Budget 2024: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman vowed a commitment to economic reforms aimed at propelling growth in her Budget speech ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. This Interim Budget for 2024-25 assumes a pivotal role as an economic manifesto for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), offering insights into its plans for fiscal consolidation, borrowing strategies, and the future direction of taxation policies.
Sitharaman’s pledge for economic reforms signals a concerted effort by the government to stimulate and sustain growth in the wake of various economic challenges. As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections loom on the horizon, the Budget assumes heightened significance as it outlines the economic vision and policies that the BJP intends to champion in its bid for electoral support. Beyond being a mere financial document, the Budget serves as a roadmap for the government’s economic agenda, offering clues about its approach to key aspects such as fiscal management, borrowing practices, and tax reforms.
Presenting the Interim Budget, she made allocations for ministers with Defence getting the highest and Agriculture the lowest. To ensure faster growth of the sector, the central government will further promote private and public investment in post-harvest activities including aggregation, modern storage, efficient supply chains, primary and secondary processing and marketing and branding, she added.
Here are allocations for specific ministries:
- Defence Ministry: Rs 6.1 lakh crore
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways: Rs 2.78 lakh crore
- Ministry of Railways: Rs 2.55 lakh crore
- Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution: Rs 2.13 lakh crore
- Ministry of Home Affairs: Rs 2.03 lakh crore
- Ministry of Rural Development: Rs 1.77 lakh crore
- Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers: Rs 1.68 lakh crore
- Ministry of Communications:Rs 1.37 lakh crore
- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare: Rs 1.27 lakh crore
What is interim Budget?
An interim Budget serves as a provisional financial statement issued by the government, typically presented in an election year. Differing from a complete annual Budget, the Interim Budget is designed to address a shorter timeframe, bridging the gap until a new government is established post-elections.
This Budget provides a snapshot of the government’s revenue and spending for a portion of the fiscal year, enabling it to manage its financial obligations until the new administration introduces a comprehensive budget.