Interim Budget 2024: Catalyzing Inclusive Growth Through Strategic Reforms
1. Poverty Alleviation and Financial Inclusion
With an unwavering commitment to poverty eradication, Finance Minister Sitharaman announced the uplifting of 25 crore people from poverty in the last decade. The government's robust Direct Benefit Transfer system, facilitated through the PM Jan Dhan Yojana, injected ₹34 lakh crore into the economy, generating a savings of ₹2.7 lakh crore.
2. Entrepreneurship Boost and Skill India Mission
A cornerstone of the budget lies in empowering entrepreneurs and artisans. Schemes such as PM-SVANidhi and Mudra Yojana extended credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors and disbursed 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans to women entrepreneurs. Simultaneously, over 1.4 crore youth underwent skilling programs under the Skill India Mission.
3. Regional Development and Economic Corridors
The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor took center stage, with the government eyeing its potential to enhance world trade.
4. Healthcare and Social Welfare Reforms
The government's commitment to social welfare and healthcare is evident in plans to subsidize the construction of 30 million affordable houses in rural areas. Furthermore, the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be expanded to include ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, and helpers, ensuring comprehensive healthcare coverage.
5. Agricultural Reforms and Self-Reliance
Agricultural initiatives include the introduction of 'Nano DAP' for various crops and policies to support dairy farmers. The strategy to achieve AtmaNirbharta (self-reliance) in oilseeds encompasses research, procurement, value addition, and crop insurance, aiming for a resilient and self-sufficient agricultural sector.
6. Infrastructure Boost and Sustainability
Infrastructure development takes centre stage with the conversion of 40,000 rail bogeys to Vande Bharat standards, enhancing passenger safety and convenience.
7. Capital Expenditure Surge
A significant increase in capital expenditure to ₹11.11 lakh crore for 2024-25 underscores the government's dedication to robust infrastructure development.
8. Fiscal Prudence and Tax Regime Stability
Maintaining fiscal discipline, the government targets a reduction in the fiscal deficit to 4.5% in 2025-26.
9. Borrowing Strategy and Debt Management
Striking a balance between resource mobilization and fiscal responsibility, the government plans reduced gross and net borrowings for 2024-25. Gross borrowings are pegged at ₹14.13 lakh crore, with net borrowings standing at ₹11.75 lakh crore, showcasing a prudent approach to debt management.
10. The Path Forward As the nation embarks on a transformative journey, Finance Minister Sitharaman's Interim Budget 2024 sets the stage for a resilient and self-reliant future. The blend of inclusive policies, sustainable initiatives, and fiscal prudence positions India on a trajectory of robust economic growth.