Union Budget 2024: Key Highlights

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The Budget Day in India is filled with anticipation as businesses and the general public eagerly await insights into the potential schemes and initiatives that could impact them. This year, due to impending elections, Budget 2024 takes the form of an Interim Budget. Despite this, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has successfully presented schemes and benefits, satisfying the expectations of the public.

The Finance Minister unveiled the theme for Budget 2024 as “Viksit Bharat Budget 2024,” emphasizing the nation’s commitment to Atmanirbhar Bharat. The Interim Budget prioritizes the welfare and aspirations of the poor (Gareeb), women (Mahila), youth (Yuva), and farmers (Annadata).

Key Highlights of Interim Budget 2024:

Direct Tax Proposals

  • The Finance Minister announced the retention of current tax rates for direct taxes in FY 2024-25.
  • No tax liability for taxpayers with an income of up to Rs. 7 lakh under the new tax regime.
  • Corporate tax rates of 22% for existing domestic companies and 15% for specific new manufacturing companies.
  • Extension of time limits for tax benefits for startups and investments by sovereign wealth funds/pension funds until March 2025.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • Average monthly gross GST collection doubled to Rs. 1.66 lakh crore in FY24.
  • Retention of customs rates, including import duties, in FY 2024-25.

Youth Empowerment

  • 1.4 crore youth trained under the Skill India Mission.
  • 43 crore loans sanctioned under the PM Mudra Yojana to foster entrepreneurial aspirations.

Welfare of Farmers (Annadata)

  • Direct financial assistance to 11.8 crore farmers under PM-KISAN.
  • Crop Insurance for 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
  • Integration of 1,361 mandis under eNAM.

Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan

  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) leading to savings of Rs. 2.7 lakh crore.
  • 78 lakh street vendors assisted under PM Svanidhi.
  • Significant achievements in poverty reduction.

Roadmap for Viksit Bharat

  • Emphasis on the development of physical, digital, and social infrastructure.
  • Introduction of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) to promote formalization and financial inclusion.
  • Extension and widening of the tax base through GST.
  • Establishment of GIFT IFSC as a robust gateway for global capital and financial services.

Nari Shakti

  • Emphasis on the development of physical, digital, and social infrastructure.
  • Introduction of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) to promote formalization and financial inclusion.
  • Extension and widening of the tax base through GST.
  • Establishment of GIFT IFSC as a robust gateway for global capital and financial services.

Infrastructure and Investment

  • Implementation of major railway corridor programs and promotion of foreign investment.
  • Expansion of airports and comprehensive development of new airports under the UDAN scheme.
  • Urban transformation under Metro rail and NaMo Bharat projects.

Inclusive Development

During Amrit Kaal, the Finance Minister emphasized the imperative of inclusive development and introduced an aspirational District Programme to aid states in expediting development, including employment generation. In this context:

Healthcare

  • The government actively promotes cervical cancer vaccination for girls aged between 9-14 years.
  • The Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 scheme will hasten the upgrade of Anganwadi centers, enhancing nutrition delivery, early childhood care, and development.
  • A U-WIN platform will be rolled out to support the immunization efforts of Mission Indradhanush.
  • Health coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to include all ASHA, Anganwadi workers, and helpers.
  • A committee will be established to address issues related to the establishment of more medical colleges in India.

Housing

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) is nearing the achievement of its target of 3 crore houses, with an additional 2 crore targeted for the next 5 years.
  • A housing scheme for the middle class will be launched to encourage them to purchase or construct their own houses.

Tourism

  • States will receive encouragement to develop iconic tourist centers, fostering business and creating opportunities for local entrepreneurship.
  • Long-term interest-free loans will be provided to states to stimulate development.
  • Projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities will be undertaken in islands, including Lakshadweep.

Agriculture and Food Processing

  • The government aims to boost private and public investment in post-harvest activities.
  • The application of Nano-DAP will be expanded across all agro-climatic zones.
  • A strategy, Atmanirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyan, will be formulated to achieve self-sufficiency in oilseeds.
  • A comprehensive program for dairy development will be devised.
  • The implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana will be intensified to enhance aquaculture productivity, double exports, and generate more employment opportunities.
  • Additionally, five integrated aqua parks will be established.

Strategy Shift for Amrit Kaal as Kartavya Kaal - Sustainable Development/Green Energy:

  • Commitment to achieve ‘Net Zero’ by 2070.
  • Viability gap funding for offshore wind energy, coal gasification, and liquefaction capacity.
  • Phased mandatory blending of CNG, PNG, and compressed biogas.
  • Financial assistance for biomass aggregation machinery.
  • Rooftop solarisation and support for electric vehicles.

Download Interim Budget

Finance Bill 2024: Click here

Budget Speech: Click here

Budget 2024 Key Features: Click here

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