Budget 2024: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday presented the interim Budget in Parliament ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. In her Budget speech, she said that a new scheme will be launched to bolster deep tech for the defence sector. She further said that the government will promote public and private investment in post-harvesting agriculture activities.
Presenting the interim Budget 2024-25, she said the application of nano DAP on various crops will be expanded in agri-climatic zones. “A new scheme will be launched for strengthening deep-tech technologies for Defence purposes and expediting ‘Atmanirbharta'”, she added. With Rs 6.1 lakh crore, the defence ministry has been given the highest allocation.
‘Govt committed to strengthening economy’
The Finance Minister said the Modi government stands committed to strengthening and expanding the economy with high growth and to create conditions for people to realize their aspirations. Many growth and development-enabling reforms are needed in the states to realize the vision of ‘Viksit Bharat’. “A provision of seventy-five thousand crore rupees as a fifty-year interest-free loan is proposed this year to support those milestone-linked reforms by the State Governments,” Sitharaman added.
The Union Finance Minister further said the government has also proposed to withdraw old disputed direct tax demands of up to Rs 25,000 till FY10 and Rs 10,000 for 2010-11 to 2014-15. The withdrawal of tax demand will benefit one crore taxpayers, she said. The focus of the government has been to improve services for taxpayers, she added.
Sitharaman also said the government will set up a high-level committee to consider challenges posed by the fast-growing population. The government will encourage vaccination for girls in the age group of 9-14 years to prevent cervical cancer, she added.
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.