Budget 2024: A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding The Union Budget

With Union Budget 2024 on the horizon, here's your concise guide to understanding India's financial roadmap
Budget 2024
Budget 2024

The Union Budget for 2024 is approaching, generating heightened curiosity, as it transcends being merely a financial document to becoming a key insight into the nation's path of progress. Article 112 of the Indian Constitution introduces us to the Union Budget, essentially the government's financial blueprint for the year. Think of it as a pocket guide estimating incoming and outgoing funds, akin to a roadmap for the country's financial landscape and offering a glimpse into the government's fiscal planning for the upcoming year.

In simple words, the Union Budget is a yearly plan by the Indian government to handle its finances. It outlines expected income and how the government will spend money on things like infrastructure, education, and healthcare. This budget is crucial for ensuring the government has enough funds to meet its goals while maintaining financial balance, and it communicates the government's financial priorities for the upcoming year.

The Finance Minister presents the Budget during a special Budget session in the Lok Sabha, typically scheduled for the first week of February. Following the minister's presentation, the document undergoes discussions, debates, and scrutiny by our representatives in the Lok Sabha.

More than a compilation of numbers or financial statements, the Budget significantly impacts every citizen, revealing details about new government schemes and announcing changes in taxes. For instance, the agriculture ministry's budgetary allocation rose to an estimated Rs 1.25 lakh crore for the FY24 financial year, including Rs 60,000 crore for the PM-KISAN scheme, directly affecting farmers across the country.

As the nation progresses, the budget evolves. From being presented at 5 PM on the last working day of February to the current schedule in the first week of February at 11 AM, the budgetary process adapts. RK Shanmukham Chetty presented Independent India's first budget in 1947, with total expenditures amounting to 192 crores. In 2023, the estimated total expenditure in BE 2023-24 is 45,03,097 crore, including a total capital expenditure of 10,00,961 crore.

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