Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented her fourth Union Budget. In a big bang infrastructure push, the finance minister allocated ₹7.5 lakh crore towards capital expenditure for 2022-23, a 35.4% jump compared to last year. While there was no major income tax relief for the middle class, the FM said that any income from transfer of any digital assets shall be taxable at 30%.

FM leaves from Ministry of Finance to meet President

Nirmala Sitharaman met President Ram Nath Kovind ahead of her Budget speech. Earlier in the morning, the finance minister visited the Ministry of Finance.

FM reaches Parliament

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived at the Parliament at around 10:00 am. She will present the Union Budget 2022-23 at 11:00 am in a paperless format, just like last year.

Union Cabinet approves Budget 2022

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the Union Budget 2022.

Finance minister begins Budget speech in Lok Sabha

11:02 am: Nirmala Sitharaman says there has been a sharp rebound in the Indian economy. Budget will focus on Aatmanirbharta, she says.

GDP growth at 9.2%

11:04 am: India's GDP growth is estimated to be at 9.2%, highest among all large economies, says FM.

PLI to create 60 lakh jobs

11:08 am: The production linked incentive (PLI) announced by the government in 14 sectors will create 60 lakh jobs and has potential to generate Rs 30 lakh crore in production over the next five years, says finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

400 more Vande Bharat trains in 3 years

11:10 am: 400 new Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured during the next three years, says FM.

100 new cargo terminals in 3 years

11:20 am: The finance minister says 100 new cargo terminals will be created in the next three years.

Govt to build 25,000 km of highways in FY23

11:25 am: Government will build 25,000 kilometres of highways in FY23, says FM. Master plan for expressways to be formulated and ₹20,000 crore to be mobilised from various sources to fund highway projects, she says.

Commenting on the announcement, Nilaya Varma, co-founder & CEO at Primus Partners, says, “In the long run, a lot of road traffic has to move to other means for logistic efficiency and sustainable climate. In that context the emphasis on multi modal transport is very important. Having said that this transition will take time and therefor the expansion of 25000 KM of National Highway will not only help drive efficiency in economy but help drive employments at local levels."

Govt to set up 75 digital banking units

11:30 am: "To mark 75 years of independence, we propose to set up 75 digital banking units across 75 centres," says FM Sitharaman.

E-passport rollout in 2022

11:33 am: E-passports will be issued in 2022-23, says FM. Unlike traditional passports printed on booklets, ePassports are considered more secure as they are embedded with a microchip that includes personal information of the holder including biometric details.

ECLGS scheme extended till March 2023

11:35 am: The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme provided credit to more than 130 lakh MSME and helped mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, says FM. Since sectors like hospitality are yet to achieve pre-pandemic levels, ECLGS is being extended till March 2023 with additional guarantee cover of ₹50,000 crore, taking the total cover to ₹5 lakh crore with focus on hospitality, she says.

"There is increased focus on employability, e-skilling, employment generation in the MSME sector and recruitment with a view to formalise entrepreneurial opportunities. This augurs well given the rise of unemployment in recent times," says Tapati Ghose, partner, Deloitte India

IBC Act to be amended

11:40 am: IBC Act to be amended to facilitate cross border insolvency resolution, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

5G spectrum auction this year

11:45 am: The 5G spectrum auction will be held this year, says FM, adding that the scheme will get production linked incentives from the government.

Govt targets 280GW solar power by 2030

11:50 am: ₹19500 crore additional PLI scheme for solar module and PV manufacturing targeting 280GW by 2030.

Capex stepped up to ₹7.5 lakh crore for 2022-23

11: 57 am: Outlay for capital expenditure (capex) hiked by 35.4%. Govt sets ₹7.5 lakh crore capital expenditure, 4.1% of GDP, as target in 2022-23.

Digital rupee to be issued by RBI

11:59 am: Finance minister announces digital rupee using block chain technology.

India sets fiscal deficit target at 6.4% for FY23

12:00 pm: The government expects fiscal deficit to be 6.4% of the GDP in FY23, compared with the revised estimate of 6.9% in FY22, FM says.

Govt taxes crypto transactions at 30%

12:15 pm: Any income from transfer of any digital assets or cryptocurrencies shall be taxable at 30%, says Nirmala Sitharaman. Any gift of cryptocurrencies to be taxed at receiver's end, says FM.

LTCG surcharge capped at 15%

12:20 pm: Long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax on unlisted entities brought on par with listed entities. LTCG surcharge capped at 15%, says Sitharaman.

"Reduction of surcharge on unlisted shares is a big step. 28.5% will become 23%. Another big one in digital asset taxation," says Girish Vanvari, founder of Transaction Square and former national tax head of KPMG India.

No tax relief for the middle class

01:15 pm: "We are facing terrible inflation and there's no tax relief for the middle class. This is a Budget that seems to be pushing the mirage of 'achhe din' even farther away. Now it's India at 100, we'll have to wait for 25 more years for 'acche din' to arrive," says Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

"Betrayal of India's salaried class & middle class," says Congress

01:45 pm: Randeep Singh Surjewala, general secretary of the Indian National Congress, described the Budget as a betrayal of India's salaried and middle class. "India's salaried class & middle class were hoping for relief in times of pandemic, all round pay cuts and back breaking inflation. FM & PM have again deeply disappointed them in Direct Tax measures."

Surjewala also asked the government if cryptocurrency is now legal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares his views on Budget 2022

03:00 pm: All quarters have welcomed Budget 2022, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Focus of the Budget has been on more infrastructure, more investment, more growth and more jobs, says PM.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman addresses the media after presenting Union Budget

04:00 pm: Cryptocurrencies are not currencies, says FM. "RBI is going to issue its digital currency, everything outside of that which is loosely referred to as crypto is not currency."

Middle class 'disappointed'

04:15 pm: "Middle classes are disappointed with the budget for sure," tweets Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.