Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023 today, marking the first budget of the Modi government's "Amrit Kaal".
Commencing her speech with an affirmation of India's growth and prosperity, she lauded the country's emergence as a "bright spot" in the global economy. Despite a slowdown in major advanced economies, the Indian economy is expected to grow in the range of 6-6.8% this fiscal year, cementing its position as the fastest growing economy in the world.
In her opening remarks, Minister Sitharaman celebrated India's flourishing economy and its rise as a "beacon of hope" in a world grappling with economic turbulence. Despite a slowdown in major economies, India is poised to outstrip its peers with a projected growth rate of 6-6.8% this fiscal year, solidifying its status as the fastest growing economy on the planet.
The Union Budget 2023 is a roadmap to drive India's growth and development, focusing on seven key areas - inclusive development, last-mile connectivity, infrastructure, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and a robust financial sector.
As India continues its rapid formalization, the government is prioritizing job creation and empowering the youth, while maintaining a steady hand on macroeconomic stability. Over the past nine years, India's per capita income has doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh and the country has moved up the ranks to become the fifth largest economy in the world, with EPFO membership more than doubling to seven crores.
The vision of Amrit Kaal is a technology-driven, knowledge-based economy with strong public finances and a thriving financial sector, powered by the collective efforts of citizens. The government has already made significant strides towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Minister Sitharaman emphasized India's bright future, with a growth rate of 7% in the current fiscal, outpacing major economies. The Economic Survey predicts India's GDP to grow between 6-6.8%, further cementing its position as the fastest growing economy. The aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic has been fully absorbed, boding well for the nation's future prospects.
To fuel this growth, the government has significantly ramped up its capital expenditure, increasing the outlay by 33% to a massive Rs 10 lakh crore, nearly three times the amount from 2020. A national digital library for children and adolescents will be established and a national data governance policy will be introduced to provide access to anonymized data. The government is also working to streamline the business environment, reducing red tape and de-criminalizing legal provisions.
Over the next three years, the government will employ 38,800 teachers and support staff for 740 Eklavya model schools supporting tribal students, further emphasizing the importance of inclusive development and education. The rural economy, including women's economic empowerment and farmers, will also receive increased attention, offering opportunities for the FMCG sector.
Tourism, a sector with enormous potential for job creation and entrepreneurship, particularly for the youth, is also a major focus. India's vast appeal for both domestic and foreign tourists offers a vast untapped opportunity for growth.
The government's vision of Amrit Kaal is a testament to its unwavering commitment to a technology-driven, knowledge-based economy with robust public finances and a thriving financial sector. Minister Sitharaman believes that through citizen participation and collective efforts, this vision can be realized.
With its focus on inclusive development, infrastructure, green growth, and a strong financial sector, India is poised to seize its moment and strengthen its role in the global economic order. Stay tuned for further updates.