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India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman

We are working to make India a Viksit Bharat by 2047. Previously, social justice was only a political slogan. For our government, it is a necessary governance model- FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting Interim Budget 2024-2025, featuring a financial graph overlay on an image of New Delhi's skyline, representing India's economic forecast, as titled in 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in.
 

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Blueprint for a Progressive India.

Charting the Course to Viksit Bharat.

The Interim Budget 2024: A Catalyst for Change.

Setting Expectations and Exploring New Horizons.


Section 1: Top 15 Economic Points of Interim Budget 2024 India.

Section 2: Comprehensive Sectoral Insights of Interim Budget 2024: Empowerment, Vision, and Untouched Areas.

Section 3: Fiscal Strategy in Interim Budget 2024 India.

Section 4: Taxation Insights in Interim Budget 2024: A Missed Opportunity for Relief.

Section 5: Interim Budget 2024's Prudent Bond Strategy: Economic Stability and Global Market Impact.

Integrated Analysis of Interim Budget 2024: Navigating Through Industries.

Section 12: Weighing the Impact: Interim Budget 2024's Balancing Act.

 

Introduction: A Blueprint for a Progressive India

The Interim Budget for the financial year 2024-2025 was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2024


Charting the Course to Viksit Bharat

"We are working to make India a Viksit Bharat by 2047. Previously, social justice was only a political slogan. For our government, it is a necessary governance model," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's vision sets a compelling tone for the Interim Budget 2024. This statement not only reflects the government's commitment to inclusive development but also heralds a new era of economic planning and strategic growth.


The Interim Budget 2024: A Catalyst for Change

The Interim Budget 2024 emerges as a crucial document at a pivotal moment in India's development trajectory. Unlike typical interim budgets, this year's proposal transcends conventional expectations by focusing on long-term growth rather than short-term populist measures. It targets key areas such as GDP growth, capital expenditure, and fiscal consolidation, while also emphasizing welfare schemes and no change in tax rates, aiming to bolster the economy's resilience and ensure a sustainable future.


Setting Expectations and Exploring New Horizons

With a vision that extends beyond immediate electoral gains, the Interim Budget 2024 introduces a nuanced approach to national development. It challenges the status quo by prioritizing structural reforms over populist demands, signaling a decisive move towards building a robust economic foundation. This budget is set to explore the contours of a developmental agenda that promises to redefine India's growth story, marking a significant chapter in the journey towards Viksit Bharat.


Section 1: Top 15 Economic Points of Interim Budget 2024 India

Infographic from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in showing Top 15 Economic Points including fiscal deficit reduction, infrastructure spending, and initiatives for education, women's entrepreneurship, and rural housing.

In an ambitious move to steer the nation towards sustainable growth, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget 2024 for India, embedding strategic economic pillars for the upcoming fiscal year. Here's a condensed overview of the top 15 economic points:

  1. Fiscal Deficit: The government aims to reduce the fiscal deficit to 5.1% in FY25, down from 5.8% in FY24, demonstrating a commitment to fiscal consolidation.

  2. Taxation Stability: Maintaining stability, there are no changes to direct and indirect tax rates, alongside relief for small taxpayers through withdrawal of outstanding tax demands.

  3. Infrastructure Leap: A record allocation of Rs 11.11 lakh crore for infrastructure underscores the government's push towards modernizing India's physical framework.

  4. Railway Modernization: Plans to upgrade 40,000 rail bogies to Vande Bharat standards, part of the broader Gatishakti scheme, mark a significant step towards enhancing rail infrastructure.

  5. Greenfield Airports: An ambitious CAPEX of INR 85,000 crore for 72 new airports aims to expand India's aviation footprint.

  6. Roads and Highways: Increased investments in roads and highways reflect the government's strategy to bolster connectivity and economic growth.

  7. Economic Corridors: Implementation of major economic railway corridors to enhance energy, mineral, and cement connectivity.

  8. Agricultural Integration: The integration of 1361 mandis into the Electronic National Agriculture Market, aiding 1.8 crore farmers.

  9. Educational Reforms: Implementation of the National Education Policy and PM SHRI schools to foster quality education and holistic development.

  10. Youth Empowerment: The Skill India Mission's role in training and upskilling 1.4 crore youth, alongside the establishment of new ITIs.

  11. Women's Entrepreneurship: Facilitating women entrepreneurs with thirty crore Mudra Yojana loans.

  12. Strategic Geopolitics: The announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor as a strategic initiative.

  13. Blue Economy 2.0: Focusing on the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth and ecosystem health.

  14. Housing for the Middle Class: Launching a housing scheme to assist the middle class in acquiring homes.

  15. Rural Housing Success: Progress towards the goal of 3 crore rural houses, with plans for 2 crore more in the next five years.


1.1 Interim Budget 2024 India

The Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, emphasized fiscal prudence, with the fiscal deficit projected to decrease to 5.1% for FY25. The budget underscored a strong focus on infrastructure, allocating ₹ 11.11 lakh crore, and maintaining stability in tax policies.


1.2 FM Niramala Sitharaman's Declaration on New Fiscal Policies

Sitharaman announced several key policies aimed at economic growth, including the continuation of fiscal discipline, with no changes in direct and indirect taxes. The budget highlights included a significant allocation for capital expenditure to spur economic growth and initiatives for women's empowerment and youth skills development.


1.3 Expectations & Apprehensions before Interim Budget 2024 India

Prior to the budget presentation, there were apprehensions and expectations surrounding fiscal prudence, tax reforms, and strategic investments in infrastructure and key sectors. The budget addressed these through a balanced approach, focusing on economic stability, inclusive growth, and long-term development plans.

This summary encapsulates the essential elements and strategic initiatives outlined in the Interim Budget 2024 for India, reflecting the government's commitment to fostering economic growth, infrastructure development, and societal progress.


Section 2: Comprehensive Sectoral Insights of Interim Budget 2024: Empowerment, Vision, and Untouched Areas

Flowchart in 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in detailing Comprehensive Sectoral Insights, highlighting Welfare, Agriculture, Youth & Women Empowerment, Infrastructure, Logistics, Viksit Bharat Scheme, and DIDI Incentive for empowerment and vision.

The Interim Budget 2024 has earmarked substantial investments and initiatives across various sectors, aimed at propelling India towards a more inclusive and sustainable growth trajectory. Here's a concise overview of the sectors receiving a significant boost:


2.1 Interim Budget 2024 India Incentives:

  • Welfare: 25 Cr people lifted from multi-dimensional poverty via 'Direct Benefit Transfer', saving 2.7 Lakh Cr.

  • Agriculture: 1361 mandis integrated into the Electronic National Agriculture Market, aiding 1.8 Cr farmers.

  • Youth & Women: Skill India Mission and Mudra Yojana loans empower 1.4 Cr youth and 30 Cr women entrepreneurs.

  • Infrastructure: Capital expenditure boosted to ₹ 11.1 lakh crore.

  • Logistics: Establishment of economic railway corridors to reduce logistics costs.

2.2 Viksit Bharat Scheme:

  • A vision for a 'Developed India' by 2047 with a ₹ 75,000 crore interest-free loan to states for reforms, focusing on modern infrastructure and opportunities for all citizens.

2.3 DIDI Incentive:

  • The 'Lakhpati Didi Scheme' aims to enable 3 Cr rural women to generate a sustainable income of ₹1 lakh per annum, enhancing the socio-economic status of women in rural areas.

This targeted approach in the Interim Budget 2024 underscores the government's strategic investment in welfare, agriculture, youth and women empowerment, infrastructure, and logistics, aligning with the vision of a developed India by 2047.


2.4 Sectors Not Supported by Interim Budget 2024: While the budget has been generous to many sectors, a few have not seen significant support:

  • FMCG and Auto: Entry-level autos and two-wheelers continue to face challenges in achieving sustainable growth.

  • Fintech: Despite high expectations, the fintech sector's performance remains underwhelming.

  • Education: Limited adjustments have been made in alignment with the National Education Policy, leaving room for further enhancements.

Section 3: Fiscal Strategy in Interim Budget 2024 India

Line chart from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in showing Fiscal Deficit Trajectory from FY24 to FY26, illustrating a decline from 5.8% to 5.1% as part of the fiscal strategy in Interim Budget 2024 India.

In a move toward fiscal consolidation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined the government's strategy for managing India's fiscal deficit in the Interim Budget 2024. The revised estimate for FY24's fiscal deficit is pegged at 5.8% of GDP, with a projection to reduce it to 5.1% for FY25. This step is not only seen as a measure to counter inflation but also as a strategic move in an election year, showcasing the government's commitment to fiscal prudence. Furthermore, the government has set an ambitious target to lower the fiscal deficit to below 4.5% by the 2025-26 fiscal year. This reduction is anticipated to alleviate inflationary pressures and is strategically aimed at securing a rating upgrade, reflecting confidence in India's economic management. Additionally, the lower fiscal deficit of 5.1% for FY25, down from 5.8% in FY24, is expected to free up more space for private sector borrowings, thereby stimulating economic growth and investment.


Section 4: Taxation Insights in Interim Budget 2024: A Missed Opportunity for Relief

Infographic from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in highlighting Taxation Insights in Interim Budget 2024, showing the maintenance of tax rates, tax relief measures, support for startups, and tax collection data.

The burgeoning middle class, poised to represent 60% of India's population by 2047, finds itself at the center of economic considerations. Yet, the Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, appears to have overlooked direct opportunities for tax relief for this critical demographic.


4.1 Taxation Status Quo:

Despite the growing anticipation for tax adjustments, the budget maintained the existing direct and indirect tax rates, including import duties. This decision underscores a continuity in the fiscal approach but also signals a missed opportunity to provide direct relief to the middle class.


4.2 Tax Relief Measures:

A significant relief comes through the withdrawal of outstanding tax demands up to ₹ 25,000 for periods up to FY 2009-10 and up to ₹ 10,000 for FYs 2010-11 to 2014-15, benefiting around a crore taxpayers.

 

The Interim Budget 2024 maintains the status quo on tax rates, which, while ensuring stability, has missed the opportunity to offer direct relief to the burgeoning middle class. This decision comes at a time when the middle class is navigating through the complexities of financial planning amidst an evolving economic landscape.

For a deeper understanding of how these fiscal policies impact the shrinking income of the middle class in India, we invite you to explore our comprehensive analysis in the article, "Shrinking Income of the Middle Class in India." This piece sheds light on the pressing issues of income stagnation and the need for more nuanced tax relief measures to support the backbone of India's economy.


Mid-article call-to-action image from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in, discussing 'Shrinking Income of the Middle Class in India'. Features a calculator on a calendar, financial planning stamps, and a percentage symbol, symbolizing the challenges of rising taxes and inflation for the middle class.
 

4.3 Support for Startups and Investments:

Extending tax benefits to March 31, 2025, for startups, sovereign wealth, and pension funds, the government underscores its commitment to nurturing the startup ecosystem and attracting foreign investments. Over 2,975 startups have already benefited from Income Tax exemptions under the 'Startup India' initiative.


4.4 Tax Collections:

The revised direct and indirect tax collections for FY23-24 stand impressively at ₹ 19.45 lakh crore and ₹ 14.92 lakh crore, respectively. This growth reflects the government's successful efforts in expanding the tax base and enhancing taxpayer services, with GST collections nearly doubling.

The budget's approach, while fiscally prudent, leaves a gap in addressing the immediate tax relief expectations of the middle class, highlighting a cautious fiscal strategy ahead of broader economic considerations.


Section 5: Interim Budget 2024's Prudent Bond Strategy: Economic Stability and Global Market Impact

Interim Budget 2024's Prudent Bond Strategy infographic from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' article on www.sdblognation.in, detailing bond sales, yields, and foreign investment impact.

The Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, marks a significant shift towards fiscal consolidation, with the government planning to sell bonds worth ₹14.13 lakh crore in FY25, a reduction from ₹15.43 lakh crore in the current fiscal. This strategic move not only initiated a bond rally but also led to a decrease in yields, with the 10-year benchmark yield dropping to 7.0511 percent. This careful calibration of government borrowing reflects a commitment to stabilizing the Indian economy and signals a positive outlook for both domestic and international investors.

The anticipation around India Government Bonds (IGBs) joining the JP Morgan Global Bond Index-Emerging Markets in June 2024 underscores the budget's strategic timing. This inclusion is poised to catalyze a substantial foreign investment flow, estimated between $20-40 billion, into India's bond market, enhancing India's visibility on the global financial stage.

The budget's broader economic implications extend beyond immediate fiscal metrics. By prioritizing fiscal prudence over populist measures, especially in an election year, the government demonstrates a long-term vision aimed at economic stability and growth. The reduction in bond issuance, coupled with a focus on capital expenditure and fiscal deficit management, is expected to reduce borrowing costs, thereby fostering a conducive environment for sustainable economic advancement and making a compelling case for global investment in India's debt market.

This approach not only benefits the domestic economy by ensuring stability and growth but also enhances India's attractiveness as an investment destination, promising a healthier economic trajectory and bolstering confidence among global investors.


Integrated Analysis of Interim Budget 2024: Navigating Through Industries

The Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, stands out as a comprehensive blueprint for India's path towards economic resilience and sectoral empowerment. From reinforcing the foundational pillars of agriculture and MSMEs to embracing technological advancements in the defense and technology sectors, this budget paints a broad canvas of strategic initiatives aimed at nurturing growth, innovation, and sustainability across diverse segments of the economy.


Section_6: Enhancements to Tourism in Interim Budget 2024

The Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, introduces pivotal measures to energize the tourism industry, promising a significant impact on domestic travel, infrastructure development, and spiritual tourism. These initiatives are set to bolster the sector's contribution to the economy and local entrepreneurship.

  • Domestic Focus: A substantial emphasis on domestic tourism, supplemented by interest-free loans for states and a new rating system for tourist spots, aims to enhance the quality and attractiveness of local destinations.

  • Infrastructure Boost: The announcement of projects to improve port connectivity and tourism infrastructure, especially on India’s islands like Lakshadweep, marks a strategic move to unlock these regions' potential.

  • Spiritual Tourism: Development of iconic and spiritual tourist centers is encouraged, blending cultural richness with tourism to attract diverse visitors.

This strategic focus on tourism in the Interim Budget 2024 is poised to create jobs, promote local businesses, and position India as a leading tourism hub.


Section 7: Infrastructural Leap in Interim Budget 2024: Railways, Airports, and Beyond

Image from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in, titled 'Infrastructural Leap in Interim Budget 2024: Railways, Airports, and Beyond'. It shows budget allocations for infrastructure development, including ₹2.55 lakh crore for railways, and ₹11.11 lakh crore overall, with investment in 72 new greenfield airports.

The Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, earmarks substantial investments in infrastructure, underlining a robust blueprint for modernizing transport and enhancing urban development across India.

  • Railways Enhancement: With an allocation of ₹ 2.55 lakh crore for the railways, this budget marks a 5.8% increase over the prior year, setting the stage for comprehensive railway modernization. This includes upgrading 40,000 rail bogies to Vande Bharat standards and the development of three significant economic railway corridors, aimed at bolstering connectivity and freight movement.

 

Explore the Vande Bharat Revolution! Dive into "Revolutionary Vande Bharat Express: A Journey Like Never Before" for an inside look at India's rail transformation. Read More


Mid-article image for 'Revolutionary Vande Bharat Express: A Journey Like Never Before' in the article 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in. It displays the Vande Bharat Express train with officials flagging off the inaugural run, symbolizing India's advancements in high-speed rail connectivity.
 
  • Airport Expansion Initiative: A notable highlight is the government's plan to invest ₹ 85,000 crore in developing 72 new greenfield airports. This ambitious project is poised to significantly enhance air connectivity, making travel more accessible and fostering economic growth in regions newly introduced to air travel.

  • Infrastructure Development Drive: The record allocation of ₹ 11.11 lakh crore for infrastructure signifies a strategic push towards broad-based growth. This encompasses not just transport but also housing and urban development, with special initiatives aimed at improving living standards and stimulating job creation.

This strategic infusion of funds across key sectors in the Interim Budget 2024 demonstrates the government's commitment to catalyzing India's infrastructural and economic transformation, positioning it as a global player in the coming years.


Section 8: Strengthening Healthcare in Interim Budget 2024

The Interim Budget 2024, under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's guidance, brings pivotal developments to India's healthcare sector, focusing on enhancing Ayushman Bharat's reach and introducing measures against cervical cancer. But, without major health sector announcements.


8.1 Ayushman Bharat Scheme Enhancements:

Infographic from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in, showcasing key enhancements to the Ayushman Bharat Scheme in 2024: increased funding of ₹7,500 crore for PMJAY, medical colleges and immunization expansion, upgrades to Anganwadi with Saksham Anganwadi & Poshan 2.0, and expanded coverage including ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

  • Increased Funding: The budget increases the allocation for Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) within the Ayushman Bharat Scheme to ₹ 7,500 crore.

  • Expanded Coverage: Now includes all Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Anganwadi workers and helpers, broadening healthcare accessibility at the grassroots level.

  • Medical Colleges and Immunization: Plans to set up more medical colleges using existing infrastructure and roll out the U-WIN platform for nationwide immunization, alongside Mission Indradhanush's intensified efforts.

  • Anganwadi Upgrades: Acceleration of Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 upgrades for enhanced early childhood care and nutrition delivery.

8.2 Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative:

  • Vaccination Drive: A significant push for vaccinating girls aged 9 to 14 against cervical cancer, with the potential to dramatically reduce the incidence of this disease among Indian women.

These initiatives reflect a strategic approach to healthcare, aiming to fortify the Ayushman Bharat Scheme's foundation and tackle critical health challenges like cervical cancer, thereby promoting a healthier future for India.


Section 9: Advancing Agriculture in Interim Budget 2024: Embracing Technology and Sustainability

Slide from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' at www.sdblognation.in, detailing 'Advancing Agriculture in Interim Budget 2024'. Highlights include investment in post-harvest supply chains, e-NAM growth with 1361 mandis and 1.8 crore farmers, Atmanirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyaan, Nano DAP introduction for sustainable farming, and PM Kisan Sampada Yojana benefiting 38 lakh farmers.

Echoing the evolving slogans from Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" through Mr. Vajpayee's addition of "Jai Vigyan," and now to PM Modi's "Jai Jawan - Jai Kisan - Jai Vigyan - Jai Anusandhan," the Interim Budget 2024 reiterates the government's unwavering commitment to agriculture. With 58% of India's population dependent on agriculture, yet contributing only 14% to GDP, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcements aim to bridge this gap through technology integration and enhanced schemes.

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY): This transformative scheme has already benefited 38 lakh farmers, creating 10 lakh employment opportunities, signifying a major push towards agrarian prosperity and job creation.

  • Atmanirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyaan Expansion: With plans to further the initiative, the government focuses on boosting productivity in dairy, fisheries, oilseeds, among other sectors, underlining a holistic approach to agricultural advancement.

  • Investment in Post-Harvest Activities: Encouraging private and public investment in post-harvest infrastructure promises to streamline supply chains and reduce wastage, enhancing the value chain from farm to fork.

  • Nano DAP Introduction: Following Nano Urea's success, expanding Nano DAP's application across crops aims to improve yield while promoting sustainable farming practices across all agro-climatic zones.

  • Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Growth: Integrating 1361 mandis and servicing 1.8 crore farmers with a trading volume of ₹3 lakh crore, e-NAM exemplifies the government's effort to modernize agriculture through digital platforms.

These initiatives, collectively, mark a significant stride towards transforming Indian agriculture into a more productive, sustainable, and technology-driven sector, aligning with the broader vision of "Jai Jawan - Jai Kisan - Jai Vigyan - Jai Anusandhan."


Section 10: Interim Budget 2024's Blueprint for Technology and MSME Empowerment

Image from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' article on www.sdblognation.in, depicting 'Interim Budget 2024's Blueprint for Technology and MSME Empowerment'. It highlights a ₹1 Lakh Cr fund and tax incentives for technology, ₹1 lakh crore for innovation in defense, startup ecosystem growth, and MSME development with ₹1.97 lakh crore outlay and digital infrastructure expansion.

In the Interim Budget 2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman casts a spotlight on the technology but very few as expected by the MSME sectors.

Despite being a cornerstone of the Indian economy, with the largest MSME base globally after China, the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector's expectations from the Interim Budget 2024 were met with measured advancements rather than transformative leaps. India houses 63.05 million micro industries, 0.33 million small, and about 5,000 medium enterprises, with Uttar Pradesh leading the count followed closely by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra. This sector, responsible for creating 120 million jobs, roughly 50% of India's workforce, anticipated more focused interventions, akin to those seen in the agriculture sector.


10.1 Startup Ecosystem Boost:

  • ₹1 Lakh Cr Fund: A significant infusion into the startup landscape, this fund is poised to accelerate growth and spur innovation across the tech startup ecosystem.

  • Extended Tax Incentives: The continuation of tax benefits for startups and investments underscores the government's commitment to nurturing a vibrant entrepreneurial environment.

10.2 MSME Sector Initiatives:

  • Anusandhan Scheme: A ₹1 lakh crore corpus to ignite research and innovation within MSMEs, targeting deep-tech and advanced technologies.

  • Timely and Adequate Finances: Commitments to provide MSMEs with necessary financial support, technology, and training to enhance their global competitiveness.

  • ECLGS Expansion: Continuation of the scheme to bolster MSMEs with substantial credit, reflecting a CAGR of 14.2% in bank credit to MSMEs from FY19 to FY24.

  • PLI Scheme Impact: With an outlay of ₹1.97 lakh crore, the scheme has benefitted 176 MSMEs directly among 746 approved applications by the end of December 2023.

  • Digital Infrastructure: Through the Udyam Portal and UAP, over 2.24 crore MSMEs have been registered, streamlining access to government schemes and support.

 

While the government's Anusandhan scheme and the emphasis on upskilling initiatives mark significant steps towards empowering the technology and MSME sectors, understanding the foundational role of SMEs in India's economic landscape is crucial. Discover more about the pivotal contributions of SMEs to India's growth in our feature article, "Why SMEs Are Essential for India's Economic Growth." This piece delves into the core of SME's impact on innovation, employment, and regional development, highlighting why bolstered support for this sector is not just beneficial but necessary for India's economic expansion.


Image illustrating 'Why SMEs Are Essential for India's Economic Growth' from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in. It shows a skilled worker in protective gear using a grinding machine in an industrial setting, representing the hardworking backbone of India's SME sector.
 

While these initiatives mark steps towards supporting the MSME sector, the industry's sentiment reflects a desire for more robust measures. The government's policy framework shows an inclination towards enhancing MSMEs' operational, financial, and technological capabilities, yet the sector yearns for more profound support to harness its full potential as a pivotal force in India's economic growth narrative.


10.3 Information Technology Advancements:

  • Innovative Financing: The allocation of a ₹ 1 lakh crore corpus for long-term financing exemplifies the government's strategy to boost private sector participation in research and technological advancements.

  • Deep Tech for Defense: Announcing a new scheme to fortify deep-tech applications in defense signifies a strategic move towards strengthening national security and fostering technological self-reliance.

These initiatives collectively underscore the Interim Budget 2024's strategic focus on leveraging technology and innovation to drive economic growth and enhance India's position on the global stage.


Section 11: Enhancing Defence Capabilities in Interim Budget 2024

Graphical representation from 'India's Interim Budget 2024: Vision by Nirmala Sitharaman' on www.sdblognation.in, showing 'Enhancing Defence Capabilities in Interim Budget 2024'. Highlights include a defense budget increase to ₹6.21 lakh crore, ₹1.72 lakh crore for modern weaponry, ₹6,500 crore for border infrastructure, ₹23,855 crore to DRDO, and ₹1 lakh crore corpus for defense innovations.

In a significant move to bolster national security and defense preparedness, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a series of strategic allocations for the defense sector in the Interim Budget 2024. Reflecting the government's commitment to deepening technological advancements and infrastructure development within the defense landscape, these allocations mark a critical step towards achieving self-reliance and modernization.


11.1 Defense Sector Empowerment:

  • Budget Increase: The defense budget sees a substantial rise to ₹6.21 lakh crore for 2024-25, evidencing a 4.72% increase from the previous year's ₹5.94 lakh crore. This growth underscores the government's prioritization of defense capabilities amid evolving global dynamics.

  • Capital Expenditure: With ₹1.72 lakh crore earmarked for capital expenditure, the focus sharpens on acquiring contemporary, technology-driven lethal weaponry, aircraft, ships, and drones, facilitating a modern defense posture.

  • Infrastructure and R&D: Allocations include ₹6,500 crore for bolstering border infrastructure and ₹23,855 crore to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), amplifying India's research, development, and operational infrastructure.

  • Deep-Tech Initiative: The introduction of a ₹1 lakh crore corpus for deep-tech innovations signals a future-forward approach, encouraging youth and companies to contribute to defense sector advancements.

These initiatives collectively reinforce the defense sector's strategic vision outlined in the Interim Budget 2024, setting a trajectory for enhanced national security, indigenous manufacturing capabilities, and technological superiority.


Section 12: Weighing the Impact: Interim Budget 2024's Balancing Act


12.1 Market and Experts' Reactions to Interim Budget 2024:

The Interim Budget 2024, as unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presents a mixed bag of reforms and allocations, receiving varied reactions from market experts and industry stakeholders. Here's a concise exploration of the key positives and areas of concern highlighted by the budget:

Positives:

  • Fiscal Prudence: The reduction in the fiscal deficit target to 5.1% for FY25 from a revised estimate of 5.8% for FY24 is heralded as a positive move towards fiscal consolidation, resonating well with market expectations.

  • Capital Expenditure Surge: An 11.1% increase in capex to ₹11.11 lakh crore for FY25 is aimed at fueling India's journey towards becoming a $5 trillion economy, highlighting the government's commitment to infrastructural development.

  • Research and Innovation Boost: The establishment of a ₹1 lakh crore fund for research and development, particularly in sunrise sectors, is a strategic investment in India's technological and innovative capabilities.

  • Steady Tax Policies: The decision to retain current tax rates for both direct and indirect taxes, including import taxes, brings a level of stability and predictability to the tax landscape.

Negatives:

  • Underwhelming Support for MSMEs: Critics argue that the budget falls short in offering substantial support to the MSME sector, which forms the backbone of the Indian economy, needing more focused interventions in terms of funding, infrastructure, and policy.

  • Defence Budget Constraints: Despite an increase in the defense budget to ₹5.94 lakh crore, the allocation for capital expenditure, set at ₹1.62 lakh crore, is viewed by some as inadequate to meet the expansive needs of modernizing India's defense forces.

  • Absence of Groundbreaking Announcements: The budget's conservative stance, without major new initiatives, has led to a sense of disappointment among some market watchers, who were anticipating more transformative announcements.

The Interim Budget 2024 navigates the delicate balance between fiscal prudence and the imperative to stimulate economic growth. While it has been lauded for its strategic focus on research, infrastructure, and maintaining tax stability, calls for greater emphasis on MSME support and defense modernization reflect areas where expectations still hover.

 

Reference

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