Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 in the parliament today.
By presenting this budget, she has surpassed her predecessors, including Arun Jaitley, P Chidambaram, Yashwant Sinha, and Manmohan Singh, each of whom had presented five consecutive budgets.
IMEC Corridor To Become Basis For World Trade: The Finance Minister emphasized that the India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor is poised to serve as the foundation of global trade for centuries to come. She stated that this initiative, announced during the G20 Summit, will be etched in history for its significant impact.
Focus on the Development of Eastern Region: The government will focus on developing the eastern region of India to ensure that growth is not concentrated in some regions. Sitharaman said that the government will ensure people of these regions are not left behind.
Launch of Housing Scheme: The minister in her speech said the government will launch a housing scheme for deserving sections of the middle class in the country.
Promotion of Private Activities in Post-Harvest Activities: The government will promote private investment in post harvest activities in agriculture sector to ensure higher growth. For the unversed, agriculture sector has been facing headwinds and its growth slowed down to 1.6 per cent in Q2.
Corpus of 1 Lakh for Tech Savvy Youth: The minister announced a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore to promote research and development in sunrise sectors. The corpus will provide financing or refinancing at low or nil interest rates for private companies to invest on research and development, she added.
Three Railway Corridors to Come up: Under the PM Gati Shakti Yojana, the government will develop three major railway corridors that will include mineral and energy corridors. It will improve logistics chain within the country and boost economic growth, the minister said.
Projects for Promoting Tourism in Lakshadweep: The government will bring projects to develop tourism infrastructure in Lakshadweep.
Increase in Capex: The outlay of capital expenditure increased by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11.11 lakh crore.
Fiscal Deficit Estimated at 5.1% for FY25: For the announcement on fiscal consolidation, the government aims to bring fiscal deficit to 5.1 per cent of GDP in FY25 from 5.9 per cent in FY24. The minister expressed faith in bringing it down further to 4.5 per cent by FY26.
Tax Rates Retained: The minister said there will no changes in the tax slabs.