New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled an ambitious Interim Budget today, outlining a comprehensive roadmap for economic growth and inclusive development. The budget, presented in the nation's capital, focuses on key sectors to catalyze innovation and prosperity across the country.
Key Highlights of the Union Budget 2024-25 are mentioned below:
Rooftop Solarization and Muft Bijli: The budget promises to provide 1 crore households with 300 units of free electricity monthly through rooftop solarization, anticipating annual savings of Rs.15,000 to Rs.18,000 per household.
Healthcare: In a move towards inclusive healthcare, coverage is extended to ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers, and Helpers under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The budget also consolidates maternal and childcare health schemes under one comprehensive plan.
Agriculture and Food Processing: The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana is set to benefit 38 lakh farmers, generating 10 lakh employment opportunities. Additionally, the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana aims to assist 2.4 lakh SHGs and 60,000 individuals with credit linkages.
Research and Innovation: A notable Rs.1 lakh crore corpus has been established to provide long-term financing, promoting research and deep-tech technologies for defence.
Infrastructure Boost: Capital expenditure for infrastructure development and employment has been increased by 11.1% to a substantial Rs.11, 11,111 crore.
Railway Transformations: The budget outlines the implementation of three major economic railway corridor programs under PM Gati Shakti to enhance logistics efficiency. Additionally, there's a plan for the conversion of 40,000 normal rail bogies to Vande Bharat standards.
Tourism Enhancement: States are encouraged to comprehensively develop iconic tourist centers with global branding. The budget also establishes a framework for rating tourist centers based on the quality of facilities.
Investments and Fiscal Outlook: The finance minister announced impressive Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows during 2014-23, reaching USD 596 billion, double the inflow during 2005-14. Further, a provision of Rs.75,000 crore as a fifty-year interest-free loan for state-level reforms was outlined.
Direct and Indirect Tax Reforms: Existing tax rates for direct and indirect taxes will be retained, with notable achievements in tax rationalization, reducing import release time, and boosting the ease of doing business.
GST Triumphs: The budget highlights the success of Goods and Services Tax (GST) integration, leading to doubled monthly gross collection, increased tax base, and positive industry feedback. Supply chain optimization, reduced compliance burden, and lower logistics costs are expected to benefit consumers.
Finance Minister Sitharaman's budget not only addresses immediate concerns but also unveils a visionary plan for a resilient and thriving India. The proposed measures set the stage for sustained economic progress and innovation, marking a pivotal moment in the country's fiscal landscape.