The Budget for this year (financial year 2023-2024) is out and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has a few incentives that Gen-Z might be interested in. While the college-going folks or the newly-recruited people in their early 20s might not care much about agricultural industry reforms and gold-silver-diamond prices, they might bat an eye for some highlights like mobile phones getting cheaper and clothes getting more expensive.
What also sets this budget apart from its predecessors is its emphasis on digital libraries and Artificial Intelligence, with FM Sitharaman even mentioning “Make AI in India” in her speech.
So, ICYMI, a few points about the Budget this year:
(and I went through all 58 pages of the Budget 2023 Summary to try and find out what mattered the most to Gen-Z)
Here are the major takeaways:
1. 3 Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence
The Union government has caught on the Artificial Intelligence craze as the budget announced the creation of 3 Centres of Excellence for AI. With the intention of boosting India’s AI ecosystem and development, these centres are to be established in top Indian institutions.
2. Mobile phones get cheaper but headphones are costlier
Mobiles and camera lenses will be cheaper according to this year’s Budget. While TVs and electric vehicles getting costlier wouldn’t matter much to the phone-addicted and Metro/bike-riding generation, what matters is headphones getting more expensive.
Time to stick to the earphones that came free with your cheap phone!
3. KYC norms to be simplified
The Know Your Customer (KYC) process can be quite a headache while setting up your Paytm account or handling other digital transactions. But now, with the Finance Minister’s Budget 2023 speech, it seems that KYC norms are to be simplified; with the numerous steps to be reduced and streamlined better.
4. Cigarettes to get more expensive
As is the case with almost every Budget since the last two decades, cigarettes are to get more expensive as they will now be hit with a 16 per cent increase in the calamity cess imposed on them.
Time to either kick the habit or move on to rolling your tobacco in “papers”!
5. PAN to be a common identifier
For businesses and employees that are required to have the Permanent Account Number (PAN) card, PAN will now be used as a common identifier for all digital systems of specific government agencies. It is yet to be confirmed which specific agencies these would be.
6. 100 labs for developing apps with 5G connectivity
The creation of a hundred labs has been announced for developing apps using 5G services.
7. One stop solution for identity and updating address
The budget also proposes a one-stop solution for updating your identity and address.
8. The new income tax slabs
In matters of personal income tax, Sitharaman gave us a “clickbait” moment by saying, “persons with income up to 7 lakh will not have to pay any tax”. But matters grew clearer with the points she brought up later.
Long story short, if you’re earning anywhere up to Rs 7 lakh, you don’t have to pay any taxes.
If you are earning more than Rs 7 lakh, your income will be taxed as per the slab:
The increase of the tax brackets this time ensures that you will be saving a bit more on taxes than before.
In case you are left scratching your head as to what this means for your particular income - you can read this: As per Budget 2023, exactly how much income tax do you have to pay now?
9. A National Digital Library
For younger school going students, a National Digital Library is also in the works for ensuring the availability of quality books across all geographies, languages, and device-agnostic accessibility.
ALSO SEE: Budget Day Sarees of Nirmala Sitharaman