The government is focused on improving conditions for the poor, women, youth and farmers, Sitharaman said, setting the tone for welfare schemes to be announced in these areas.
Here are the key statements made by the finance minister in her interim budget speech:
WORKING TO MAKE INDIA A DEVELOPED NATION BY 2047
The government is working to make India a developed country by 2047, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Presenting the interim Budget 2024-25, Sitharaman also said minimum support prices for ‘Annadata’ (farmers) have been increased periodically and appropriately.
“The government is focussing on addressing systemic inequalities adding that the emphasis is on outcomes so that socio-economic transformation is achieved.
We focus on outcomes and not outlays,” Sitharaman said.
GOVT TO LAUNCH HOUSING SCHEME FOR DESERVING MIDDLE CLASS
The government will launch a housing scheme for deserving middle class to buy or build their own houses, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Sitharaman said the government will also adopt an economic approach that facilitates sustainable development and improves productivity.
She also mentioned about rooftop solarisation to ensure one crore household free electricity of up to 300 units per month, leading to household savings of Rs 15,000-18,000 annually.
The finance minister said the government will set up more medical colleges, utilising existing hospital infrastructure.
INDIA CLOSE TO ACHIEVING TARGET OF 3 CRORE HOUSES UNDER RURAL HOUSING SCHEME
The country is close to achieving the target of 3 crore houses under the rural housing scheme and two crore more will be constructed in the next five years, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The finance minister said that to meet investment needs, the government will prepare the financial sector in terms of size, capacity, skills, and regulatory framework.
The government will facilitate high and more resource-efficient economic growth to ensure energy security for the country.
PLANS TO INCREASE MILK, DAIRY PRODUCTION
Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to increase milk and dairy production in the country. “India is the largest milk producer in the world but there is low productivity. India’s milk production rose 4% to 230.58 million tonnes in 2022-23,” Sitharaman said.
She also said a strategy will be developed for Atma Nirbharta for oilseeds production.
Efforts of the value addition in agriculture sector and increasing farmers’ income will be stepped up, the minister said.
HEALTHCARE COVER UNDER AYUSHMAN BHARAT TO BE EXTENDED TO ALL ASHA, ANGANWADI WORKERS
The government announced the extension of healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat to all ASHA and anganwadi workers. Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri-Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is the largest publicly funded health insurance scheme in the world that provides coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
Till December 27 last year, 55 crore people belonging to 12 crore families were covered under the scheme, Sitharaman said.
SKILL INDIA MISSION TRAINED, UPSKILLED 1.4 CR YOUTH
As many as 1.4 crore youth were trained and upskilled under the Skill India Mission, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The mission focuses on skilling, re-skilling and upskilling through short-term and long-term training programmes.
Under the mission, the government, through more than 20 central ministries/departments, is implementing various skill development schemes across the country.
She also said there is a macro-economic stability and the country’s economy is doing well.
CAPITAL SPENDING FOR FY25 RAISED 11% TO RS 11.11 LAKH CRORE
The country’s capital spending for 2024-25 has been raised 11 per cent to Rs 11.11 lakh crore, or 3.4 per cent of GDP, Sitharaman said.
She said the tripling of capex in the last four years has resulted in a multiplier effect on economic growth and employment generation.
The minister said the Indian air carriers have placed orders for 1,000 new aircrafts.
IN LAST 10 YEARS, 25 CRORE PEOPLE FREED FROM MULTI-DIMENSIONAL POVERTY
Nirmala Sitharaman said 25 crore people got freedom from multi-dimensional poverty in the last 10 years.
Earlier approach of tackling poverty through entitlement resulted in very modest outcomes, she said while presenting the interim Budget in the Lok Sabha.
There is transparency and assurance that benefits are transferred to all eligible citizens, Sitharaman said.
The National Education Policy is ushering transformational reforms, she added.
43 CRORE LOANS AGGREGATING TO RS 22.5 LAKH CR EXTENDED UNDER PM MUDRA YOJANA
The government has extended 43 crore loans aggregating to Rs 22.5 lakh crore were extended under the PM Mudra Yojana, Sitharaman said.
Sitharaman said direct benefit transfer of Rs 34 lakh crore through Jan Dhan accounts have resulted in savings of Rs 2.7 lakh crore.
The finance minister also said 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans have been given to women in the last 10 years. “Saturation approach of covering all eligible people is true and comprehensive achievement of social justice and this is secularism in action,” she asserted.
GLOBAL AFFAIRS BECOMING MORE COMPLEX, CHALLENGING WITH WARS
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the global situation is becoming more complex and challenging due to wars and conflicts in different parts of the world.
“The Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Hamas war have disrupted the global supply chains, impacting trade. The new world order is emerging and India has successfully navigated the global challenges in fuel and fertiliser price spike,” Sitharaman said.
She also said that strengthening the financial sector in the country has helped make savings, credit and investments more efficient.
CORPUS OF RS 1 LAKH CRORE TO SCALE UP RESEARCH IN SUNRISE DOMAINS
A corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore will be established with 50-year interest free loans to encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation in sunrise domains, Nirmala Sitharaman announced.
Sitharaman said this will be a golden era for India’s tech savvy youth.
“A corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore will be established with 50-year interest free loan. The corpus will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenures and low or nil interest rates,” the minister said.
“This will encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise domains. We need to have programmes that combine the powers of our youth and technology,” she added.
WORRIES ABOUT FOOD ELIMINATED THROUGH FREE RATION FOR 80 CR PEOPLE
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said worries about food have been eliminated through free rations for 80 crore people in the country. “India was facing enormous challenges when the Modi government took office in 2014 and overcame those in the right earnest,” Sitharaman said.
In November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government would extend the free ration scheme for the impoverished population for a five-year period.
GOVT TO TAKE UP NEXT-GENERATION REFORMS TO FACILITATE GROWTH
The government will take up next-generation reforms to facilitate growth and the next five years will be of unprecedented development and golden moments to realise the dream of developed India by 2047, Sitharaman said.
She outlined the strategy for ‘Amrit Kaal’ while presenting the interim Budget 2024-25.
The finance minister also said the recently announced India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor will be a game changer for India.
She noted that the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has created a robust gateway for flow of overseas capital
MODI GOVT ADDRESSING SYSTEMATIC INEQUALITIES THAT PLAGUED SOCIETY
The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing systematic inequalities, which have plagued society, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Presenting the interim Budget 2024-25, Sitharaman said economic management over the past decade has complemented people-centric inclusive development.
“All forms of infrastructure are being built in record time. Tax reforms have led to widening of the tax base,” Sitharaman said.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses have seen enrolment of 43 per cent women, the highest in the world, she added.