Budget 2022: Shock to salaried and middle class, there’s nothing to reduce prices, says Opposition
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a press conference that the government has not hiked any taxes this year on instructions from Modi.
Opposition leaders on Tuesday took apart the Budget, which was announced earlier in the day at Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the Budget had nothing for the welfare of salaried people, the middle class, the poor, the youth, farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises.
As part of the Budget, Sitharaman did not announce any changes in income tax slabs. She, however, announced that updated income tax returns can now be filed within two years.
She said that the Union government’s capital expenditure in financial year 2022-’23 will be Rs 7.50 lakh crore from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in this fiscal – an increase of 35.4%. Capital expenditure will now account for 2.9% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, the finance minister said.
Starting her Budget speech, she said that the four focus areas of this Budget are: private investment in transport sector under the PM Gati Shakti project, inclusive development, optimising productivity and boosting financial investment.
A day before the Budget, the Economic Survey forecast that Indian economy will grow 8% to 8.5% for the fiscal year starting in April (2022-’23), down from 9.2% projected in the current year (2021-’22).
Here are updates from the day:
9 pm: Prime Minister Modi says he will speak about the “people friendly and progressive” Budget at a programme on February 2, and invites Indians to join him.
Modi tweets that “people from all walks of life” are happy with the Union Budget, and that it caters to people from hill states, in remote areas, and on the banks of river Ganga. He adds that the Budget was “aimed at transforming the agricultural sector” and that he is sure it will help “hardworking small farmers” prosper.
8.08 pm: The Union Budget is extremely negative for the national Capital and betrays the farmers, says Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. “The Centre not only reduced allocation for minimum support price but also cut down the number of beneficiaries in the Budget,” he says. “The government has also failed to double the income of farmers as was promised.”
8.10 pm: Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw says that capital investment support for railways will help in completing stalled projects, the Hindustan Times reported. The Centre has made a provision of Rs 1.37 lakh crore for Railways in this years Budget.
7.58 pm: Tripura Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma says that the Rs 1,500 crore allocated for the Northeast region is the need of the hour, according to NDTV. He adds that the Centre has announced a “forward-looking” Budget.
6.52 pm: In response to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s comment on the Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says she pitied people who made quick responses. “He [Gandhi] should do something in Congress-governed states and then talk about it,” she adds.
6.47 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says that the government is working “account by account for black money to be brought,” based on the information shared by foreign nations since 2018. She also says that non-performing assets in banks were reducing as they were getting money back from the persons who have fled the country.
5.45 pm: The Budget has come as a shock to the salaried class and the middle class, the Congress says. “In the times of the coronavirus, the middle class has faced salary cuts and back-breaking inflation,” the party says. “They have got only disappointment from the Budget.”
5.15 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram says that today’s Budget was, by any standards, the “most capitalist speech ever read by a finance minister”. He notes that the word “poor” appears only twice in Sitharaman’s speech. “We thank the FM for remembering that there are poor people in this country,” Chidambaram says. He also alleges that the Budget makes no mention of cutting indirect taxes, especially the Goods and Services Tax.
5.07 pm: The Union Budget presented on Tuesday gives no relief to farmers and is silent on the promise of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel says, according to PTI. Baghel says that the Budget lacks any provision to complete items from previous budgets.
4.55 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says that the people had many expectations from the Budget as it was announced during the time of the coronavirus, but the Budget has left people disappointed. “The Budget has nothing for the common people,” Kejriwal says. “There is nothing to reduce price rise.”
4.50 pm: The Budget neither gives any relief to the middle class nor refers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of making a $5 trillion dollar economy, Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut says, according to PTI. Raut says that citizens paid Rs 1.40 lakh crore as Goods and Services Tax, but schemes that will be implemented with this tax do not find a mention in the Budget.
4.35 pm: The Reserve Bank of India has the authority to issue a digital currency and everything else, including crypto, are assets, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, according to NDTV. Her comments are in the context of the 30% tax on digital assets announced in the Budget on Tuesday.
4.24 pm: The Union government ensured that the burden of high international urea prices did not fall on farmers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said on Tuesday. She added that the government gave Rs 6,000 to farmers as part of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi. “The government is taking several steps to increase the income of farmers,” the minister said.
4.06 pm: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, addressing a press conference on Tuesday, says that the government has not hiked any taxes this year. “Last year, the prime minister had said that no taxes should be increased during the pandemic,” Sitharaman says. “The same directive stands for this year as well.”
3.54 pm: Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleges that the Union Budget has nothing for the welfare of salaried people, the middle class, the poor, the youth, farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises.
3.45 pm: The Budget 2022-23 has been welcomed by people from all sectors, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The positive reactions of common people have increased our enthusiasm to serve the people,” he said.
3.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that initiatives such as digital currency, digital units in the banking sector and the rollout of 5G telecom services will benefit young people, the middle class, the poor, Dalits and backward communities.
3.30 pm: The Budget 2022-23 has given special attention to ensuring pucca houses, tap water, toilets and gas connections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday. He added that the document has also given emphasis to modern internet connectivity.
3.15 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the Budget is filled with new possibilities for infrastructure, investment, growth and jobs. “I congratulate Finance Minister Nirmala ji and her entire team for this people-friendly and progressive budget,” he said.
3.12 pm: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that he was “very encouraged” by the announcements from the Budget 2022-23, ANI reported. He noted Sitharaman’s statement that last month’s Goods and Services Tax collections were a record Rs 1.49 lakh crore. “So, the economy is doing very well,” he said.
1.35 pm: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh says the Modi government is promoting “ecologically disastrous river-linking projects”. In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a project to link five rivers in India.
“Rhetoric sounds nice,” says Ramesh in a tweet. “But actions matter more. On that front, the Modi government is on a destructive path.”
1.33 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also says the Budget has nothing for common citizens and that the Modi government is lost in “big words signifying nothing”.
1.30 pm: Jayant Sinha, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, says Nirmala Sitharaman presented a “pro-growth Budget”, ANI reports.
“It will keep inflation under control,” he adds. “As a result of that there will tremendous job creation.”
1.20 pm: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor says he is “concerned about lack of substance for common citizens” in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2022.
1.15 pm: The Congress criticises the Union Budget, saying it has nothing for the middle class.
“India’s salaried class and middle class were hoping for relief in times of pandemic, all round pay cuts and back breaking inflation,” says party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala. “FM and PM have again deeply disappointed them in direct tax measures. This is a betrayal...”
12.45 pm: Some other announcement’s made in Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech:
- Special Economic Zone Act to be replaced with new legislation to enhance competitiveness of exports.
- Long term capital gains on listed equity share units liable to surcharge of 15%.
- Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme for Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises extended till March next year.
12.37 pm: The Lok Sabha is adjourned for the day. It will reconvene at 4 pm on Wednesday.
12.32 pm: The finance minister ends her Budget speech.
12.31: Custom duty on cut and polished diamond reduced to 5%. Custom duty is being increased on sodium cyanide.
12.30 pm: The finance minister did not announce any changes in personal income tax slabs.
12.26 pm: The central government proposes to reduce the minimum alternative tax for cooperatives from 18.5% to 15%. It also proposes to reduce co-operative surcharge from 12% to 7%.
12.25 pm: The gross Goods and Services Tax collection for January 2022 is Rs 1,40,986 crores, the highest since inception of GST, the finance minister says.
“GST revenue has been buoyant despite the pandemic,” she adds.
12.20 pm: In her Budget speech, the finance minister announces tax relief for persons with disabilities. The payment of annuity or lump sum for disabled dependent will be exempted.
12.15 pm: The government says virtual digital assets to be taxed at 30% without any deduction. Sitharaman says gifts of digital assets also to be taxed in hands of the recipient.
12.13 pm: Fiscal deficit for this financial year revised to 6.9% of GDP, breaching the target of 6.8%. Fiscal deficit target for next financial year pegged at 6.4% of GDP.
12.12 pm: “Taxpayers can now file updated returns within 2 years,” says Sitharaman. This will enable the tax payers to declare an income if they have missed out earlier or correct an error.
12.10 am: The finance minister proposes to increase tax deduction limit from 10% to 14% for state government employees to bring them at par with central government staff.
12.05 pm: Data centres and energy storage systems to be given infrastructure status, says Sitharaman. She says this will provide easy financing.
12.02 pm: Sovereign green bonds will also be launched for green infrastructure.
12 pm: The finance minister announces that announces digital rupee using blockchain and other technologies to be introduced by the Reserve Bank of India in 2022-’23.
11.55 am: The capital expenditure has been stepped up sharply by 35.4% to Rs 7.50 lakh crore for financial year 2022-’23.
11.50 am: To enhance India-specific knowledge, five academic institutions will be designated as Centres of Excellence, says the government.
11.47 am: The finance minister informs the House that spectrum auction will be conducted in 2022 for 5G rollout. Opposition asks, “What about BSNL?”
11.45 am: Nirmala Sitharaman says 68% of capital procurement budget in defence will be earmarked for domestic industry in 2022-’23. This is up from the 58% last fiscal.
Defence R&D will be opened up for start ups in a big push.
11.40 am: She adds that 1.5 lakh post offices to come under core banking systems.
11.38 am: Sitharaman says 75 digital banking units will be established by scheduled commercial banks in 75 districts to encourage digital payments.
11.37 am: Nirmala Sitharaman informs the House that PM Development Initiative Scheme for North East will be launched. She adds that 80 lakh affordable houses will be completed at Rs 48,000 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in 2022-’23.
11.35 am: E-passports using embedded chips and futuristic tech will be rolled out in 2022-’23, says the finance minister.
11.32 am: Sitharaman announces the launch of National Tele Mental Health programme, saying the Covid pandemic has “accentuated mental health problems”.
11.31 am: For child development, 2 lakh anganwadis to be upgraded with better facilities.
11.30 am: The finance minister now moves on to highlight the education divide among under privileged children amid the coronavirus pandemic. She says a new portal will be launched for skill development.
“One Class, One TV channel” will be expanded from 12 to 200 television channels. This will assist states to provide supplementary education in all regional languages, according to Sitharaman.
11.27 am: The government will pay Rs 2.37 lakh crore direct payment of minimum support price for wheat and paddy, Sitharaman says.
Sitharaman adds that usage of Kisan Drones will be promoted for crop assessments and spraying of insecticides.
11.26 am: Draft detailed project reports for five river water sharing projects have been finalised, says the finance minister. The Centre will provide support for their implementations, she continues.
11.25 am: For better farming, Sitharaman says the government will provide comprehensive package by coordinating with states.
11.22 am: For agricultural sector, the finance minister announces support for post-harvest value addition for millet products. She also speaks about promotion of chemical-free natural farming.
11.20 am: Sitharaman informs Parliament that metro systems, muti-model connectivity will be facilitated on priority along with 100 Gati Shakti cargo terminals in the next three years.
11.18 am: 400 new generation Vande Bharat trains will be developed and manufactured in next 3 years, Sitharaman says as she speaks about the PM Gati Shakti project.
11.17 am: Nirmala Sitharaman says 25,000 km of national highways to be built in 2022-’23.
11.15 am: The government, Nirmala Sitharaman, says strives to provide necessary ecosystem for middle class. “This Budget hopes to lay the foundation for Amrit Kal from India at 75 to India at 100,” she adds.
11.08 am: The finance minister says the four priorities of the government are:
- PM Gatishakti
- Productivity enhancement
- Energy transition and climate action
- Financing of investments
11.06 am: “We are confident of withstanding challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic,” says Nirmala Sitharaman.
11.05 am: The Budget seeks to lay a blueprint for the next 25 years, says the finance minister.
11.02 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting the Budget.
10.50 am: Traditionally copies of the Budget are brought to the Parliament complex before the finance minister arrives. However, this year no document has been printed because of coronavirus protocols. Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget in a paperless format like last year.
10.40 am: The Union Cabinet has approved the 2022 Budget, reports ANI. In a short while, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present it in Parliament.
10.35 am: The BSE Sensex rises more than 800 points in morning trade and the NSE Nifty soars above 17,500-levels.
10.22 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Parliament to attend the Cabinet meeting ahead of the Budget presentation, reports CNBC TV18. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Railways, Communications and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi are among those attending the meeting.
10.15 am: Today’s Budget will be the tenth one presented by the Modi government as the country grapples with rising inequalities. In a recent survey by the Fight Inequality Alliance, 80% of the respondents said that a “Covid surcharge” should be imposed on those earning more than Rs 2 crore per year.
10.05 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reaches Parliament, reports ANI.
9.40 am: The finance minister and her team meet President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
9.25 am: Sensex surges over 500 points ahead of Budget, Nifty trades above 17,500. ICICI Bank, Infosys IndusInd Bank, HDFC are among the top gainers today.
9.07 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaves from the Ministry of Finance. She will present the annual Budget via a tablet instead of the traditional red “bahi-khata” or cloth ledger.
8.48 am: Minister of State Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, tells ANI that the finance minister will deliver an “inclusive Budget” today. “It will be benefiting everyone...All sectors [including farmers] should have expectations from today’s Budget,” he says.
8.45 am: Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at the Ministry of Finance ahead of the annual Budget on Tuesday.
8 am: Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram criticises the Economic Survey, presented a day ahead of the Budget. He says it is a time for “contrition and change of approach, not for boasts and no change”.
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram states that the Economic Survey repeats “ad nauseum” that at the end of 2021-’22, the economy would have recovered to the “pre-pandemic level”.