The Interim Budget for 2024 was revealed today, providing a comprehensive strategy to promote inclusive growth, fiscal consolidation, and sustainable development in India. The budget is based on the vision of “Viksit Bharat by 2047” and aims to align various economic elements to achieve a prosperous nation.
Fiscal Consolidation and Economic Resilience
The Budget outlines a meticulous plan for fiscal consolidation, aiming to manage the government’s money wisely. It projects a decline in the Current Account Deficit (CAD) as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 3.2% in 2022-23 to 3.0% in 2024-25. This approach ensures economic resilience by striking a balance between revenue and expenditure.
Agricultural Transformation for Atmanirbharta
A significant focus lies on transforming agriculture to achieve self-reliance (Atmanirbharta). The Budget allocates substantial resources, with an emphasis on post-harvest activities, expanding the application of Nano-DAP across agro-climatic zones, and launching the Atmanirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyaan. The holistic approach extends to the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matsaya Sampada Yojana, aiming to enhance aquaculture productivity, double exports, and generate employment opportunities.
Green Growth and Sustainable Development
Environmental sustainability is at the forefront of the Budget’s priorities. Investments in renewable energy sources underscore a commitment to achieving ‘Net Zero’ by 2070. Viability Gap Funding for wind energy, mandatory blending of CNG, PNG, and compressed biogas, along with an increased allocation for the Blue Revolution, show the government’s dedication to fostering green growth and environmental consciousness.
Revitalising Infrastructure – Focus on Railways and Dedicated Freight Corridors
The Budget earmarks substantial allocations for the expansion and modernisation of the railway network, emphasising the implementation of three major railway corridor programs under PM Gati Shakti. This strategic move is designed not only to enhance logistics efficiency but also to reduce transportation costs, facilitating economic growth. These corridors are Port connectivity, energy, mineral & cement and High traffic density corridors, which will provide a boost to the economy by facilitating easy movement of goods within the country.
Empowering Women – An Integral Component
Women’s empowerment features prominently in the Budget’s agenda. It outlines initiatives such as the Mudra Yojana loans, increased female enrollment in higher education, and support for women entrepreneurs through self-help groups. The extension of health coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to include ASHA, Anganwadi workers, and helpers further demonstrates the government’s commitment to enhancing the well-being of women.
Budgetary Allocation in Numbers
Agriculture: The allocation of Rs. 2.78 lakh crore for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare signals a robust financial commitment towards agricultural reforms.
Green Growth Initiatives: An allocation of Rs. 8,500 crore for Solar Power (Grid) and Rs. 6,903 crore for the Modified Programme for Development of Semiconductors reflects a substantial focus on sustainable technologies.
Railways and Infrastructure: A noteworthy allocation of Rs. 2.13 lakh crore for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways indicates a significant investment in the development and maintenance of road networks.
Women Empowerment: Allocation of Rs. 1.27 lakh crore for the Ministry of Women and Child Development showcases a financial commitment to uplift and empower women. Empowering women and boosting rural incomes is high on the agenda. The “Lakhpati Didi” scheme expanded with an aim to make 3 crore rural women millionaires.
Health and Education: A considerable allocation of Rs. 4,970 crore for the National Green Hydrogen Mission and Rs. 60,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) highlights the government’s commitment to health and employment generation.
A Holistic Vision for a Resilient Future
Overall, the Interim Budget 2024 articulates a comprehensive vision for inclusive growth, fiscal consolidation, and sustainable development. The strategic focus on agriculture, green growth, infrastructure, and women empowerment, backed by significant budgetary allocations, sets the stage for a resilient and prosperous India. The Budget’s numbers reflect a commitment to transformative policies that address critical areas of development, laying a solid foundation for the envisioned ‘Viksit Bharat by 2047.’