Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the Interim Budget 2024-25 at the Parliament at 11 am on February 1, 2024. The newly-elected government will present the full budget in July following the Lok Sabha polls this year.
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Expeditious Growth of the Aviation Sector
FM Nirmala said that the aviation sector has been galvanised in the past decade, with the number of airports doubling to 149.
The expansion of existing airports and the development of new airports will continue.
The rollout of air connectivity to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities has been widespread under the UDAN scheme. 517 new routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers.
FM proposes Unchanged Tax Rates and Withdrawal of Tax Demands
The Finance Minister proposed to withdraw outstanding disputed direct tax demands of up to Rs 25,000 pertaining up to FY2009-10 and up to Rs 10,000 for financial years 2010-11 to 2014-15. This move is expected to benefit 1 crore taxpayers.
However, certain benefits to start-ups and tax exemptions to certain IFSC units expiring in March will be extended to March 2025.
FM Sitharaman proposes to retain the same tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties.
Naari Shakti in Education Enrollment, Workforce Participation and Entrepreneurship
Female enrollment in higher education has increased by 28% in a decade.
In STEM courses, female enrollment is at 43%, one of the highest in the world.
The government has provided 30 crore Mudra Yojna loans to female entrepreneurs.
FM Sitharaman said making triple talaq illegal, reserving 1/3 of seats for women in Parliament and State Assemblies and giving over 70% of houses under PM Awas Yojana to women have enhanced their dignity.
Increasing participation of women in the workforce reflects all these steps, says FM Sitharaman.
Empowering the Yuva, Amrit Peedhi
The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskilled 54 lakh youth and established 3,000 new ITIs.
FM Sitharaman said many institutions of higher learning, namely 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS, and 390 Universities, have been set up to deliver quality teaching.
PM Mudra Yojana has sanctioned 43 crore loans amounting to Rs 22.5 lakh crore for youth entrepreneurs.
The support of Startup India and Startup Credit Guarantee schemes for youth are becoming “rozgaar data,” says FM.
Assisted 25 Crore Indians to get Free from Poverty in the last Decade
In the last decade, the NDA government has assisted 25 crore people in gaining freedom from multidimensional poverty.
The focus on the poor, women, youth and farmers and their needs, aspirations and welfare is the highest priority, says FM Sitharaman.
Railway Economic Corridors and Vande Bharat Bogies
FM Nirmala Sitharaman says that 40,000 normal rail bogies will be converted to Vande Bharat to enhance passengers’ convenience, safety and comfort.
Three new corridors for the railways – Energy, Mineral and Cement corridor, Port Connectivity Corridor and a High Traffic Density Corridor – are announced
Free Electricity to 1 Crore Households
FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced that 1 crore households will receive 300 units of free electricity monthly through roof-top solarisation.
The surplus power generated will be sold to distribution companies.
Welfare Schemes for Farmers
Under PM Kisan Samman Yojana, every year, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 crore farmers, including marginal and small farmers.
Under PM Fasal Bima Yojana, crop insurance has been given to 4 crore farmers, assisting them in producing food for the country and the world.
The Electronic National Agricultural market has integrated 1,361 mandis with Rs 3 lakh crore trading volume, providing services to 1.8 crore farmers.
Govt Focusing on Garib, Mahilaye, Yuva and Annadata
The Finance Minister highlighted in her Budget 2024 speech that the inclusive approach of the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government on policies has brought secularism into action, reduced corruption, and prevented nepotism.
The focus of the government remains on Garib (poor), Mahilaye (women), Yuva (youth) and Annadata (farmers), and their needs are among its highest priorities.