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Budget 2024 Echoes of Unstoppable India in the New Parliament Building: Rakesh Nangia

Standing in the freshly inaugurated Parliament building and delivering her sixth consecutive Union Budget, Hon’ble FM, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, resounded the development-mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”, strongly underpinning her Government’s pointed-resolve for inclusive growth. She re-coined the acronym ‘GDP’ as symbolizing ’Governance, Development and Performance’, and re-emphasized that India’s undeniable ‘Amrit Kaal’ (Golden-era) was going to bear the fruits of the ongoing ‘Kartavya Kaal’ (Action-time) strongly set into motion by her Government.

Hon’ble FM underlined the focus-groups of her Government as GARIB (Garib Kalyan, Desh-ka-Kalyan), YOUTH (Empowering-the-Youth), ANNADATA (Welfare-of-Farmers) and WOMEN (Nari-Shakti).

Taking cue from Hon’ble Prime Minister’s slogan of “Jai Anusandhan” (Victory-to-Innovation), FM emphatically announced establishment of a corpus of INR 1 lakh crore for providing long-term financing to “tech-savvy youth” perpetually hungry for low-interest capital to fund their ambitious R&D needs.  

Betting on a growth-trajectory of appx. 7% increase in GDP, and surging desire among foreign investors to enter lucrative Indian markets, she alluded that India is now confidently poised than ever before to reconsider bilateral investment treaties seeking “Foreign Direct Investment” on the prioritized-principle of “First Develop India”.  

On the tax front, whether direct or indirect, no changes in law, rate or duty-structure have been proposed.  Status quo has been maintained, as is usually expected from a ‘Vote-on-Account’.  However, on the fringes, marginal extensions by an additional year (i.e. commencement up until March 31, 2025) are proposed in respect of sun-set clauses as they apply to certain specified-units commencing operations in the GIFT city, and also in relation to incorporation of companies qualifying as eligible start-ups.  TCS provisions have been tweaked. In a gesture of generosity, it has been proposed that the Government will write-off arrears of income-tax upto a ceiling-limit of INR 10,000 or INR 25,000 pertaining to specified historical assessment years, which would potentially allow relief and bury litigation across 10 million small taxpayers.  

Overall, the mood of the Government sounded confident and upbeat. India’s growth-story is turning out to be real. 

Rakesh Nangia is the Chairman of Nangia Andersen India