Budget 2023 | On fundamentals the economy is looking very weak, says Manish Tewari

The government is going to go out and borrow. That essentially means the private sector is going to be squeezed out, said Manish Tewari

| Updated: 01 February, 2023 2:23 pm IST

Union Budget should be an accounting statement of Central Government,  how much it earned and spent and not a once a year opportunity for grandstanding, said Congress leader Manish Tewari reacting to the Budget speech of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.

During his post budget interaction with The New Indian, Tewari said, “Fiscal deficit that remains in range 17,6-17.8 lakh Crores over two FY’s & Govt borrowing 11.8 lakh Crores from the market. With Govt Capex at 10 lakh Crores it is clear that private investment is not happening & cylinders are not firing. The government is going to go out and borrow. That essentially means the private sector is going to be squeezed out. There is reliance on increased capital expenditure. On fundamentals, the economy is looking very weak.”

“In most countries a budget is a non-event. In India it is once in a year opportunity for Finance Minister to grandstand. An annual demonstration of state’s coercive stranglehold on economy,” he said in a tweet.

On the question of whether it sounded like an election budget, as it was presented a year ahead of the 2024 General Elections, Tewari said, “They have done the populism earlier when they talked about giving free food. Populism has been done off budget already,” he added.


Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the last full-fledged budget of the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

Sitharaman called it the “first Budget of Amrit Kaal” — the 25-year period culminating in the centenary of India’s independence – and said that India has grown from the 10th to 5th largest economy in the world and per capita income has more than doubled.

In a big push for income tax relief ahead of the general elections next year, the government has reworked the income tax slabs in the new tax regime. The new tax rates are:
– 0 to ₹3 lakhs – Nil
– ₹3 to 6 lakhs – 5%
– ₹6 to 9 Lakhs – 10%
– ₹9 to 12 Lakhs – 15%
– ₹12 to 15 Lakhs – 20%
– Above 15 Lakhs – 30%

Income tax rebates for individuals has been increased from ₹5 lakhs to ₹7 lakhs. Sitharaman said there will be no tax on income of up to ₹7 lacks a year.

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