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Viksit Bharat, no tax change, 2 cr houses, Lakshadweep: Highlights of Modi Govt’s last Budget before elections


Image Source : PTI Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Interim Budget 2024 in the Lok Sabha, at Parliament House in New Delhi.

Budget 2024: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday presented the last budget of the Modi government 2.0 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, due in April-May this year. Announcing the budget, Sitharaman said that the government looks forward for a Viksit Bharat, investing in islands including Lakshadweep, building more houses for poor, improving railways, focusing in solar power among other initiatives. In the last 10 years, the government has targeted each and every household and individual through housing for all, ‘har ghar jal’, electricity for all, cooking gas for all, bank accounts and financial services for all, she said. The Finance Minister, however, added, “In the full budget in July, our Government will present a detailed roadmap for our pursuit of Viksit Bharat.”

  • The Indian economy has witnessed profound positive transformation in the last 10 years. The people of India are looking ahead to the future with hope and optimism.
  • In the second term, our government doubled down on its responsibilities to build a prosperous country with comprehensive development of all people and all regions. Our government strengthened its mantra to ‘sabka saath sabka vikas sabka vishwas’,” she said while presenting the interim budget 2024 in Lok Sabha.
  • Our development philosophy covered all elements including social inclusivity, and geographical inclusivity through development of all regions. With the whole of nation approach of ‘sabka prayas’, the country overcame once in a century pandemic and took long strides towards atma nirbhar Bharat committed to panch pran and laid a solid foundation for the amrit kal,” Sitharaman said.
  • As a result, our young country has high aspiration, pride in its presence and hope and confidence in a bright future. We expect our government, based on its stupendous work, will be blessed again by the people with a resounding mandate “
  • Our humane and inclusive approach to development is a mark and delebrate departure from earlier approach of provisioning up to village level. In the last 10 years, we have targeted each and every household and individual through housing for all, har ghar jal, electricity for all, cooking gas for all, bank accounts and financial services for all, in record time,” the Finance Minister said.

No change in tax regime, announces Finance Minister

The government has not made any changes in the income tax slabs. Sitharaman said she proposes to retain the same tax rates for direct and indirect taxes including import duties.

Focus on aviation sector 

  • Sitharaman said that the expansion of existing airports and development of new airports will continue expeditiously.
  • “A total of 517 new routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers. Indian carriers have proactively placed orders for over 1,000 new aircraft. Expansion of existing airports and development of new airports will continue expeditiously,” she said.

Govt to invest in islands including Lakshadweep

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that to address fervour for domestic tourism, projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure and amenities will be taken on our islands including Lakshadweep.

Govt proposes to bring comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers

A comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers will be formulated. Efforts are already on control foot and mouth disease. India is the world’s largest milk producer, but with a low productivity of milch animals, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Capital expenditure on infrastructure development to be increased by 11.1 per cent 

On Infrastructure, Sitharaman said that the capital expenditure outlay for infrastructure development and employment generation will be increased by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11,11,111 crore, that will be 3.4 per cent of the GDP.

On reforms in the states for ‘Viksit Bharat’, she said that a provision of Rs 75,000 crore rupees as fifty-year interest free loan has been proposed to support milestone-linked reforms by the state governments.

Vande Bharat like boogies, economic railway corridors for railways 

  • Nirmala Sitharaman said that three major economic railway corridor programmes identified under the PM Gati Shakti will be implemented to improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost energy, mineral and cement corridors, port connectivity corridors, and high traffic density corridors.
  • “Forty thousand normal rail bogies will also be converted to Vande Bharat standards,” the Finance Minister said.

A look at some other key announcements in interim Budget 2024

  • On ‘Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan’, Sitharaman said that the government has assisted 25 crore people out of multi-dimensional poverty in the last 10 years.
  • “DBT of Rs 34 lakh crore using PM-Jan Dhan accounts led to savings of Rs 2.7 lakh crore for the government. PM-SVANidhi provided credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors. At least 2.3 lakh have received credit for the third time,” the finance minister said.
  • On welfare of ‘Annadata’, she said that the PM-Kisan Samman Yojana has provided financial assistance to 11.8 crore farmers.
  • Under PM Fasal BimaYojana, crop insurance has been given to 4 crore farmers
  • Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) has integrated 1361 mandis, providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with a trading volume of Rs 3 lakh crore.
  • On Nari Shakti, Sitharaman said that 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans have been given to women entrepreneurs. Female enrolment in higher education has gone up by 28 per cent, she informed 
  • She said that in STEM courses, girls and women constitute 43 per cent of enrolment which is one of the highest in the world.
  • Over 70 per cent houses — under PM Awas Yojana — have been given to women from rural areas.
  • On PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) she said that despite COVID challenges, the target of three crore houses under PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) will be achieved soon. “At least two crore more houses will be taken up in the next five years,” she said.
  • She also mentioned rooftop solarisation and “muft bijli”, saying that 1 crore households will obtain 300 units free electricity every month through rooftop solarisation. “Each household is expected to save Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000 annually due to rooftop solarisation,” she said.
  • On Ayushman Bharat, she said that healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers and helpers.
  • On agriculture and food processing, the Finance Minister said that Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has benefitted 38 lakh farmers and generated at least 10 lakh employment.
  • Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana has assisted 2.4 lakh SHGs and 60000 individuals with credit linkages.
  • A corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore will be established with fifty-year interest free loan to provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates,” she mentioned about research and innovation for catalysing growth, employment and development.

 

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