FM Nirmala Sitharaman presents Interim Budget-2024

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024 in the Lok Sabha. This marked her sixth Budget presentation as the Finance Minister and was the final Budget of the current Lok Sabha.

The complete Union Budget will be presented after the General Elections in 2024 once the new government is elected. Notably, in the election year, the government presents the interim budget ahead of the polls. In it, the government’s expenses and revenues for a short period are presented.

Highlights of the Interim Budget 2024

  1. Taxation:
  • No adjustments in tax slabs.
  • No alterations in direct and indirect tax rates.
  • Remarkable growth in direct tax collections.
  • Significant reduction in the time taken for tax refunds, from 94 days to ten days.
  1. Infrastructure and Development:
  • Focus on island tourism promotion, particularly in regions like Lakshadweep.
  • Expansion of Vande Varat and Namo Bharat trains.
  • Commitment to improve the Electric Vehicle ecosystem.
  • Introduction of 517 new Udan routes to enhance air travel connectivity.
  1. Vision for Viksit Bharat:
  • Emphasizing a prosperous India in harmony with nature, with modern infrastructure, and offering opportunities for all to realize their potential.
  • A vision of unprecedented development in the next five years, striving for a developed India by 2047.
  1. Empowerment and Inclusion:
  • Recognizing the significance of the trinity of democracy, demography, and diversity, reinforced by Sab Ka Prayaas, in fulfilling the aspirations of every Indian.
  • A goal of self-reliance in oilseeds.
  • Aiming for Atmanirbharta in oilseeds such as sesame, sunflower, and mustard, along with comprehensive support for dairy farmers.
  • Extension of the Lakhpati Didi Scheme, providing loans to women, from 2 crores to 3 crores beneficiaries.
  • Support for women entrepreneurs with 30 crore MUDRA Yojana loans.
  • Progress in empowering women through entrepreneurship, ease of living, and dignity.
  • Notable enrollment of girls and women, constituting 43% in STEM courses, one of the highest globally, contributing to increased female participation in the workforce.
  • Legislative accomplishments, including the abolition of Triple Talaq, the passing of women’s quotas in Lok Sabha, and granting houses under PM Awas Yojana to women as sole or joint owners, all contributing to the enhanced dignity of women.
  • A 28% increase in girls’ enrollment in schools over the past decade.
  • Financial support with a significant Rs 43 crore allocated for startups.
  • Commitment to energy security in terms of accessibility and affordability.
  • Skill development with 1.4 crore youth trained under the Skill India program.
  1. Economic Outlook:
  • The government’s motto: Reform, Perform, and Transform.
  • Navigating successfully through global disruptions and uncertainties, including the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs. 34 lakh crore through PM Jan Dhan accounts, resulting in substantial savings and reduced leakages.
  • Positive anticipation for the future, characterized by hope and optimism.
  • A decade of profound positive transformation in the Indian economy.
  1. Governance and Development:
  • Recognition of GST’s role in creating one nation, one market, and one tax, while also broadening the tax base.
  • A unique perspective on GDP, signifying Governance Development and Performance, with an emphasis on minimum government and maximum governance.
  • Robust investments and an improved economy, leading to enhanced living standards and a 50% increase in average income.
  • A strong commitment to empowering the youth, highlighted by achievements in chess and entrepreneurship.
  1. Inclusivity and Social Justice:
  • Establishment of 390 universities.
  • Focus on social and geographical inclusivity, effectively tackling challenges posed by the pandemic.
  • Assurances of a resounding mandate for the government due to its inclusive approach.
  • Initiatives to eliminate food-related concerns through free ration distribution to 80 crore people.
  • Addressing minimum support prices for farmers.
  • A pledge to build a Vikasit Bharat by 2047, emphasizing the importance of social justice, reducing corruption, and preventing nepotism.
  • A focus on outcomes, prioritizing the progress of the four major segments of society: the poor, women, youth, and farmers (annadata).
  • Successful upliftment of 25 crore people from multidimensional poverty during the government’s tenure.
  • Implementation of farmer-centric policies.

The Interim Budget 2024, presented by FM, reflects the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth, inclusivity, and empowerment. With a vision for a prosperous India and a focus on key sectors, it outlines a path towards achieving a developed India by 2047, while addressing various aspects of social justice and governance development.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hailed the Budget presented today as “not merely an interim budget but an inclusive and innovative budget.” Prime Minister Modi asserted, “this budget carries the confidence of continuity.” The Prime Minister further said “This budget will empower all pillars of developed India – the youth, the poor, women, and farmers.”

Commending Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her vision, Prime Minister Modi stated, “Nirmala Ji’s budget is a budget for building the future of the country.” He further added, “This budget carries the guarantee of strengthening the foundation of Viksit Bharat by 2047.”

Prime Minister Modi remarked, “this budget is a reflection of the aspirations of Young India.” He highlighted two significant decisions taken in the budget, stating, “a fund of Rs. 1 lakh crore has been announced for research and innovation.”

Additionally, he highlighted the extension of tax exemptions for startups in the budget.

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