S. R. Wadhwa, Advocate

The Hon’ble Prime Minister, in his recent address to the Nation, laid down the vision of achieving ‘Amrit Kaal’ as the objective for our country in order to provide, in adequate measure, the necessities of life to every resident irrespective of his caste, creed, sex or nationality. The vision includes the creation and development of a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy. In practical terms and in the short run, the following four areas have been chosen by the Hon’ble Finance Minister for focused attention for achieving the ‘Amrit Kaal’:-

  1. Green growth – Mindless economic growth can prove counter-productive. The efforts should, therefore, need to be focused on green growth by designing and implementing green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment. These focused efforts will help in reducing carbon intensity of the economy and would provide for large scale green job opportunities.

  2. Tourism – The Hon’ble Finance Minister has duly recognized the importance of promoting domestic and foreign tourists as an integral part of the development of tourism to meet the huge job opportunities that this sector hosts particularly for the youth of our country.

  3. Economic empowerment of women – The present programme of economic empowerment of women through the National Rural Livelihood Mission has proved very productive. It has resulted in mobalizing rural women into 81 lakhs Self Help Groups. The Government plans to scale up the programme to serve the large consumer markets to promote the employment of women particularly in rural areas where unemployment is wide spread causing grave economic hardships to a vast majority of the rural population.

  4. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM VIKAS) – The word ‘VIshwakarma’ refers, for centuries, to the group of people such as traditional artisans and craft persons who work with their hands using simple tools. A new Scheme has been designed for them in order to improve the quality of their products and integrating them with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) value chain. The Scheme will involve not only financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques and efficient green technologies, brand promotion, linkages with local and global markets, digital payments, and social security. It will greatly benefit our citizens belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs (Other Backward Classes), women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society.

Saptarishi in the budget

    1. Saptarishi (seven priorities) have been listed in the budget. They are intended to complement each other and guide the nation through the Amrit Kaal and are the following:-

      1. All Inclusive Development

      2. Reaching the Last Mile

      3. Infrastructure and Investment

      4. Unleashing the Potential

      5. Green Growth

      6. Youth Power Department 

      7. Financial Sector Strengthening

Priority (i) – All inclusive development

  1. In achieving the objective of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, Government shall focus on an all inclusive development covering specifically the farmers, women, youth and persons belonging to OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Divyangjan (handicapped persons) and economically weaker sections of the society. The focus will include the areas of agriculture and co-operation, health education and skilling, medical research, teachers’ training and national digital library.

    Priority (ii) – Reaching the last mile

  2. The Government has formed the ministries of AYUSH, Fisheries, Animal husbandry and Dairying, Skill Development, Jal Shakti and Co-operation. The Prime Minister Awas Yojna will be the kingpin in the scheme providing Rs. 79,000 crores which is 66% higher over the last years’ provision.

    Priority (iii) – Infrastructure and investment

  3. Investments in infrastructure and

    productive capacity of the Indian economy will have a large multiplier impact on its growth and employment. Private investments are growing again after the pandemic and involve an increase in capital investment for the third year in a row by a handsome amount of 33% to Rs. 10 lakhs crores which is almost three times the outlay during 2019-20 and is expected to enhance job creation and growth potential significantly.

    Priority (iv) – Unleashing the potential

  4. “Good Governance’ is the key to a nation’s progress. For this purpose, mission ‘Karmayogi’ for the Centre, States and Union Territories will be launched involving the making of and implementing the capacity- building plans for civil servants through an integrated on-line training platform to provide continuous learning opportunities to upgrade their skills and facilitate the achievement of the people-centric approach. Forty two laws are being amended through the Jan Vishwas Bill to further the objective of achieving the trust-based governance in this country. Centers of excellence are being set up to nurture quality human resources notably in the areas of agriculture, health and sustainable development. Permanent Account Number (PANs) allotted by the Income-tax Department to every taxpayer will be used by the business establishments as the common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies.

    Priority (v) – Green growth

  5. The economic development of the country will involve green growth in very material aspects involving actions notably in the following 12 areas:-

    1. Green Hydrogen Mission – This will involve shifting the economy to low carbon intensity, reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports.

    2. Energy Transition – The Energy Transition towards green growth has budget provision of Rs. 35,000 crores and will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

    3. Energy Storage Projects – These projects will be supported under a detailed framework for this purpose.

    4. Renewable Energy Evacuation – It is a very important aspect of shifting to green growth for which, evacuation and grid integration from Ladakh will be constructed involving an investment of Rs. 20,700 crores.

    5. Green Credit Programme – This programme will be notified providing incentives for responsive actions by companies and others to facilitate mobilization of additional resources.

    6. PM-PRANAM – It will be launched to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers. For this purpose, incentives will be given to States and Union Territories.

    7. GOBARdhan Scheme – An investment of Rs. 10,000 crores has been provided to establish 500 new ‘Waste to Wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) Scheme.

    8. Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres – Over one crore farmers are proposed to be facilitated in the next three years through the national-level distributed micro- fertilizers and pesticides manufacturing network.

    9. MISHTI – For encouraging a felicitation, Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’, MISHTI, will be initiated for plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, wherever feasible.

    10. Amrit Dharohar – For availing wetlands and sustainable bio-diversity, encourage optimal use of wetlands and enhance bio-diversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities, a Scheme will be implanted for the next three years.

    11. Coastal Shipping – It will be promoted under the Private Public Participation Scheme.

    12. Vehicle Replacement – Old polluting vehicles of the Central Government will be scrapped wherever feasible and States will also be supported in this action plan.

    Priority (vi) – Youth Power Department

  6. In order to produce employable youth, a new National Education Policy has been formulated aimed at skilling them so as to create job opportunities included in businesses. For this purpose, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will be launched to skill lakhs of youth within the next three years. for skilling the youth to avail of international opportunities of employment, 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different States and demand based skills will be provided by launching a unified Skill India Digital Platform. 50 tourist destinations will be selected to improve their connectivity and other facilities so as to encourage tourism.

    Priority (vii) – Financial Sector Strengthening

  7. Reforms of the financial sector are essential in accelerating economic growth.

    The budget proposes to accelerate the reforms in the financial sector by innovating use of technology to encourage ease of access to credit and participation in financial markets. A National Financial Information Registry will be set up to serve as the one point resource for providing financial and ancillary information for which a new legislative framework will be designed in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India. In order to simplify and reduce the cost of compliance, comprehensive review of the existing regulations in the financial sector will be carried out and, among others, time limits will also be laid down to decide applications under various regulations for financial assistance.

  8. Credit guarantee for MSMEs will be provided through a scheme which will take effect from 1st April, 2023 and by that time, Rs. 9,000 crores will be infused in the corpus of the Scheme providing additional collateral- free guaranteed credit of Rs. 2 lakhs crores and reducing the cost of the credit by about one percent.

  9. The financial sector regulators will carry out a comprehensive review of the existing regulation and will consider suggestions from public and regulated agencies. Time limits to decide the applications under various regulations will also be laid down to ensure time bound disposal and follow-up action.

  10. For senior citizens, the maximum deposit limit under the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme will be enhanced from Rs. 15 lakhs to Rs. 30 lakhs and for Monthly Income Account Scheme which the deposit limits will be enhanced from Rs. 4.5 lakhs to Rs. 9 lakhs for a single account and from Rs. 9 lakhs to Rs. 15 lakhs for a joint account.

  11. To conclude, the priorities in the budget are well thought out and hopefully, they will be implemented in full both in letter and spirit. This will enable the citizens of our country to reach higher standards of economic growth and improve their standards of living.

  12. Tax professionals, for their clients, need to plan and take in a structured manner the required actions to achieve the objective of economic growth by implementing the effect of various plans for development of a technology driven and knowledge based economy. Wherever any difficulty of interpretation arise, they would need to be resolved by mutual discussion and wherever required, by a reference to the Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance, North Block, New Delhi – 110001.

Manpower without unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly, then it becomes a spiritual power.

– Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

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