In the interim budget 2024 announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman underscored the transformative impact of technological changes, new-age innovations, and data on the lives of individuals and businesses. The budget, positioned as a catalyst for growth and development, emphasises leveraging innovation to unlock economic opportunities and deliver high-quality services at affordable prices, even for the economically disadvantaged.
The finance minister drew on the historical evolution of slogans, from Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's inclusion of science with "Jai Vigyan." Prime Minister Narendra Modi has furthered the narrative, encompassing technology and research with "Jai Javan Jai Kisan Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan," recognising the crucial role of innovation in the development journey, especially for the tech-savvy youth.
A key highlight of the budget 2024 is the establishment of a one-lakh-crore-rupee corpus, supported by a 50-year interest-free loan. This initiative aims to provide long-term financing or refinancing with low or nil interest rates, a move expected to encourage the private sector to amplify research and innovation efforts, particularly in emerging sectors.
"This marks the beginning of a golden era," stated Sitharaman. "The corpus is strategically designed to fuel long-term growth and development, promoting a robust ecosystem for research and innovation. It will empower India to showcase solutions on the global stage."
The budget also introduces a new scheme geared towards strengthening deep tech technologies for various purposes, aligning with the government's commitment to expediting infrastructure development. Building on the substantial tripling of capital expenditure outlay in the past four years, the upcoming fiscal year's outlay sees a modest increase of less than 0.1%, totalling 11 lakh crore.
"This incremental investment aims to sustain the momentum generated by previous capital expenditure, ensuring a multiplier impact on economic growth and employment creation," Sitharaman added.
With a focus on combining the prowess of the youth with technology, the budget envisions programs that will propel India into a leadership position in the global innovation landscape. As the country embraces this strategic approach, the stage is set for a new era of economic dynamism, driven by cutting-edge research and entrepreneurial spirit.
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