Union Budget 2022: Primary focus on economic recovery, employment, small businesses

Presenting her fourth budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined the government’s key priorities and said India’s growth is estimated to be at 9.27 per cent in the current year. She also said the virtuous cycle of investment is expected to revive on account of capex (capital expenditure) and crowd in private investment.

“We are in the midst of the Omicron wave, the speed of our vaccination campaign has helped greatly. I am confident that with ‘Sabka Prayaas’, we’ll continue with strong growth,” said Sitharaman. “This budget seeks to lay the foundation and steer the economy in the next 25 years. From India at 75 to India at 100.”

E-passports to be rolled out this year

Sitharaman on Tuesday announced that e-Passports will be rolled out this year to enhance the convenience for citizens. The announcement was welcomed by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. “India’s place in the emerging world order will be determined by a comprehensive and sustainable recovery. This budget provides the road map. An India that successfully creates stronger capacities at home will be a more effective and dependable global partner,” he said in a social media message. He described the budget as a “forward looking” document. The MEA has stated that the digital passport will allow greater security for personal data as well as a smoother immigration process. “Security aspects, including strategic assets such as Data Centres, and the Application Software will be owned by the Government. There would be strict access controls across the system, incorporating biometrics,” it has noted.

Digital currency by RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will introduce a digital currency in the next financial year, Sitharaman announced on Tuesday, adding that it will “boost the digital economy and efficient currency management.” She also said that income from virtual digital assets will be taxed at 30 per cent.



“Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system. It is therefore proposed to introduce digital rupee using blockchain and other technologies to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India, starting 2022-23,” she said.

Capital procurement for defence sector increased by 10 pc

Pushing for Atmanirbhar Bharat, Sitharaman on Tuesday announced that the capital procurement for the defence sector has been increased from 58 per cent to 68 per cent. She said this will reduce the dependence on imports of defence equipment.

Push for SEZs

As a push to promote exports, the SEZ Act will be replaced with new legislation and states shall become partners for the development of infrastructure, Sitharaman announced. In tandem, reforms are also proposed to be undertaken in the Customs administration of SEZs, with facilitation related changes to be made.

No changes in I-T slabs

No changes in the current income tax (I-T) slabs were announced by Sitharaman on Tuesday but she said that taxpayers would now be able to correct any discrepancy or omissions in their ITRs within two years of filing, subject to payment of taxes.


She also announced that a new IT return system will be introduced and litigation will be reduced by restricting appeal rights of revenue authorities for consecutive years. It marginally increased the time limit to commence production by March 31, 2024, for units opting for the beneficial corporate tax rate of 15 per cent.

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