Budget 2024: 11% boost in infrastructure, emphasis on key sectors for sustainable growth

The Finance Minister reiterated the government’s support for key sectors outlined by Prime Minister Modi, emphasizing farmers, youth, women, and the impoverished as focal points for ‘unprecedented development’ in the coming five years.

In her Budget 2024 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined the government’s strategic plans to boost infrastructure spending by 11% in the upcoming fiscal year, maintaining fiscal prudence. The comprehensive initiatives for the next five years encompass key areas such as housing, electricity accessibility, and healthcare, with a commitment to fiscal responsibility.

Bolstered by increasing tax revenue, the government aims to manage spending while reducing the budget deficit to 5.1% in the next financial year, a noteworthy decline from the projected 5.8% for the current fiscal year ending in March. In the interim budget, a precursor to a new administration, Sitharaman allocated Rs 11.1 lakh crore to capital spending, marking a significant 11.1% increase from the previous year.

The Finance Minister reiterated the government’s support for key sectors outlined by Prime Minister Modi, emphasizing farmers, youth, women, and the impoverished as focal points for ‘unprecedented development’ in the coming five years.

Sitharaman also underscored the acceleration of programs like Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 to enhance nutrition delivery, early childhood care, and development. The commitment to healthcare extends to the promotion of cervical cancer vaccination for girls aged 9-14 and the expansion of health coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to include all ASHA, Anganwadi workers, and helpers.

The budgetary measures further include the withdrawal of outstanding direct tax demands, benefiting around 1 crore taxpayers, and enabling 1 crore households for rooftop solarization, providing up to 300 units of free electricity per month.

On the infrastructure front, the government aims to fast-track Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 for improved nutrition delivery and early childhood care and development. Additionally, plans involve the expansion of existing airports and the comprehensive development of new airports under the UDAN scheme, with a focus on improving logistics efficiency and reducing costs.

Implementation of three major railway corridor programs under PM Gati Shakti is set to enhance overall logistics efficiency and contribute to cost reduction. These measures collectively reflect the government’s commitment to comprehensive and sustainable development across multiple sectors, with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility and strategic allocation of resources.