Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Narendra Modi government has implemented several tax benefits specifically for the middle class.
One significant provision is the exemption from Income Tax for individuals earning up to Rs 7.27 lakh annually.
Sitharaman emphasized the government’s commitment to inclusivity, stating that they have taken every section of society into consideration.
In response to concerns raised about the income tax exemption limit, especially for those earning slightly above Rs 7 lakh,
the Finance Minister explained that the government carefully analyzed the tax brackets for every additional Re 1 earned.
As a result, individuals are now liable to pay taxes only when their income surpasses the threshold of Rs 7.27 lakh.
Introduction of Standard Deduction
The Finance Minister highlighted the introduction of a standard deduction of Rs 50,000.
This provision was incorporated in response to feedback received about the lack of a standard deduction in the new tax scheme.
By simplifying payment rates and compliance processes, the government aims to streamline tax procedures for the middle class.
Boosting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
Sitharaman proudly shared the government’s achievements in supporting MSMEs, revealing a substantial increase in the budget allocation for these enterprises.
The budget for MSMEs has surged from Rs 3,185 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 22,138 crore in 2023-24, representing a seven-fold rise over nine years.
This significant budgetary increase demonstrates the government’s commitment to empowering small businesses.
Additionally, the Finance Minister highlighted the implementation of the Public Procurement Policy,
which ensured that 158 Central Public Sector Enterprises made 33% of their purchases from MSMEs, marking a historical high.
Simplifying Business Environment: Repealing Outdated Laws
Efforts to improve the ease of doing business were also highlighted by the Finance Minister.
India’s ranking on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index has significantly improved from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019.
To further ease the compliance burden on businesses, the government repealed over 1,500 archaic laws and approximately 39,000 compliance requirements.
Additionally, the Companies Act has been decriminalized, fostering a more favorable business environment.
Inauguration of Common Facility Center (CFC) at Indian Institute of Gems and Jewelry (IIGJ)
In a related event, the Finance Minister inaugurated the Common Facility Center (CFC) at the Indian Institute of Gems and Jewelry (IIGJ) in Udupi.
This initiative aims to provide comprehensive training to the youth of the region in various aspects of handmade jewelry making.
It is worth noting that Nirmala Sitharaman, during her tenure as the Minister of Commerce and Industry, laid the foundation stone for IIGJ in Udupi back in 2017.