Facing the biggest challenges of the high unemployment rate and higher inflation, coupled with increasing debt to GDP, Finance Minister Sitharaman has presented her fourth Budget.

12:40 PM

The markets cheer Budget. The Sensex is up 913.67 points at 58,927.84. while the NSE is up 239.35 points at 17,579.20.

12:30 PM

FM Nirmala Sitharaman concludes her Budget speech.

12:25 PM

The gross GST collections for the month of January 2022 are Rs 1,40,986 crore, which is the highest since the inception of the GST.

Unblended fuel to attract 2% additional duty.

The Customs duty on cut and polished diamonds, gems to be reduced to 5 per cent, while the Customs duty on umbrellas to be increased to 20 per cent. Custom duty exemption on import of steel scrap being extended by a year to help MSME sector.

In view of the growing urban areas, a High Level Committee of urban planners, urban economists and institutions will be formed to provide recommendations on Urban Sector Policies, capacity building, planning, implementation and governance.

12:15 PM

Direct Taxes: Taxpayers will be allowed to file an updated return, within two years from the end of the assessment year.

Both Centre and States govt employees’ tax deduction limit to be increased from the current 10 per cent to 14 per cent to help the social security benefits of State govt employees and bring them at par with the Central government employees.

The corporate surcharge is proposed to be reduced from 12 per cent to 7 per cent. The co-operative surcharge is proposed to be reduced from 12 per cent to 7 per cent. The surcharge on LTCG on all assets at 15 per cent.

Virtual Digital Assets will be taxed. The Finance Minister has proposed a 30 per cent tax on any income from the transfer of virtual digital assets.

Deadline for tax incentives to start-ups extended to March 31, 2023

12:10 PM

The revised fiscal deficit for FY22- 6.9% (against 6.8%); 6.4% of GDP for FY23. The Centre’s budgetary capital expenditure increased from 5.5 lakh crore in FY22 to 7.5 lakh crore for FY 23.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a massive hike in financial assistance to States for capex (in the form of interest-free loans) from 15,000 cr in FY22 to 1 lakh cr in FY23.

12:05 PM

On Agriculture: The estimated procurement of wheat in Rabi 2021-22 & paddy in Kharif 2021-22 will cover 1,208 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and paddy from 163 lakh farmers. About Rs. 2.37 lakh crores will be direct payment of MSP to their accounts.

12 PM

Defence Budget: 68% of the capital procurement budget for the Defence sector will be earmarked for domestic industry to promote Aatmanirbharta and reduce dependence on imports of defence equipment. This is up from 58% last fiscal.

UDYAM, e-SHRAM, National Career Service (NCS), ASEEM portals to be interlinked to formalise the economy and create job opportunities for all. The National Skill Qualification Framework will be aligned with dynamic industry needs. Digital Ecosystem for Skilling & Livelihood e-portal to be launched to enable citizens to skill, reskill, upskill.

Capital expenditure has been increased by 35.4 per cent from Rs 5.5 lakh core to nearly Rs 7 lakh crore

International Arbirtration centre will be set up at the GIFT City, Gujarat.

11:50 AM

Telecom Sector: FM Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that 5G spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022.

5% of Universal Service Obligation Fund will be allocated for the penetration of broadband service in the rural and remote areas.

She also notes that the SEZ Act will be replaced with new legislation to make States a partner for the development of entrepreneurship.

11: 45 AM

On EV: FM Nirmala Sitharaman says that the government will bring a battery-swapping policy, and interoperability standards will be formulated. This is done to encourage electric vehicle penetration, she notes.

She says that corporate exit to be easier and faster and that the necessary changes to IBC will be made. She also said that the government will reduce the time required for the deregistration of companies from 2 years to six months.

Connectivity: 2,000 km of rail network to be brought under the indigenous world-class technology KAWACH, for safety and capacity augmentation. The Union Minister has announced that 400 new generation Vande Bharat trains with better energy efficiency and passenger riding experience will be manufactured during the next three years.

Draft DPRs for 5 river links Damanganga-Pinjal, Par- Tapi-Narmada, Godavari-Krishna, Krishna-Pennar & Pennar-Kaveri have been finalized. Once consensus is reached among beneficiary States, the Centre will provide support for implementation.

100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo terminals to be developed during next three years. The National Ropeways Development Programme will be taken up in PPP mode. Eight new ropeway projects for 60 km will be awarded in 2022-23. The aim is to improve connectivity, besides promoting tourism, she says.

11:40 AM

The Finance Minister says that an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will be launched and that it will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities.

11:35 AM

Our govt has comprehensively revamped schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development such as Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0, says the FM.

Digital Divide: The ‘One class, One channel’ has expanded from 12 to 200 channels, and it includes regional languages. A Digital university will be built on a network hub and spoke model for students. The Digital University will provide students access to world-class quality universal education, with a personalised learning experience. 

The FM also notes that e-passports with embedded chips to be rolled out in 22-23. The futuristic technology will enhance convenience for citizens for overseas travel.

In a bid to boost digital banking, FM Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that 75 Digital Banking Units will be set up in 75 districts across India by scheduled commercial banks on the occasion of 75 years of independence.

All the 1.5 lakh post offices to come under Core Banking System in 2022. She also announces that net banking, mobile banking, ATMs will connect Post Office accounts and bank accounts. This will help farmers and senior citizens, and enable inclusion, she notes.

The current coverage of ‘Har Ghar Nal se Jal’ is 8.7 crores. Of this 5.5 crore households were provided tap water in the last two years itself. Rs 60,000 crore allocated to provide tap water connections to 3.8 crore households in 2022-23

‘Trust-Based Governance’ will be the guiding principle for the government to enable ease of doing business, the Finance Minister says in her Budget speech.

11:30 AM

The National Tele Mental Health Programme will be launched. This is in view of the increased focus on mental health during the Covid pandemic, says FM.

The FM says that over 2 lakh Anganwadis will be updated. She also notes that Rs 48,000 crore allocated for the PM Awas Yojana scheme. The

PM Development Initiative for the North East will be launched for infra development in the region and Rs 1,500 crore will be allocated to the project.

11:20 AM

The FM has noted that the States will be advised to revive Agricultural Universities. The Ken-Betwa river linkage will be taken by the Centre.

ECG, ECLGS to be extended up to March 2023. The scheme has been expanded to Rs 5 lakh crore, with focus on hospitality sector

11:15 AM

The focus areas of the Budget are PM Gati Shakti, Inclusive Development and Energy Transition. There are eight engines of PM Gati Shakti, a key infra development initiative of the Modi-led government, the FM says. The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan will also include infra development by States. She adds that the Budget will also focus on transparency of financial statements and fiscal position, and this reflects the government’s intent.

We are in the midst of the Omicron wave, the speed of our vaccination campaign has helped greatly. I am confident that ‘Sabka Prayaas’, we’ll continue with strong growth, says the Finance Minister.

This Union Budget seeks to give a blueprint of economy over ‘Amrit Kal’ of next 25 years -- from India at 75 to India at 100, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:10 AM

FM Nirmala Sitharaman says that the economy is expected to grow at 9.27% in the current financial year. The initiatives of the last year’s Budget has seen significant progress, she adds.

Economic growth expected at 9.2 per cent during current fiscal: FM
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The PLI scheme has the potential to create 60 lakh additional jobs, she notes, adding that the PLI scheme has been approved for 14 sectors to spur domestic manufacturing. “This Budget will provide a blue print for Amrut Kaal”, she says.

The public issue of LIC is expected shortly, the Finance Minister notes.

11:05 am
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10 a.m.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Ministers of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad and senior officials of the ministry calls on President of India Ram Nath Kovind, ahead of the Budget presentation.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaving North Block to present the Union Budget 2022-23. Photo: Kamal Narang

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaving North Block to present the Union Budget 2022-23. Photo: Kamal Narang

10:30 AM

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget 2022-23 in a paperless format, just like last year.

Sitharaman is carrying a tablet kept inside a red coloured cover with a golden coloured national emblem embossed on it, instead of the briefcase or ‘bahi khata’.

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10:00 AM

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has arrived at the Parliament. She will present the Budget at 11 a.m.

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Sensex opens with a strong positive gain ahead of the Budget presentation. Sensex has gained over 700 points and trading at 58,694.

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The Ministry of Finance office at North Block, New Delhi ahead of the Union Budget 2022-23.

The Ministry of Finance office at North Block, New Delhi ahead of the Union Budget 2022-23. | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

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