Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget 2024 speech, plans to increase infrastructure spending by 11% in the upcoming fiscal year while keeping the fiscal deficit in check. She outlines initiatives for the next five years, including more housing, expanded access to free electricity, and improved medical care, especially for women.
Fueled by rising tax revenue, the government aims to control spending and reduce the budget deficit to 5.1% in the next financial year, down from the projected 5.8% for the current fiscal year ending in March. In the interim budget, Sitharaman allocates Rs 11.1 lakh crore to capital spending, marking an 11.1% increase from the previous year. She pledges support for key sectors like farmers, youth, women, and the impoverished as the country looks towards ‘unprecedented development’ in the next five years.
10 Key Announcements for the Common Man in the Budget 2024
- The government will launch the “Housing for Middle Class” scheme to encourage middle-class individuals to purchase or construct their own homes.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) is nearing its target of 3 crore houses, with an additional goal of 2 crore houses set for the next five years.
- The government will accelerate the Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 programs to enhance nutrition delivery, early childhood care, and development.
- The promotion of cervical cancer vaccination for girls aged 9-14 is being initiated.
- Health coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme will extend to include all ASHA, Anganwadi workers, and helpers.
- Outstanding direct tax demands are being withdrawn, with limits set at up to Rs 25,000 for issues up to FY10 and up to ₹10,000 for FY11-FY15, benefiting around 1 crore taxpayers.
- The government aims to enable 1 crore households for rooftop solarization, providing up to 300 units of free electricity per month.
- The Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 programs are being fast-tracked for improved nutrition delivery and early childhood care and development.
- Existing airports will be expanded, and new airports will be comprehensively developed under the UDAN scheme.
- Three major railway corridor programs under PM Gati Shakti will be implemented to enhance logistics efficiency and reduce costs.
The Interim Budget 2024 not only addresses immediate fiscal concerns but also lays the groundwork for a progressive and inclusive future, where infrastructure development, housing accessibility, and healthcare advancements converge to uplift the common man.