India's Interim Budget 2024, presented earlier today by Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, lays out the government's spending plans for the first half of the upcoming fiscal year. This summary delves into the key highlights across various sectors, offering insights for both the public and investors.
For the full speech, please refer: https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/doc/Budget_Speech.pdf
- With the pursuit of ‘Sabka Saath’ in these 10 years, the Government has assisted 25 Cr people to get freedom from multi-dimensional poverty.
- ‘Direct Benefit Transfer’ of 34 Lakh Cr from the Government using PM-Jan Dhan accounts has led to savings of 2.7 Lakh Cr for the Government.
- PM-SVANidhi has provided credit assistance to 78 Lakh street vendors. From that total, 2.3 Lakh have received credit for the third time.
- PM-JANMAN Yojana reaches out to the particularly vulnerable tribal groups, who have remained outside the realm of development so far.
- PM-Vishwakarma Yojana provides end-to-end support to artisans and craftspeople engaged in 18 trades.
- Every year, under PM-KISAN SAMMAN Yojana, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 Cr farmers, including marginal and small farmers. Crop insurance is given to 4 Cr farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
- Electronic National Agriculture Market has integrated 1361 mandis, and is providing services to 1.8 Cr farmers with a trading volume of INR 3 Lakh Cr.
- The National Education Policy 2020 is ushering in transformational reforms. PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) are delivering quality teaching, and nurturing holistic and well-rounded individuals.
- The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 Cr youth, upskilled and reskilled 54 Lakh youth, and established 3000 new ITIs.
- A large number of new institutions of higher learning, namely 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS and 390 universities have been set up.
- PM Mudra Yojana has sanctioned 43 Cr loans aggregating to 22.5 Lakh Cr for the entrepreneurial aspirations of our youth. Besides that, Fund of Funds, Start-Up India, and Start-Up Credit Guarantee schemes are assisting our youth.
- Thirty Cr Mudra Yojana loans have been given to women entrepreneurs. Female enrolment in higher education has gone up by twenty-eight per cent in ten years. In STEM courses, girls and women constitute forty-three per cent of enrolment - one of the highest in the world.
- The recently announced India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor is a strategic and economic game changer for India and others.
Vision for Viksit Bharat
- Our vision for ‘Viksit Bharat’ is that of “Prosperous Bharat in harmony with nature, with modern infrastructure, and providing opportunities for all citizens and all regions to reach their potential”.
- In the full budget in July, Government will present a detailed roadmap for our pursuit of ‘Viksit Bharat’.
Strategy for ‘Amrit Kaal’
Government will adopt economic policies that foster and sustain growth, facilitate inclusive and sustainable development, improve productivity, create opportunities for all, help them enhance their capabilities, and contribute to the generation of resources to power investments and fulfil aspirations.
Guided by the principle ‘Reform, Perform, and Transform’, the Government will take up next generation reforms, and build consensus with the states and stakeholders for effective implementation.
Government to ensure timely and adequate finances, relevant technologies and appropriate training for the MSMEs to grow and also compete globally. Orienting the regulatory environment to facilitate their growth will be an important element of this policy mix.
Government will facilitate sustaining high and more resource-efficient economic growth. This will work towards energy security in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability.
For meeting the investment needs our Government will prepare the financial sector in terms of size, capacity, skills and regulatory framework.
Aspirational Districts Programme
- Government stands ready to assist the states in the faster development of aspirational districts and blocks, including the generation of ample economic opportunities.
Development of the East
- Government will pay utmost attention to making the eastern region and its people a powerful driver of India’s growth.
PM Awas Yojana (Grameen)
- India is close to achieving the target of three crore houses. Two crore more houses will be taken up in the next five years to meet the requirement arising from an increase in the number of families.
Rooftop Solarization and Muft Bijli
- Through rooftop solarization, one crore households will be enabled to obtain up to 300 units of free electricity every month. The following benefits are expected:
- Savings of up to fifteen to eighteen thousand rupees annually for households from free solar electricity and selling the surplus to the distribution companies
- Charging of electric vehicles
- Entrepreneurship opportunities for a large number of vendors for supply and installation
- Employment opportunities for the youth with technical skills in manufacturing, installation and maintenance
Housing for Middle Class
- Government will launch a scheme to help deserving sections of the middle class “living in rented houses, or slums, or chawls and unauthorized colonies” to buy or build their own houses.
- Government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilizing the existing hospital infrastructure under various departments. A committee for this purpose will be set up to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations.
- Government will encourage vaccination for girls in the age group of 9 to 14 years for the prevention of cervical cancer.
- Various schemes for maternal and child care will be brought under one comprehensive programme for synergy in implementation. Upgradation of anganwadi centres under “Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0” will be expedited for improved nutrition delivery, early childhood care and development.
- The newly designed U-WIN platform for managing immunization and intensified efforts of Mission Indradhanush will be rolled out expeditiously throughout the country.
- Healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers.
Agriculture and Food Processing
- The efforts for value addition in agricultural sector and boosting farmers’ income will be stepped up.
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has benefitted 38 Lakh farmers and generated 10 Lakh employment.
- Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana has assisted 2.4 Lakh SHGs and sixty thousand individuals with credit linkages.
- Other schemes are complementing the efforts for reducing postharvest losses and improving productivity and incomes.
- For ensuring faster growth of the sector, Government will further promote private and public investment in post-harvest activities including aggregation, modern storage, efficient supply chains, primary and secondary processing and marketing and branding.
- Application of Nano DAP on various crops will be expanded in all agro-climatic zones.
- A strategy will be formulated to achieve ‘Atmanirbharta’ for oil seeds such as mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower. This will cover research for high-yielding varieties, widespread adoption of modern farming techniques, market linkages, procurement, value addition, and crop insurance.
- A comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers will be formulated. Efforts are already on to control foot and mouth disease. India is the world’s largest milk producer but with low productivity of milch animals. The programme will be built on the success of existing schemes such Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Livestock Mission, and Infrastructure Development Funds for dairy processing and animal husbandry.
- Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) will be stepped up to:
- Enhance aquaculture productivity from existing 3 to 5 Tonnes per hectare
- Double exports to INR 1 Lakh Cr and
- Generate 55 Lakh employment opportunities in the near future
- Five integrated aquaparks will be set up
- Eighty-three Lakh SHGs with nine crore women are transforming the rural socio-economic landscape with empowerment and self-reliance. Their success has assisted nearly one crore women to become Lakhpati Didi already. They are an inspiration to others. Their achievements will be recognized through honouring them. Buoyed by the success, it has been decided to enhance the target for Lakhpati Didi from 2 Cr to 3 Cr.
Research and Innovation
- A corpus of INR 1 Lakh Cr will be established with a fifty-year interest-free loan. The corpus will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates. This will encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise domains.
- A new scheme will be launched for strengthening deep-tech technologies for defence purposes and expediting ‘Atmanirbharta’.
- The outlay for the next year is being increased by 11.1% to eleven lakh, eleven thousand, one hundred and eleven crore rupees (INR 11,11,111 Cr). This would be 3.4% of the GDP.
- Three major economic railway corridor programmes will be implemented. These are:
- Energy, mineral and cement corridors
- Port connectivity corridors
- High-traffic density corridors
- The projects have been identified under the PM Gati Shakti for enabling multi-modal connectivity. They will improve logistics efficiency and reduce costs.
- Together with dedicated freight corridors, these three economic corridor programmes will accelerate our GDP growth and reduce logistic costs.
- Forty thousand normal rail bogies will be converted to the Vande Bharat standards to enhance the safety, convenience and comfort of passengers.
- Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat can be the catalyst for the required urban transformation. Expansion of these systems will be supported in large cities focusing on transit-oriented development.
- Number of airports has doubled to 149. The rollout of air connectivity to tier-two and tier-three cities under the UDAN 19 scheme has been widespread. Five hundred and seventeen new routes are carrying 1.3 Cr passengers.
- Indian carriers have proactively placed orders for over 1000 new aircrafts.
- Expansion of existing airports and development of new airports will continue expeditiously.
- Towards meeting our commitment for ‘net-zero’ by 2070, the following measures will be taken.
- Viability gap funding will be provided for harnessing offshore wind energy potential for an initial capacity of one giga-watt.
- Coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT will be set up by 2030. This will also help in reducing imports of natural gas, methanol, and ammonia.
- Phased mandatory blending of Compressed Biogas (CBG) in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for transport and piped natural gas (PNG) for domestic purposes will be mandated.
- Financial assistance will be provided for the procurement of biomass aggregation machinery to support collection.
- Government will expand and strengthen the e-vehicle ecosystem by supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure.
- Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks will be encouraged through payment security mechanisms.
Bio-manufacturing and Bio-foundry
- A new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be launched. This will provide environment friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs. This scheme will also help in transforming today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to one based on regenerative principles.
Blue Economy 2.0
- For promoting climate resilient activities for Blue Economy 2.0, a scheme for restoration and adaptation measures, and coastal aquaculture and mariculture with an integrated and multi-sectoral approach will be launched.
- States will be encouraged to take up comprehensive development of iconic tourist centres, branding and marketing them at a global scale.
- A framework for rating of the centres based on the quality of facilities and services will be established.
- Long-term interest free loans will be provided to States for financing such development on a matching basis.
- To address the emerging fervour for domestic tourism, projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities will be taken up on our islands, including Lakshadweep. This will help in generating employment also.
- The FDI inflow during 2014-23 was $596 Bn marking a golden era. That is twice the inflow during 2005-14.
- For encouraging sustained foreign investment, we are negotiating bilateral investment treaties with our foreign partners, in the spirit of ‘First Develop India’.
Reforms in the States for ‘Viksit Bharat’
- A provision of INR 75,000 Cr as a fifty-year interest free loan is proposed this year to support those milestone-linked reforms by the State Governments.
- The Government will form a high-powered committee for an extensive consideration of the challenges arising from fast population growth and demographic changes.