• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

“Interim Union Budget 2024-25: A Vision for Inclusive Growth and Development”

The Interim Union Budget for 2024-25, presented by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister  Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February,2024, outlines significant projections and initiatives for India’s economic development. With a projected real GDP growth of 7.3% in FY 2023-24, the government aims to prioritize the upliftment of the poor, women, youth, and farmers. Nirmala Sitharaman said, “We are working to make India a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. For achieving that goal, we need to improve people’s capability and empower them”.

At the heart of the budget lies a significant increase in capital expenditure outlay by 11.1% to Rs 11,11,111 crore, representing 3.4% of GDP, signaling a commitment towards bolstering infrastructure and investment in key sectors vital for sustainable growth. Moreover, the fiscal deficit is estimated at 5.1% of GDP, reflecting a judicious balance between expenditure and revenue mobilization. Paramount importance is the continuity of schemes such as the 50-year interest-free loan for youth and states, designed to foster holistic and inclusive development across the nation. By prioritizing the Eastern region as a driver of growth, the government endeavors to address regional disparities and harness untapped potential, thereby promoting balanced economic expansion.

Furthermore, the budget’s recognition of challenges posed by population growth and demographic shifts underscores a proactive approach towards addressing structural impediments to growth. The withdrawal of certain tax demands, benefiting approximately one crore taxpayers, reflects the government’s commitment to easing the tax burden and fostering a conducive business environment. Nevertheless, the absence of proposed changes in tax rates and the pledge to publish a white paper on the Indian economy raise pertinent questions regarding the government’s strategies for revenue generation and transparency in economic policymaking.

The Interim Union Budget for 2024-25 demonstrates a strong commitment to inclusive growth through increased capital expenditure and targeted initiatives for the upliftment of marginalized groups. The focus on infrastructure and key sectors, along with schemes for youth and regional development, highlights a proactive approach towards sustainable economic advancement. While the budget shows promise in promoting inclusive growth, it lacks clarity on tax reforms and revenue generation strategies. The absence of concrete measures to address structural challenges like population growth and demographic shifts raises concerns. Additionally, the pledge for transparency through a white paper on the economy needs more clarity.

Ashmita Nandi

Ashmita Nandi 4th semester student of Centre for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communication, Dibrugarh University

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