Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the Interim Budget 2024-25 at Parliament, setting the stage for a crucial fiscal year ahead. This interim budget provides vital insights into the government's expenditure, revenue, and financial performance for the upcoming months, laying the groundwork for the full budget post the Lok Sabha elections. Here are key takeaways from Interim Budget 2024.
Solar Electricity: Expected annual savings of up to 15 to 18 for households through free solar electricity and surplus sales to distribution companies.
Electric Vehicles: Opportunities for entrepreneurship and youth employment in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance.
Encouragement will be given for wider adoption of electric buses in public transportation networks, supported by robust payment security mechanisms. These efforts are expected to facilitate a shift from current consumptive manufacturing practices towards regenerative principles, contributing to sustainable development.
Technological advancements, including new-age technologies and data, are transforming lives and businesses, creating economic opportunities and delivering high-quality services at affordable prices. India is showcasing solutions globally through innovation and entrepreneurship, driving growth, employment, and development.
To support this, a corpus of one lakh crore rupees will be established, providing 50 interest-free loans for long-term financing or refinancing. This initiative aims to boost private sector engagement in Research and Innovation, especially in emerging domains.
For the tech-savvy youth, this marks a golden era, encouraging programs that harness their potential and technology. A new scheme will be introduced to strengthen deep-tech technologies, fostering innovation and progress.
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that there would be no changes to taxation. She proposed to maintain the current tax rates for both direct and indirect taxes, including import duties.
She also emphasised a substantial improvement in the average time taken for refunds, which has decreased from 93 days in 2013-2014 to just 10 days in the past year. Additionally, she noted a noteworthy increase of 50% in the average real income of the people.
FY25 gross borrowing target: ₹14.13 trillion, reflecting a reduction from FY24 levels.
- Aggressive fiscal consolidation: FM sets FY25 fiscal deficit target at 5.1%, lower than expected 5.3%; FY24 deficit target of 5.8% achieved.
- Expansion of medical colleges: Utilising existing infrastructure to establish additional medical institutions.
- Healthcare coverage for Anganwadi workers: Ayushman Bharat scheme to be extended to include all Anganwadi workers and helpers.
- Farmer income augmentation: Enhanced efforts to increase farmers' earnings.
- Promotion of private investment in post-harvest activities: Government initiatives to encourage private sector participation in post-harvest processes.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has wrapped up her presentation of the Interim Union Budget, delivering a speech that lasted just under an hour. Notably, her longest-ever speech, lasting two hours and 40 minutes, was in 2020, while last year's speech clocked in at around 87 minutes.