Latest updates of budget 2024

Budget 2024 Updates

Budget 2024 : In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Indian economy has witnessed a profound transformation in the last ten years and that the Modi government carried out structural reforms and implemented pro-people programmes. She noted that the government will continue on path of fiscal consolidation to reduce fiscal deficit to 4.5% in 2025-26. She did not propose any changes relating to taxation and said that the government proposes to maintain the same tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties.

On the MGNREGA allocation, Ms. Sitharaman said that the allocation is done on the basis of demand coming from the ground. She also pointed out that the CAG has already commented on the way MGNREGA is operating in some States, where claims are reaching a stage where they need to be verified. “Are they [those getting wages] really people existing on the ground?…and other questions critical to the very letter and spirit of the program”.The CAG reports themselves highlight where course correction is needed in those States. Those problems needs to be addressed separately from whether the allocation is coming down, Ms. Sitharaman said. 

On the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, in light of geopolitcal conflicts, the Finance Minister said that the govt. is taking it forward. She acknowledged “significant disturbances in the Red Sea area and the Middle East,” but added that this is a project which has long-term implications for regions up to Europe. We will be consulting and taking it in all its contours, she said.

On the conversion of coaches to Vande Bharat standard, Ms. Sitharaman said that this is up to the railways, and pointed out that Vande Bharat trains and these bogies are two separate things altogether. “Those bogies [the old ones] probably cannot even take the speed with which we want to improve the high-density areas. So we are talking about the bogie quality meeting the Vande Bharat standard. As to which of the lines they will get connected to, and as a result what will be the rationalisation of ticket price, is up to the Railways.”We are aiming at upgradation, she added.

On the corpus for Research and Innovation, Finance Secretary T. V. Somanathan said that the Rs. 1 lakh crore is a provision over time, which will be provided as a 50-year interest free loan to a financial institution, who will finance and refinance projects at long tenures.

On a question regarding the nature of budget before elections, Ms. Sitharaman said that we have largely kept vote-on-account as vote-on-account, but also showed how the economy will be moving forward and who we will aim at when we present the budget in July. There are announcements along with vote-on-account, she said.

Major announcements in the interim budget :

  1. 2 crore more homes under PM AWAS yojana
  2. Housing for middle class
  3. Rooftop solar power generation for atleast 300 units
  4. Enhancement of target for Lakhpati Didi
  5. Preparing and Empowering MSME to grow and compete globally
  6. Attention to the Eastern region (Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh)
  7. Next generation reforms to be carried out
  8. Three major corridors which are programs for railways + 40,000 coaches brought to level of Vande Bharat.
  9. Urbanisation: Looking at metro and NaMo Bharat
  10. Rs. 1 lakh crore corpus for Research and Innovation
  11. Boost to Tourism

Guiding factors

  1. Social Justice as effective and necessary governance model
  2. Four major groups of youth , poor, women and farmer.
  3. Focus on Infrastructure.
  4. Using of technology as huge opportunity.
  5. High Powered committee for extensive consideration of challenges arising from population growth.

Have brought down fiscal deficit despite challenging times: Sitharaman

Price stability and inflation management; handling fallout of COVID; buildout of physical, digital and social infra; cleaning up banking system; GST; one nation, one market, one tax – these were highlighted by the Finance Minister as indicators of performance by her Government. She flagged the bringing down of the fiscal deficit despite of “very challenging times”, as per the announced consolidation path. The revised estimates clearly indicate that we are on the track to meet expectations set in 2021-22, and that we are well on track to meet 4.5% fiscal deficit (on or below) by FY 26.

Union Finance Minister addressing the post-Budget press conference spoke on Governance, Development and Performance. She said that this budget speaks on a position the government has delivered on development, better managed the economy. “A governance with care, conviction, and confidence.”On the performance, she said that the country has had three consecutive years of 7% growth, fastest growing economy of G-20.

Nirmala Sitharaman delivers her shortest Budget speech

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 presented her sixth consecutive Budget with a speech lasting 56 minutes, her shortest-ever.

Net zero gain for MGNREGS

2024 Budget allocates ₹86,000 crores for the rural employment scheme, which is nearly 43.33% hike from the allocation in the last Budget, though the total expenditure so far for the programme, as per Union Rural Development Ministry, is already ₹88,309 crores. 

How are the markets, industry reacting to the budget

While shares of companies related to the electric vehicle segment jumped after the announcement that the government will expand the electric vehicle ecosystem to support charging infra, initial market reaction has remained negative. 

The Prime Minister, in his remarks, highlighted the key announcements made for the benefit of farmers, poor people. Through Rooftop solarization, 1 crore families will get free electricity. Also, the sale of excess will generate income for these families, Mr. Modi said. The income tax remission scheme announced today will provide relief to 1 crore middle class population, he added. “There are several big announcements for the farmers as well, be it the utilisation of NANO-DP, or schemes for cattle, the expansion of PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, and the Atma Nirbhar Oil Seed Abhiyaan. This will increase the income of farmers, and reduce their expenses.”

Speaking on the infrastructural aspects of the budget, PM Modi said, “The budget also provided for 40,000 Vande Bharat bogies to be attached to regular trains. This will allow for a comfortable journey for passengers across several train routes.” “For the poor, we aim to build 2 crore additional houses in villages and urban areas. We have also promised to increase the number of Lakhpiti Didis to 3 crore.” This budget empowers the poor and middle class, providing them opportunities for income-generation, Mr. Modi said. 

This budget will empower the four pillars of a developed India, which are the youth, poor, women, and farmers. It is the budget which will transform the future of India, and it strengthens the foundation for a ‘developed India by 2047’, PM Modi said in his remarks following the budget. He highlighted two key decisions taken in this interim budget. The first being the Rs. 1 lakh crore corpus fund for research and innovation, and the tax exemptions provided to startups. He also stressed on the historic figure of Rs. 11.11 lakh crore allotted to capex. He called this a “sweet spot”, which will enable not only 21st century infrastructure, but also “countless jobs for the youth”.

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