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In the wake of building on the massive tripling of capital expenditure outlay in the past 4 years, resulting in huge growth of economy, The Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to make India a “Viksit Bharat” by 2047, where the government stresses to work with an approach of development which is all-round, all-pervasive and all-inclusive.

Indeed, the Indian Economy has witnessed a profound positive transformation in the last ten years and the people of India are looking ahead to the future with hope and optimism, wherein opportunities were created for employment and entrepreneurship. With “Sabka-Saath “ in these 10 years, the Government’s efforts are now getting synergized with energy and passion for empowerment of people, already assisting 25 crore people to get freedom from multi-dimenisonal poverty.

As we delve deep into the subject matter of Budget, let us first discuss it’s meaning and importance for the economy and nation.

A budget is defined as an estimation of revenue and expenses over a specified future period of time that is re-evaluated on a periodic basis. It is a quantitative plan for acquiring and using resources over a specified period.

Undoubtedly, a well planned budget is extremely important for any government, so as to effectively steer the country towards prosperity. Be it effective allocation of resources or promoting business growth, reducing economic disparities or encouraging investment and savings, for a diverse country like India, with it’s rich culture and economic tapestry, it becomes crucial for the government to allocate resources wisely.

1. Ensuring Economic Growth – A budget allows the government to regulate taxation in different sectors by providing tax rebates and subsidies, thereby fostering economic prosperity and encouraging individuals to focus on savings and investments.

2. Reducing Economic Disparity – Through budget, government can curb economic inequality by introducing public and economic welfare policies for the underprivileged sections of the society.

High angle budget on wooden blocks

3. Proper allocation of Resources – By identifying areas of weakness and strategically allocating resources to address them, it is important for government to utilize funds in the areas where they are required the most, showcasing effective governance and promoting economic stability.

In his address to the nation in the 75th year of Republic, The Honourable Prime Minister said – “we commit ourselves to national development, with new inspirations, new consciousness, new resolutions, as the country opens up immense possibilities and opportunities”. It is our ‘KartavyaKaal’.

The Finance Minister said, “Every challenge of the pre-2014 era was overcome through our economic management and our governance and these have placed the country on a resolute path of sustained high growth”.

With this objective, some of the key highlights of the interim budget announced on 1st February, 2024 are –

1. CAPITAL EXPENDITURE OUTLAY FOR THE NEXT YEAR IS BEING INCREASED BY 11.1 PER CENT TO RS 11,11,111 CRORE, WHICH WOULD BE 3.4 PER CENT OF THE GDP

2. FISCAL DEFICIT IN 2024-25 IS ESTIMATED TO BE 5.1% OF GDP

3. UPLIFTMENT OF ‘GARIB’ (POOR), ‘MAHILAYEN’ (WOMEN), ‘YUVA’ (YOUTH) AND ‘ANNADATA’(FARMER) IS THE HIGHEST PRIORITY OF GOVERNMENT

4. NO CHANGE PROPOSED IN TAX RATES IN THE INTERIM BUDGET.

5. GOVERNMENT TO LAY WHITE PAPER ON INDIAN ECONOMY NOW AND THEN

All in all, On the status of Indian economy, the Union Minister said that in 2014 the responsibility to mend the economy step by step and to put the Governance systems in order was enormous, which she said was done by the Government successfully following its strong belief of ‘nation-first’. She assured that the crisis of those years has been overcome and economy has been put firmly on a high sustainable growth path with all-round development.

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