The interim Budget was more of a performance appraisal review of the quinquennial period. Unlike previous interim budgets where a few sops were to be present, the Finance Minsiter refrained from making any catchy announcements. Expectations of taxpayers were belied except the withdrawal of outstanding tax demands up to ₹25,000 of yesteryears.
Technical experts can suggest more on the idea of converting existing 40,000 normal rail bogeys into Vande Bharat standards. Moreso, there was no concrete announcement in achieving 100% electrification of rail routes.
Apropos ‘Budget 2024: No change in direct, indirect tax rates: FM’ (February 1), the FM’s budget speech appeared to be largely concentrated at showering fulsome praise for the Modi government.
It’s a different matter that the nationwide honest tax payers and hapless senior citizens were genuinely expecting some tax relief.
Another key area of concern being ‘non-reduction’ of the Excise duty on retail prices of twin auto fuels.
The BJP seems to be confident of returning to power. But nothing is ‘permanent’ in the world of politics and the BJP may not also be an exception.
Silver lining Budget
Budget proposals are quite pragmatic and considering that this is an interim Budget, a slew of measures have been given to various sectors. Growth engines have been refuelled directly or indirectly and giving manufacturing sector an impetus and generate additional employment as well.
The reduction in corporate taxation augurs very well for this category which predominately belongs to mid and large sized companies.
No change in individual tax slab rates is a welcome move. Indirect taxation also being left untouched makes sense since invariably any tweaking by Finance Ministry will only take the percentage northward.
Old tax demand litigations being waived off subject to terms and conditions must be cheered since we have such accrued tax demands appearing in the Balance Sheets with no conclusion.
Agriculture, housing and other sectors have not been overlooked.
This is certainly not a pre-election populist Budget 2024!!