In some good news for the salaried middle class chafing under inflation and rising cost of living, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new tax regime under which she proposed to raise the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh.

Under the new regime, there will be six tax slabs. She also proposed increasing the income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh.

The new tax regime will now be the default tax regime, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The revised tax slabs are listed below:

0 to Rs 3 lakhs – nil

Rs 3 to 6 lakhs – 5%

Rs 6 to 9 Lakhs – 10%

Rs 9 to 12 Lakhs – 15%

Rs 12 to 15 Lakhs – 20%

Above Rs 15 Lakhs – 30%

Presenting the Budget for 2023-24, the finance minister announced hiking the capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development in the next fiscal. A capital outlay of Rs 2.4 lakh crore has been allocated for Railways, the highest-ever since 2013-14.

She retained the fiscal deficit target of 6.4 per cent in the revised estimate for FY2022-23 and reduced it to 5.9 per cent for the next fiscal. Fiscal deficit would be brought down to below 4.5 per cent by 2025-26, she reiterated.

In a move to further promote ease of doing business in the country, Permanent Account Number (PAN) will be used for common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies, Sitharaman said.