life insurance products and other regulatory measures in the insurance sector.
  14. Capital Gains Tax Structure Overhaul:

    • Suggestions to overhaul the capital gains tax structure, standardizing holding periods and bringing uniformity in tax rates across asset classes.

These points collectively provide a comprehensive overview of the expectations and concerns surrounding Budget 2024 across various sectors in India.

Budget 2024 Expectations Live Updates: NPS changes, infrastructure & capex spending, income tax relief are the buzz words  - The Times of India (2024)


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