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Sitharaman presents Rs 47.66 lakh cr Budget, 6 pc higher than FY24

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New Delhi: The size of Budget 2024-25 has increased 6.1 per cent to Rs 47.66 lakh crore because of rise in expenditure and higher allocation for capital expenditure and social sector schemes.

“The Revised Estimate of the total receipts other than borrowings is Rs 27.56 lakh crore, of which tax receipts are Rs 23.24 lakh crore. The Revised Estimate of the total expenditure is Rs 44.90 lakh crore,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while presenting the interim Budget in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The revenue receipts at Rs 30.03 lakh crore are expected to be higher than the Budget Estimate, reflecting strong growth momentum and formalisation in the economy, she said.

The Revised Estimate of the fiscal deficit is 5.8 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), improving on the Budget Estimate, notwithstanding moderation in the nominal growth estimates.

The nominal GDP growth for the next financial year has been pegged at 10.5 per cent against the 11 per cent estimated earlier.

The nominal GDP for 2024-25 BE has been projected at Rs 3,27,71,808 crore, assuming 10.5 per cent growth over the estimated nominal GDP of Rs 2,96,57,745 crore, as per the First Advance Estimates of 2023-24.

“Coming to 2024-25, the total receipts other than borrowings and the total expenditure are estimated at Rs 30.80 lakh crore and Rs 47.66 lakh crore, respectively. The tax receipts are estimated at Rs 26.02 lakh crore,” she said.

Stressing that the impact of all-round development is discernible in all sectors, she said, “There is macro-economic stability, including in the external sector. Investments are robust. The economy is doing well.”

People are living better and earning better, with even greater aspirations for the future, she said, adding that average real income of people has increased 50 per cent.

“Inflation is moderate. People are getting empowered, equipped and enabled to pursue their aspirations. There is effective and timely delivery of programmes and of large projects,” she said.

The FM increased the defence budget to Rs 6.21 lakh crore for 2024-25 from last year’s allocation of Rs 5.94 lakh crore and announced an ambitious scheme for “deep-tech” technologies in the military domain.

A total of Rs 1.72 lakh crore was set aside to the military for capital expenditure that largely includes purchasing new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware.

For 2023-24, the budgetary allocation for capital outlay was Rs 1.62 lakh crore.

The finance minister also announced that a new scheme will be launched for strengthening deep-tech technologies for defence purposes and to expedite ‘atmanirbharta’ or self-reliance in the area.

The total revenue expenditure has been pegged at Rs 4,39,300 crore that included Rs 1,41,205 crore for defence pensions, Rs 2,82,772 crore for defence services and Rs 15,322 crore for the Ministry of Defence (Civil).

In the capital outlay for defence services, Rs 40,777 crore has been set aside for aircraft and aero engines while an amount of Rs 62,343 crore was allocated for “other equipment”.

An outlay of Rs 23,800 crore has been made for naval fleet and Rs 6,830 crore for naval dockyard projects.

In the budget for 2023-24, the capital outlay for the Indian Air Force was the highest at Rs 57,137.09 crore that included Rs 15,721 crore for procurement of aircraft and aero engines and Rs 36,223.13 crore for other equipment.

The revenue expenditure for the Army has been pegged at Rs 1,92,680 crore for 2024-25 while the Navy and the Indian Air Force have been allocated Rs 32,778 crore and Rs 46,223 crore respectively.

Dr Laxman Kumar Behera, Associate Professor at Special Centre for National Security Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University described the overall allocation under the defence budget as modest which is reflective of the government’s priorities for the military.

“The allocations did not show any lack of commitment to the armed forces,” he told PTI.

Dr Behera also described as a “healthy sign” the increase of Rs 10,000 crore in the outlay under capital expenditure.

The FM said that the government will formulate a strategy to make India self-reliant in edible oils by boosting domestic output of oilseeds and launch a comprehensive programme to support dairy farmers.

India imports a large quantity of edible oils to meet the domestic demand. During the 2022-23 marketing year (November-October), the country imported nearly 165 lakh tonnes of cooking oils, valuing a whopping Rs 1.38 lakh crore.

The finance minister said the government will further promote private and public investment in post-harvest activities to boost food processing levels and farmers’ income. Application of nano-liquid DAP (di-ammonium phosphate), a key fertiliser, will be expanded to all agro-climatic zones.

Presenting a vote on account for 2024-25, also known as the interim Budget for the period till the new government comes into office after general elections, she said the government will step up efforts for value addition in the agricultural sector and boosting farmers’ income.

“Farmers are our ‘Annadata’. Every year, under the PM-KISAN SAMMAN Yojana, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 crore farmers, including marginal and small farmers. Crop insurance is given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana. These, besides several other programmes, are assisting ‘Annadata’ in producing food for the country and the world,” Sitharaman highlighted.

The agriculture sector is poised for inclusive, balanced, higher growth and productivity, she said, adding that these are facilitated by farmer-centric policies, income support, coverage of risks through price and insurance support and promotion of technologies and innovations through startups.

To reduce dependence on imports of edible oils to meet domestic demand, the interim Budget also proposes that a strategy will be made to make the country self-reliant by boosting domestic production of oilseeds.

“Building on the initiative announced in 2022, a strategy will be formulated to achieve ‘atmanirbharta’ for oilseeds, such as mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower. This will cover research for high-yielding varieties, widespread adoption of modern farming techniques, market linkages, procurement, value addition, and crop insurance,” Sitharaman said.

According to data compiled by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), the country’s vegetable oils import rose 16 per cent to 167.1 lakh tonnes in the current oil year that ended in October 2023. It had imported 144.1 lakh tonnes of vegetable oils in the previous 2021-22 oil year (November-October).

In value terms, SEA said the country’s edible oil imports were worth Rs 1.38 lakh crore in 2022-23, lower than Rs 1.57 lakh crore in 2021-22.

For dairy development, she said a comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers will be formulated.

“Efforts are already on to control foot and mouth disease. India is the world’s largest milk producer but with low productivity of milch animals. The programme will be built on the success of existing schemes, such as the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Livestock Mission, and Infrastructure Development Funds for dairy processing and animal husbandry,” the minister said.

To boost food processing, Sitharaman stressed that the efforts for value addition in the agricultural sector and boosting farmers’ income will be stepped up.

She highlighted that the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has benefitted 38 lakh farmers and generated 10 lakh employment.

Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana has assisted 2.4 lakh SHGs and sixty thousand individuals with credit linkages. Other schemes are complementing the efforts for reducing post-harvest losses and improving productivity and incomes.

“For ensuring faster growth of the sector, our government will further promote private and public investment in post-harvest activities, including aggregation, modern storage, efficient supply chains, primary and secondary processing and marketing and branding,” the finance minister said.

After the successful adoption of Nano Urea, she said the application of Nano DAP on various crops will be expanded in all agro-climatic zones.

In the fisheries sector, the finance minister said the government has set up a separate Department for Fisheries, realising the importance of assisting fishermen.

“This has resulted in a doubling of both inland and aquaculture production. Seafood export since 2013-14 has also doubled.”

She announced that the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) will be stepped up to enhance aquaculture productivity from existing 3 to 5 tonnes per hectare, double exports to Rs 1 lakh crore and generate 55 lakh employment opportunities in the near future. Five integrated aquaparks will also be set up.

The budget speech also mentioned that the Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) has integrated 1,361 mandis, and is providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with a trading volume of Rs 3 lakh crore.

Sitharaman also highlighted that “the worries about food have been eliminated through free ration for 80 crore people. Minimum support prices for the produce of ‘Annadata’ are periodically increased appropriately. These and the provision of basic necessities have enhanced real income in rural areas. Their economic needs could be addressed, thus spurring growth and generating jobs”.

The interim budget also allocated Rs 1,248.91 for the expenses incurred by the council of ministers, cabinet secretariat, prime minister’s office, and on hospitality and entertainment of State guests.

The allocated amount is substantially lower than Rs 1803.01 crore earmarked in 2023-24.

A total of Rs 832.81 crore has been given for the expenses of council of ministers (Rs 1289.28 crore in 2023-24).

The provision is for expenditure on salaries, sumptuary and other allowances and travel by cabinet ministers, ministers of state and ex-prime ministers. This also includes provision for special extra session flight operations for VVIPs.

The National Security Council Secretariat has been allocated Rs 200 crore (Rs 299.30 crore in 2023-24).

The provision is for meeting the administrative expenses and space programme of the National Security Council Secretariat.

As much as Rs 76.20 crore has been given to the office of principal scientific advisor (Rs 75 crore in 2023-24). The provision is for meeting the administrative expenses of the office of principal scientific advisor and national research foundation.

The cabinet secretariat has been allocated Rs 70 crore (Rs 70.28 crore in 2023-24) for meeting the administrative expenses those of the Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC).

The prime minister’s office has been allocated Rs 65.30 crore (Rs 62.65 crore in 2023-24) for meeting the administrative expenses.

The budget has given Rs 4 crore for hospitality and entertainment expenses (Rs 4 crore in 2023-24).

This provision is for expenditure on government hospitality and entertainment of foreign state guests, official entertainment arranged at Rashtrapati Bhawan on behalf of the vice president and prime minister, reception on national days, investiture and ceremonies for presentation of credentials, etc.

The budget allocated Rs 1.80 crore for secretariat assistance to former governors (Rs 1.30 crore in 2023-24). This provision is for expenditure on payments of secretariat assistance to ex-governors.

The FM also said that Pradhanmantri Suryodaya Yojana will enable one crore families to get up to 300 units of free electricity monthly and help them save up to Rs 18,000 annually.

“There is provision of Rs 10,000 crore for rooftop solar (scheme) in the Budget,” said Finance Secretary T V Somanathan in press conference on Budget later in the day.

Earlier in the day Sitharaman in her interim Budget speech said through rooftop solarisation, one crore households will be enabled to obtain up to 300 units of free electricity each month.

This scheme follows the resolve of the Prime Minister on the historic day of consecration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, she said.


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