The annual budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1st, is highly anticipated.

As this is the last full-year budget before the 2024 general elections, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to make efforts to appeal to all sectors of society in an effort to solidify their power. From large industries to small and medium enterprises, salaried individuals to farmers, and areas such as education and healthcare, all are hoping for some form of relief in this budget.

22 Key Anticipations for the 2023 Budget

Income tax 

  • Taxpayers are hoping for an increase in the current tax-free income limit from Rs 2.5 lakh per year to Rs 5 lakh per year, which could result in monthly savings of around Rs 1,000 for taxpayers.
  • Salaried workers also wish for an extension of the 80C deduction limit from the current Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh per fiscal year.
  • With rising medical costs, individuals are asking for an increase in the limit for deducting health insurance premiums and expenses from the current Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000.
  • The salaried class also expects to see a more reasonable tax slab structure, as the new regime introduced in Budget 2020 has lower tax rates but doesn’t allow for deductions for items such as house rent allowances, investments, and insurance premiums.

Education sector 

  • Despite being an important sector, education in India has only received about 3% of the GDP for the last 50 years, whereas developed countries typically allocate over 6% of their GDP towards education. The education sector in India is calling for a greater allocation of more than 6% of the GDP.
  • There is a need to direct attention and funding toward creating world-class universities with a strong emphasis on research. This can be achieved by providing additional funding for infrastructure and intellectual capital to select public universities to enhance their research capabilities

Infrastructure sector 

  • The Budget 2023 is expected to continue investing in infrastructure to drive growth, with a focus on PM-GatiShakti and the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP).
  • The credit rating agency ICRA believes that the government will prioritize urban infrastructure by increasing funding for urban transportation, water supply, sanitation, and sewage management in the Budget 2023.
  • It is estimated that the capital expenditure target could reach Rs 9.0-10.5 lakh crore in the fiscal year 2024, based on the current allocation of Rs 7.5 lakh crore, in order to stimulate infrastructure development, increase capacity, create jobs, and support economic recovery.
  • Experts believe that divestment will play a crucial role in securing the funds necessary to invest in infrastructure projects while still maintaining the fiscal deficit target.

Health sector

  • Experts say that the healthcare sector requires low-capital-intensive projects at the district and taluka levels to accommodate high patient volumes and provide access to affordable quality services.
  • The healthcare industry is also hoping for increased government support in boosting healthcare and insurance coverage, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.

Agriculture sector

  • Industry experts suggest that the government should increase the cash assistance provided to farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme, currently at Rs 6,000 per year, for purchasing crop inputs, offer tax benefits to agri-tech startups, and reduce import duties on agrochemicals.
  • Incentives are needed for farmers and agri-tech startups to promote the adoption of technology such as AI, precision farming, and drones in the Indian agriculture sector.
  • The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) has called for the launch of a national mission to increase oilseed production and decrease the import of cooking oils

Real estate sector 

  • Real estate developers are primarily hoping for increased tax exemptions on home loan interest under Section 24, up to Rs 5 lakhs per annum, as opposed to the current limit of Rs 2 lakhs per annum.
  • They also believe that the capital gains tax rate should be reduced from its current 20%. The current Rs 2 crore cap on capital gains for reinvesting in two properties should also be re-evaluated as these measures would provide much-needed relief on capital gains.


  • The government is expected to provide fiscal incentives for the production of toys, bicycles, leather, and footwear in the upcoming budget as it aims to broaden the production-linked incentive (PLI) program to include more high-employment potential industries.
  • The government should simplify and differentiate the tax structures for Private Equity and Venture Capital investors, as well as startups. The industry is requesting equal capital gains tax treatment between listed and unlisted securities

Fintech sector 

  • In an effort to increase financial inclusion and bring more people into the financial system, the government is expected to implement measures such as a national digital ID system and the development of digital infrastructure in rural areas. This will provide people with access to the benefits of fintech.
  • To support innovation and research and development in the fintech sector, the government is expected to announce various measures. These could include funding for R&D and tax incentives for companies that invest in new technologies. Such steps will help foster growth and development in the fintech industry.

Ev sector 

  • The electric vehicle industry is anticipating changes in tax policies regarding li-ion cells, battery packs, cell components, and EV components. They are requesting that the current 18% GST on these items be waived in order to support the production of EV batteries by battery manufacturers.