Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the Interim Budget for the financial year 2024-2025 on February 1. As anticipated, the government has not announced any major policy changes ahead of the Parliamentary election this year.
The interim budget 2024 mostly focussed on corporate tax and startup. The budget announcement, refrained from significant policy shifts, concentrating instead on corporate tax measures and bolstering the startup ecosystem. Notably, taxpayers were left disappointed as no relief measures were introduced.
Corporate tax has been reduced to 22% from 30%, establishment of new corridors including railway and port corridors, and focus on tourism infrastructure development on islands including Lakshadweep to increase employment opportunities announced by the union finance minister in budget 2024. The finance minister also mentioned Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the tourism sector.
The focus on corporate tax, support to startups and focus on the tourism sector are expected to create more job opportunities across the country.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the tourism sector emerged as a key highlight, underlining the government's efforts to enhance India's standing as a global tourist destination.
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Tourism sector in India in 2022
According to Indian Tourism Statistics 2022, tourism continues to play an important role as a foreign exchange earner for India. In 2021, foreign exchange earnings (FEE) from tourism were US $ 8.797 billion as compared to US$ 6.958 billion in 2020, registering a positive growth of 26.4%.
It further adds that 1.64% of all tourists worldwide come from India. The top 10 ITA source nations worldwide were France, Italy, Mexico, the United States, Spain, Turkey, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Poland in 2022. India rose from 25th place in 2019 to 19th place in the world for tourism in 2020. The latest announcement is expected to boost tourism in India ultimately leading to job creation.