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March 27, 2023 6:51 am

FM Sitharaman to present Union Budget 2023-24 today; last full budget of Modi govt 2.0

New Delhi, February 1

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament today, the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term.

This year’s Budget holds much significance as the country is scheduled to have the next Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024. The budget session of the Parliament began on Tuesday with President’s address. This year’s budget session is going to have 27 sittings till April 6 with a month-long recess to examine the budget papers. The first part of the session will conclude on February 13. Parliament will reconvene on March 12 for the second part of the Budget Session and conclude on April 6.

The Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday tabled the Economic Survey for the Financial Year 2022-23.
The Economic Survey said that India’s economic recovery from the Covid pandemic is complete and the economy is expected to grow in the range of 6 per cent to 6.8 per cent in the coming financial year 2023-24. This is in comparison to 7 per cent this fiscal and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22.
Like the previous two Union Budgets, Union Budget 2023-24 will also be delivered in paperless form.

Amid growing public expectations around the Union Budget 2023, top business leaders of the country have also put forward their suggestions for Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Arihant Infrastructures, CMD, Ashok Chhajer told ANI that the government should focus on reducing home loan rates.
“The government should reduce home loan rates. The affordable housing segment, which is capped at Rs 45 lakh, should be changed to Rs 60-75 lakh which is the average cost of a house in Metro cities and 2-tier cities,” said Chhajer.
Hiranandani Group MD, Niranjan Hiranandani said the Budget should focus on further investments in roads, railways, ports, airports and highways, as well as slum rehabilitation schemes.

He added that if multimodal transport becomes successful in the next 2-3 years, the logistics cost can be reduced by 3-4 per cent for every item in the country.
“Logistics cost in India is 13 per cent. If our multimodal transport matters become successful in the next 2-3 years, we can reduce logistics cost by 3-4 per cent for every item in the country,” he added.
A key expectation of the healthcare sector from the upcoming Budget 2023 is an increase in expenditure on healthcare infrastructure, said experts in this field.
Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in view, the Budget 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 focused on the country’s healthcare sector.
During the Budget 2022-2023, the Centre in its Budget announced rolling out an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem which consists of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities.
Besides, Sitharaman also highlighted the launch of the National Tele Mental Health Programme, which included building a network of 23 telecentres to support the mental well-being of individuals, and families.
According to Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, Senior Vice President, NATHEALTH and MD and CEO, Fortis Healthcare, “India is amongst the most preferred destinations globally for medical tourism and therefore, increased policy support is required to encourage, facilitate medical value travel to India, develop MVT as an organized sector.”

“Another critical area is addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals – by identifying doctors, nurses and technical staff willing to work in Tier 2/3 cities and looking at non-traditional ways to double the number of doctors. We should look at best practices adopted in universities abroad (fall/summer admission pattern) to increase seats in existing medical colleges,” he said.

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