Key Highlights of Interim Budget 2024

 

On Thursday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget preceding the conclusion of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This serves as her sixth Budget in the capacity of the finance minister, representing the final one in the second term of the Modi government. Following tradition, Sitharaman visited President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhawan before unveiling the pre-election Budget for 2024-25, proceeding then to Parliament.

Here are the key highlights from the 2024 interim budget:

1. Rooftop solarisation and free electricity: Benefit for 1 crore households with up to 300 units of free electricity, leading to potential savings of Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 18,000 and opportunities to sell surplus electricity.

2. Charging of electric vehicles: Entrepreneurship opportunities for youth skilled in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of electric vehicles.

3. Promotion of post-harvest activities: Government initiative to promote private and public investment in post-harvest activities, including aggregation, modern storage, supply chains, processing, marketing, and branding.

4. Expansion of Nano DAP application: Expanding Nano DAP application on various crops across all agroclimatic zones.

5. Housing for the middle class: Launching a scheme to assist deserving sections of the middle class in buying or building their own houses.

6. Expansion of medical colleges: Government plans to establish more medical colleges by utilizing existing hospital infrastructure.

7. Vaccination for girls: Encouragement of vaccination for girls aged 9 – 14 years to prevent cervical cancer.

8. Comprehensive maternal and child healthcare programme: Amalgamation of various schemes under maternal and child healthcare into one comprehensive programme.

9. Extension of Ayushman Bharat coverage: Extension of healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, and helpers.

10. Agriculture and food processing: Intensified efforts in value addition to boost farmers’ income, focusing on reducing post-harvest losses and improving productivity.

11. Aatma Nirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyan: Strategy formulation for achieving self-reliance in oilseeds through research, adoption of modern farming techniques, market linkages, and crop insurance.

12. Dairy development programme: Formulation of a comprehensive programme to support dairy farmers, leveraging existing schemes to enhance productivity.

13. Matsya Sampada: Promotion of investments in fisheries to generate employment opportunities, with a separate department set up for fisheries under the government’s initiative.

14. Promoting investments: Measures to encourage sustained foreign investment, including negotiating bilateral investment treaties and providing Rs. 75,000 crores as interest-free loans to support milestone-linked reforms by state governments.

15. Societal changes: Formation of a high-powered committee to comprehensively address challenges arising from population growth and demographic changes, with recommendations for comprehensive solutions.

16. Revised estimates for 2023-24: Revised estimates of total receipts, excluding borrowings, at Rs. 27.56 lakh crores, with tax receipts at Rs. 23.24 lakh crores. Fiscal deficit stands at 5.8% of GDP.

17. Tax proposals: No changes proposed in tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties.

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