Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman presented her last Union budget ahead of 2024 polls. The FM announced that the Government is planning to set up three Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions which will be done in collaboration between educational institutions and leading industries with the objective of researching and developing practical AI applications in agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. The aim is to establish a strong AI ecosystem in India and to train skilled AI professionals.
Sitharaman also has announced TDS deduction on winnings from any online games. For online games, it is proposed to provide for TDS and taxability on net winnings at the time of withdrawal or at the end of the financial year. Moreover, TDS would be without the threshold of 10,000. For lottery, crossword puzzles games, etc threshold limit. Rs 10,000 for TDS shall continue but shall apply to aggregate winnings during a financial year.
The government will set up 100 labs to effectively develop 5G services and the labs will cover applications such a smart classroom, precision farming, intelligent transport system and healthcare. The Department of Telecommunication has been allocated Rs 97,570.05 crore
To the much relief of the electric vehicle sector, to avoid cascading or taxes on blended compressed natural gas, GOI proposed the exemption of excise duty in GST paid on compressed biogas contained in it. To further provide impetus to green mobility, customs duty exemption is being extended to import or capital goods and machinery required for the manufacture of lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles as well.
The tax rebate limit is raised to Rs 7 lakh from Rs 5 lakh.