What to Expect in the Union Budget 2024

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As the Union Budget 2024-25 draws near, scheduled for February 1 against the backdrop of impending general elections, the expectations are soaring. This budget is poised to execute a delicate balancing act between fiscal responsibility and populist measures. Diverse sectors such as pharma, healthcare, auto, and real estate have shared their wish lists for Budget 2024. This article will present a spectrum of demands and expectations. 

Tourism Sector's Expectations:

Leading up to the interim budget presentation, experts in the travel and tourism industry are advocating for crucial reforms to boost the sector. A key emphasis lies on the reduction of income tax levels and the standardization of Tax Collected at Source (TCS).

Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman of Thomas Cook India Ltd., highlights the significance of reduced income tax levels. The objective is to augment disposable income, fostering increased spending on travel and tourism activities. This proposed reduction aims to stimulate the sector by encouraging more leisure and travel-related expenditures.

Vishal Suri, Managing Director of SOTC Travel, adds a specific call for the coalescence of the TCS rate on outbound tours into a single five per cent slab. This move intends to level the playing field by reducing the advantage currently enjoyed by international competitors exempt from this levy. Standardizing the TCS rate is seen as a measure to create fair competition for both domestic and international players in the tourism industry.

 

EV Sector's Plea for FAME Scheme Subsidy Extension: 

In the thriving Electric Vehicle (EV) sector, experts are eagerly anticipating measures in the budget to sustain and enhance the industry's growth. Chakravarthi C., Managing Director of Quantum Energy, stresses the industry's anticipation of crucial measures to support its growth. With the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) II subsidy program set to expire in March 2024, stakeholders are collectively urging its extension.

Chakravarthi C. points out that extending the FAME scheme aligns with the government's ambitious target of achieving 30% electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2030. The subsidy extension is seen as a critical factor in ensuring ongoing efforts to enhance the affordability and accessibility of EVs, fostering the industry's sustainable growth.

Real Estate's Wishlist:

Saurabh Garg, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer of NoBroker.com, advocates for an increase in the cap on affordable housing from ₹45 lakh to ₹65 lakh. Garg emphasizes the need for a revised classification of cities under the House Rent Allowance (HRA) system, ensuring that cities with high rentals, including Bangalore and Hyderabad, are adequately considered.

Sandeep Runwal, President of NAREDCO Maharashtra, calls for a significant increase in the interest rate deduction cap to ₹5 lakh. Additionally, he seeks a redefinition of affordable housing, particularly in metro cities. Runwal underscores the real estate industry's anticipation of transformative changes in Budget 2024-25, including continued incentives for affordable rental housing, tax benefits for first-time homebuyers, and the reintroduction of GST with an input tax credit.

Shiwang Suraj, Director and Founder of InfraMantra anticipates enhanced support for affordable housing in the upcoming interim budget. He emphasizes the need for amplified policy frameworks, extended tax incentives, and fiscal backing to revitalize the segment and address the housing deficit. Suraj also advocates for elevating the home loan interest rebate under Section 24 from ₹2 lakh to ₹5 lakh, coupled with tax holidays for developers and streamlined project clearance.

Conclusion

As the nation eagerly awaits the Union Budget 2024-25, the wishlists from various sectors reveal a diverse set of expectations. From tourism to electric vehicles, real estate, and beyond, stakeholders anticipate measures that can bolster their respective industries and contribute to the nation's economic growth. The upcoming budget holds the potential to shape the trajectory of these sectors, and stakeholders eagerly await the government's decisions and allocations. The delicate balance between fiscal responsibility and addressing sector-specific needs will be a crucial aspect of the budget's impact on India's economic landscape.

FAQs on What to expect in budget 2024 - 2025

The Budget is notably positive, with the Finance Minister demonstrating commendable responsibility by maintaining a steadfast commitment to job creation, education investment, and skill development.

The Union Budget of India is typically announced by the Finance Minister during a parliamentary session, outlining the government's financial plans for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Union Budget covers the financial year, which begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the following year. It outlines revenue and expenditure plans for that period.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the budget for the fiscal year 2024-2025 on 1 February 2024 at 11:00 am

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