Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has concluded presenting the Interim Budget 2024-25, with major focus on empowering farmers, women, youth and the poorest population.
Sitharaman said the government’s highest priority is on the poor, women, farmers and the youth. It was widely expected that the government would focus on enhancing farmers’ income, empowering women and creating more jobs for the youth.
She also said that the economy is doing will with the government’s focus on ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ and added that inflation has been successfully controlled.
Here’s a list of what the nation anticipates from Nirmala Sitharaman’s interim budget speech
‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047: Finance Minister
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned that the government is working to make the nation developed by 2047.
“Working to make India ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047,” said FM.
Government priority on poor, women, farmers and youth
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the focus of the government is on the poor, women, youth and farmers.”We need to focus on – Garib, Mahilayen, Yuva and Annadata (Poor, women, youth and farmers); Their needs and aspirations are our highest priorities,” she said.
Boosting farmers’ income
Nirmala Sitharaman said that the minimum support prices for crops have been periodically increased, in line with the government’s on enhancing farmer’s income/
“Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “For welfare of our annadata, every year, under PM Kisan Samman Yojana, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 crore farmers. Crop insurance is given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana. Our prosperity depends on equipping and empowering the youth.”
‘Economy doing well, inflation has moderated’
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Indian economy is doing well and that all areas of growth are performing better than expected. “We have macroeconomic stability, Investments are robust. The economy is doing well,” said Sitharaman.
She also said that inflation is under control and that it has moderated.
“Besides delivering on high growth, the government is equally focussed on a more comprehensive GDP – I.e., Governance, Development and Performance,” she added.
Big infrastructure push
In her presentation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a major push to infrastructure, including railways, aviation and ports. She said the capital expenditure outlay for next year increased by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11.11 lakh crore.
The Finance Minister proposed maintaining the current tax rates for both direct and indirect taxes, including export duties. “There is no proposed change in the taxation rates,” said Sitharaman.
Fiscal Deficit for FY24 and FY25
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman adjusted the fiscal deficit to 5.8 per cent of the gross domestic product for FY24, revised from the previous estimate of 5.9 per cent.
“Fiscal deficit for FY25 is estimated at 5.1 per cent of GDP, down from 5.8 per cent in current financial year,” said the FM.
Three railway corridors announced
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the establishment of a port connectivity corridor, an energy, mineral, and cement corridor, and a high-traffic density corridor.
These corridors aim to enhance connectivity and development in the respective sectors.
Affordable housing initiative
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a program to support deserving sections residing in rented accommodation, slums, chawls, or unauthorised colonies in acquiring or constructing their own homes.
Free electricity through solar power
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced rooftop solarisation which is set to benefit 1 crore households, offering up to 300 units of free electricity each month.
Anticipated advantages of the program include potential savings ranging from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 18,000, along with opportunities for households to sell excess electricity to distribution companies (discoms).