Budget 2024 Live: Key Focus on Income Tax Reforms and Job Creation Initiatives

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Interim Budget 2024 amidst high expectations. Taxpayers seek relief, MSMEs anticipate support, and all eyes are on balancing election optics with fiscal prudence. Dive into key expectations, potential announcements, and expert reactions to the crucial Interim Budget.
Budget 2024 Live:  Key Focus on Income Tax Reforms and Job Creation Initiatives

Presenting her sixth consecutive Budget ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized the BJP-led government's commitment to an all-encompassing development approach.

Interim Budget 2024: Relief for Taxpayers as Centre Withdraws Old and Disputed Direct Taxes

In a significant move announced during the interim Budget 2024 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed that the Centre will no longer pursue taxpayers to recover old and disputed direct taxes amounting to ₹25,000 until the financial year 2009-10. Additionally, direct tax demands up to ₹10,000 from the financial years 2010-11 to 2014-15 will also be withdrawn, providing substantial relief to approximately one crore taxpayers.

Addressing Long-standing Concerns

Highlighting the persistent issue of numerous petty, non-verified, non-reconciled, or disputed direct tax demands, some dating as far back as 1962, the Finance Minister acknowledged the burden they impose on honest taxpayers. She emphasized that such outstanding direct tax demands, especially those up to ₹25,000 for the period up to the financial year 2009-10 and up to ₹10,000 for financial years 2010-11 to 2014-15, would be withdrawn.

Benefiting Honest Taxpayers

The proposed withdrawal is anticipated to provide relief to a significant number of honest taxpayers who have long been grappling with unresolved tax demands. The move aims to address the concerns of taxpayers, reduce anxiety, and facilitate smoother refund processes for subsequent years.

Maintaining Tax Slabs

In a departure from major changes, Finance Minister Sitharaman adhered to convention by not introducing alterations to the existing tax slabs during the interim Budget. While the relief measures specifically target outstanding direct tax demands, the government refrained from making adjustments to broader tax structures.

The Finance Minister's announcement underscores the government's commitment to streamlining tax procedures, providing much-needed respite to taxpayers burdened by historical and disputed tax demands. This move aligns with broader efforts to simplify and enhance the efficiency of the taxation system, contributing to a more taxpayer-friendly environment.

Presenting her sixth consecutive Budget ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized the BJP-led government's commitment to an all-encompassing development approach. Describing it as "sarvangin," "sarvasparshi," and "sarvasamaveshi," she outlined the vision to make India a 'Viksit Bharat' (Developed Bharat) by 2047. Sitharaman underscored the importance of addressing the needs and aspirations of four key segments: the poor (gareeb), women (mahilayein), youth (yuva), and farmers (annadata), aligning with the Prime Minister's vision for inclusive growth.

Budget Live 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expresses hope for a resounding mandate for BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections during the live updates of Budget 2024. She highlights the government's achievement of helping 25 crore people escape poverty in the last decade. Emphasizing tribal welfare, Sitharaman discusses the PM Janman Yojana, focusing on groups outside the realm of development.

In her speech, Sitharaman outlines the government's focus on four major groups: the poor, women, youth, and farmers. She envisions making India 'Viksit Bharat' by 2047, with the mantra of "sabka sath, sabka vikas." Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Lok Sabha for the Budget presentation, and Sitharaman details the government's commitment to building a prosperous nation in its second term.

The live updates cover the Union Budget 2024 presentation, where Sitharaman emphasizes continuity in the tax rates for individual taxpayers opting for the regular tax regime. The new regime might include 80C deductions to boost its acceptance. The Cabinet approves the interim budget, marking a significant step in the budgetary process. Before the presentation, Finance Minister Sitharaman meets President Draupadi Murmu. Stay tuned for more developments in Budget 2024.

Balancing Act for Sitharaman and BJP:

As experts observe, Sitharaman and the BJP face the delicate task of balancing the diverse expectations of the electorate in an election year while ensuring fiscal responsibility. While substantial policy changes may be limited in an interim budget, anticipation remains high.

Taxpayer Expectations:

Salaried taxpayers, in particular, are hopeful for adjustments in income tax slabs, an increase in the standard deduction limit, and a rise in exemptions under Sections 80C and 80D.

MSMEs Anticipate Policy Support:

For Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), expectations center around government initiatives to streamline regulatory procedures, reduce compliance burdens, and enhance access to loans.

President's Assurance and Opposition's Critique:

President Droupadi Murmu, in her address to a joint sitting of Parliament, asserted that the government is progressing with a commitment to realizing the dreams of 140 crore countrymen. However, opposition members labeled the President's speech as an "election speech" and raised concerns about unaddressed issues such as income inequality, unemployment, and rising prices.

Interim Budget 2024 Live: Sitharaman Presents Amidst High Expectations & Election Heat

All eyes are on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she gears up to present the Interim Budget in Parliament today. Expectations run high among both industry leaders and the general public, with salaried taxpayers particularly hopeful for adjustments in income tax slabs and increased deductions.

Sitharaman's Historic Record:

This marks Ms. Sitharaman's sixth consecutive budget presentation, matching the record set by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai. Desai, during his tenure as finance minister, presented five annual budgets and one interim budget between 1959 and 1964. Notably, Sitharaman holds the record for the longest Budget speech, delivering a marathon address lasting 2 hours and 42 minutes in 2020.

Interim Budget Amid Election Season:

With Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April-May, Ms. Sitharaman will present an Interim Budget, deferring major policy changes or significant announcements to the full Budget, which will be presented by the newly elected government.

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