February 1, 2023
New Delhi, India
Interim Budget 2024 Highlights
India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the Interim Budget 2024-25, outlining key measures to boost the economy, enhance social welfare, and embrace digital accessibility.
Fiscal Discipline and Targets:
The government adopts an aggressive fiscal consolidation approach, setting the fiscal deficit target for FY25 at 5.1%, surpassing expectations and building on the successful achievement of a 5.8% target in FY24. The Capex outlay for the next year sees an 11.1% increase, signaling a commitment to infrastructure development.
In a bid to manage debt, the estimated gross borrowing for FY25 is reduced to ₹14.13 trillion. The Finance Minister also emphasizes the importance of research in developing indigenous oilseeds, aiming to make India self-sufficient and reduce the 60% dependency on cooking oil imports, costing over ₹1.5 trillion annually.
Social Welfare Initiatives:
The budget introduces a housing scheme for the middle class and extends healthcare coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to all Anganwadi workers. Efforts to set up more medical colleges and boost farmers’ income demonstrate a commitment to education, healthcare, and agriculture sectors.
Private Investment and Tax Measures:
The government encourages private investment in post-harvest activities, signaling a collaboration for economic growth. While tax rates remain unchanged, the withdrawal of outstanding disputed tax demands is set to benefit 1 crore taxpayers. Certain benefits for startups and tax exemptions for specific units are extended.
Digital Access to Budget Documents:
In a modernization move, the budget introduces a paperless form for accessing budget documents through the Union Budget Mobile App. This bilingual app, available in English and Hindi, ensures prompt availability of essential budget documents post the Budget Speech.
India’s Interim Budget 2024 lays the groundwork for fiscal responsibility, social welfare, and embracing digital accessibility. With a focus on indigenous development, private investment, and simplified tax measures, the government aims to propel the nation toward self-sufficiency and economic growth.
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