Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holding the Budget Papers at the North Block in New Delhi on February 01, 2023.
| Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 raised the personal income tax rebate limit, doled out sops on small savings, and announced one of the biggest hikes in capital spending in the past decade as she did a tightrope walk in the Budget between staying fiscally prudent and meeting public expectations in the year before general elections.
Ms. Sitharaman’s fifth straight Budget comes at a time when the economy is slowing and there is a need for increased spending on social sectors as well as ramping up incentives for local manufacturing. The Modi government will seek third term next year and the BJP will face nine Assembly elections this year.
Announcing its last full budget before the 2024 elections, the NDA government focused on a slew of measures that expanded Capital Expenditure spending and tied in various priorities including Green Growth, Youth Power, and Inclusive Development. This was also accompanied by major tax announcements for the salaried class, with changes in tax slabs and a clear intention to shift to the new tax regime.