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The countdown for the budget has started. The Budget session of the Parliament is likely to begin on January 31, 2023, and is expected to conclude on April 6, 2023, with a recess in between. 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman is likely to present the Union Budget in the Parliament on February 01, 2023, and the first part of the session is expected to continue until February 10, 2023. 

The markets have been moving sideways for the past month and the benchmark indices have remained mostly flat. The corporate earnings season has failed to excite the markets. One of the main reasons for this muted performance could be foreign investors moving funds out of India as they are looking for emerging markets with cheaper valuations. 

Stock market investors are expecting a balanced budget with a focus on job creation, increased spending on infrastructure, controlling the deficit and bringing the economy back on track, according to experts. 

“In order to put more money in the hands of our people, the government should also consider eliminating the tax on dividend payouts, lowering the tax bracket for investors and increasing the basic tax exemption level from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh or higher. More cash in the hands of the people will mean more money to invest,” said Puneet Maheshwari, Director, Upstox. 

2022 was a landmark year for the Indian real estate sector with residential housing sales increasing by more than 50% in comparison with 2021. Though the sector has witnessed many regulatory and procedural changes, it continues to be known as an unorganised sector. Being the second largest contributor to the Indian GDP, the sector wishes to be accorded an industry status. This will make the sector more organised and improve transparency in its operations. 

Meanwhile, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) are looking towards the budget with anticipation. They wish that the government gives priority to the below areas to enable them to extend hassle-free credit. 

The auto industry has placed a demand for the rationalisation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to ensure that they are brought under the lower tax bracket 

“If one has to ask for a wish list, I think rationalisation of the GST tariff structure for the auto component industry. When the GST was announced in 2017, the component industry has 219 tariff lines of these, 40% were at 18% GST. Over the years, we have worked with the government, and today, 60% of these tariff lines are at 18% and 40% remains,” said Vinnie Mehta, Director General, Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

“ I’m hoping that in the next few years, even these 28% rates will become 18%,” he added. 

Written by Simran Bafna 

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