2024 Interim Budget Highlights

Hariharan Ganesan • February 9, 2024 | 2 min read • 67 views

On February 1, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled her sixth consecutive budget, an interim one ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The focus of this budget was to highlight India's robust economy, showcasing a positive transformation over the past decade. Four major goals were outlined: Garib (poor), Mahila (women), Yuva (youth), and Annadata (farmers).

A significant aspect of the budget was the allocation for the financial year 2024-25, with the capital expenditure outlay witnessing an impressive 11.1% increase to Rs 11.11 lakh crore, representing 3.4% of the GDP. Sitharaman underscored the government's commitment to inclusive development and economic stability.

Key points from the Interim Budget 2024-25 include:

  1. Taxation:

    • No changes in direct and indirect tax rates were proposed.

    • Income tax demands up to ₹25,000 (till 2009-10) and ₹10,000 (2010-11 to 2014-15) were withdrawn, benefiting around one crore taxpayers.

  2. Housing Scheme:

    • A scheme was introduced to assist the middle class living in rented houses to purchase or build their own homes.

  3. Startup Support:

    • Tax benefits for startups and extensions for investments made by sovereign wealth or pension funds were prolonged by one year until March 31, 2025.

  4. Economic Indicators:

    • Fiscal deficit for FY25 was estimated at 5.1% of GDP, a decrease from the revised estimate of 5.8% in FY24.

    • Gross market borrowing was set at Rs 14.13 lakh crore.

    • Nominal GDP growth for FY25 was projected at 10.5%.

  5. Revenue and Disinvestment Targets:

    • The government aimed to raise ₹50,000 crore from central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) disinvestment for FY25, up from ₹30,000 crore in FY24.

    • The gross tax revenue target for FY25 increased by 11.46% to ₹38.31 lakh crore.

  6. Tax Collection Targets:

    • Direct tax collection was targeted at ₹21.99 lakh crore, while indirect tax collection was set at ₹16.22 lakh crore.

  7. Economic Accountability:

    • The government announced the release of a white paper addressing the mismanagement of the economy before 2014.

  8. Next-Gen Reforms and Population Growth:

    • Next-generation reforms were promised in consultation with states and stakeholders.

    • A high-powered panel was proposed to address challenges related to population growth and demographic changes.

In essence, the interim budget aimed at fostering economic growth, inclusivity, and stability, with a focus on key sectors and a strategic approach to taxation and expenditure.

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