Budget 2024 updates | Have brought down fiscal deficit despite challenges: Sitharaman

In the last Budget before the General elections, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman makes a pitch for ‘Viksit Bharat’

February 01, 2024 06:00 am | Updated 05:55 pm IST

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Pankaj Chaudhary (left) and Bhagwat Kishanrao addressing the media on Union Interim Budget at National Media Center on February 1, 2024

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Pankaj Chaudhary (left) and Bhagwat Kishanrao addressing the media on Union Interim Budget at National Media Center on February 1, 2024 | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Indian economy has witnessed a profound transformation in the last ten years and that the Modi government carried out structural reforms and implemented pro-people programmes. She noted that the government will continue on path of fiscal consolidation to reduce fiscal deficit to 4.5% in 2025-26. She did not propose any changes relating to taxation and said that the government proposes to maintain the same tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties.

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Interim Budget 2024: Highlights


Budget 2024 Highlights: Interim Budget 2024 Key Highlights

Budget 2024 Highlights: The interim Budget was presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on February 1. Read the latest news updates related to interim budget highlights from The Hindu


  • February 01, 2024 17:29
    On the MGNREGA allocation

    On the MGNREGA allocation, Ms. Sitharaman said that the allocation is done on the basis of demand coming from the ground. 

    She also pointed out that the CAG has already commented on the way MGNREGA is operating in some States, where claims are reaching a stage where they need to be verified. “Are they [those getting wages] really people existing on the ground?...and other questions critical to the very letter and spirit of the program”

    The CAG reports themselves highlight where course correction is needed in those States. Those problems needs to be addressed separately from whether the allocation is coming down, Ms. Sitharaman said. 

  • February 01, 2024 17:05
    On the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

    On the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, in light of geopolitcal conflicts, the Finance Minister said that the govt. is taking it forward. She acknowledged “significant disturbances in the Red Sea area and the Middle East,” but added that this is a project which has long-term implications for regions up to Europe. 

    We will be consulting and taking it in all its contours, she said. 

  • February 01, 2024 16:59
    On the conversion of railway coaches to Vande Bharat standard

    On the conversion of coaches to Vande Bharat standard, Ms. Sitharaman said that this is up to the railways, and pointed out that Vande Bharat trains and these bogies are two separate things altogether. 

    “Those bogies [the old ones] probably cannot even take the speed with which we want to improve the high-density areas. So we are talking about the bogie quality meeting the Vande Bharat standard. As to which of the lines they will get connected to, and as a result what will be the rationalisation of ticket price, is up to the Railways.”

    We are aiming at upgradation, she added.

  • February 01, 2024 16:52
    On the corpus for Research and Innovation

    On the corpus for Research and Innovation, Finance Secretary T. V. Somanathan said that the Rs. 1 lakh crore is a provision over time, which will be provided as a 50-year interest free loan to a financial institution, who will finance and refinance projects at long tenures.

  • February 01, 2024 16:45
    We have highlighted the areas we will be targeting when we present the budget in July: Sitharaman

    On a question regarding the nature of budget before elections, Ms. Sitharaman said that we have largely kept vote-on-account as vote-on-account, but also showed how the economy will be moving forward and who we will aim at when we present the budget in July. 

    There are announcements along with vote-on-account, she said. 

  • February 01, 2024 16:37
    Major announcements in the interim budget

    In her press conference, the Finance Minister highlighted these major announcements made in the Interim Budget:

    1. 2 crore more homes under PM AWAS yojana
    2. Housing for middle class
    3. Rooftop solar power generation for atleast 300 units
    4. Enhancement of target for Lakhpati Didi
    5. Preparing and Empowering MSME to grow and compete globally
    6. Attention to the Eastern region (Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh)
    7. Next generation reforms to be carried out
    8. Three major corridors which are programs for railways + 40,000 coaches brought to level of Vande BHarat
    9. Urbanisation: Looking at metro and NaMo Bharat
    10. Rs. 1 lakh crore corpus for Research and Innovation
    11. Boost to tourism
  • February 01, 2024 16:30
    Guiding factors

    Ms. Sitharaman highlighted certain key features as guiding factors, which included 

    • Social Justice as effective and necessary governance model
    • Four major groups of youth, poor, women, and farmers
    • Focus on infrastructure - massive increase in capex continuing the trend of last four years
    • Using of technology as a huge opportunity
    • High-powered committee for extensive consideration of challenges arising from population growth
  • February 01, 2024 16:24
    Have brought down fiscal deficit despite challenging times: Sitharaman

    Price stability and inflation management; handling fallout of COVID; buildout of physical, digital and social infra; cleaning up banking system; GST; one nation, one market, one tax - these were highlighted by the Finance Minister as indicators of performance by her Government.

    She flagged the bringing down of the fiscal deficit despite of “very challenging times”, as per the announced consolidation path. 

    The revised estimates clearly indicate that we are on the track to meet expectations set in 2021-22, and that we are well on track to meet 4.5% fiscal deficit (on or below) by FY 26

  • February 01, 2024 16:20
    Post-budget Press Conference under way

    Union Finance Minister addressing the post-Budget press conference spoke on Governance, Development and Performance. 

    She said that this budget speaks on a position the government has delivered on development, better managed the economy. “A governance with care, conviction, and confidence.”

    On the performance, she said that the country has had three consecutive years of 7% growth, fastest growing economy of G-20.

  • February 01, 2024 15:55
    Nirmala Sitharaman delivers her shortest Budget speech

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 presented her sixth consecutive Budget with a speech lasting 56 minutes, her shortest-ever.

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 15:13
    Net zero gain for MGNREGS

    2024 Budget allocates ₹86,000 crores for the rural employment scheme, which is nearly 43.33% hike from the allocation in the last Budget, though the total expenditure so far for the programme, as per Union Rural Development Ministry, is already ₹88,309 crores. 

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 14:24
    How is the interim Budget different from Annual Budget? | Explained

    In an election year, the incumbent Government cannot present a full Budget as there may be a change in the executive after the polls. Hence, the need for an interim budget, which was presented today by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

    Read more on how the Interim Budget is different from the Annual Budget...

  • February 01, 2024 13:48
    Green measures announced by Finance Minister in Interim Budget

    Among other measures pertaining to finance and infrastructure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced some green initiatives and steps which will be taken for India to meet its net-zero commitments by 2070 in the interim budget.

    Click here to read what these comprise...

  • February 01, 2024 13:44
    How are the markets, industry reacting to the budget

    While shares of companies related to the electric vehicle segment jumped after the announcement that the government will expand the electric vehicle ecosystem to support charging infra, initial market reaction has remained negative. 

    For live updates on the market, industry reaction to the Interim Budget 2024, click here

  • February 01, 2024 13:31
    I once again congratulate people for this historic budget: PM Modi
  • February 01, 2024 13:30
    Several announcements for poor families, farmers: PM Modi

    The Prime Minister, in his remarks, highlighted the key announcements made for the benefit of farmers, poor people. 

    Through Rooftop solarization, 1 crore families will get free electricity. Also, the sale of excess will generate income for these families, Mr. Modi said. 

    The income tax remission scheme announced today will provide relief to 1 crore middle class population, he added. 

    “There are several big announcements for the farmers as well, be it the utilisation of NANO-DP, or schemes for cattle, the expansion of PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, and the Atma Nirbhar Oil Seed Abhiyaan. This will increase the income of farmers, and reduce their expenses.”

  • February 01, 2024 13:24
    This budget empowers the poor and middle class: PM Modi

    Speaking on the infrastructural aspects of the budget, PM Modi said, “The budget also provided for 40,000 Vande Bharat bogies to be attached to regular trains. This will allow for a comfortable journey for passengers across several train routes.”

    “For the poor, we aim to build 2 crore additional houses in villages and urban areas. We have also promised to increase the number of Lakhpiti Didis to 3 crore.”

    This budget empowers the poor and middle class, providing them opportunities for income-generation, Mr. Modi said. 

  • February 01, 2024 13:20
    This budget will transform the future of India: PM Modi

    This budget will empower the four pillars of a developed India, which are the youth, poor, women, and farmers. It is the budget which will transform the future of India, and it strengthens the foundation for a ‘developed India by 2047’, PM Modi said in his remarks following the budget. 

    He highlighted two key decisions taken in this interim budget. The first being the Rs. 1 lakh crore corpus fund for research and innovation, and the tax exemptions provided to startups. 

    He also stressed on the historic figure of Rs. 11.11 lakh crore allotted to capex. He called this a “sweet spot”, which will enable not only 21st century infrastructure, but also “countless jobs for the youth”

  • February 01, 2024 13:13
    PM Modi' remarks following presentation of Interim Budget 2024

    In his remarks, following the presentation of the Interim Budget 2024 by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, PM Modi said this budget is an inclusive and innovative budget which is confident about continuity.

  • February 01, 2024 12:37
    Govt to launch new scheme to strengthen deep-tech for defence sector: FM

    A new scheme will be launched to strengthen deep tech for the defence sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on February 1.

    Read more here...

  • February 01, 2024 12:36
    Govt to focus on vaccination against cervical cancer, announces Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 announced the government’s plans to focus on vaccination against cervical cancer for girls aged 9 to 14 as part of her Interim Budget 2024.

    Read more here...

  • February 01, 2024 12:34
    Global affairs becoming more complex, challenging with wars: Finance Minister in Budget Speech

    The minister, while presenting the interim Budget, said that the new world order is emerging and India has successfully navigated the global challenges in fuel and fertiliser price spike.

    She also said that strengthening the financial sector in the country has helped make savings, credit and investments more efficient.

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 12:02
    Lok Sabha adjourned till February 2, 11.00 a.m.
  • February 01, 2024 12:02
    Union Finance Minister introduces the Finance Bill 2024 in the Lok Sabha
  • February 01, 2024 12:01
    Economy, then and now

    The responsibility to fix the economy from 2014 was enormous. The government did that successfully following the strong belief of Nation First, Ms. Sitharaman says as she wraps up her speech. 

    The crisis of those years has been overcome and the economy is now put on the path of high sustained growth, the Finance Minister says comparing numbers from the pre-Modi government time. 

    It is now appropriate to look where we were in 2014 and where we are now, only to understand the mismanagement of those years, she says adding that the government will lay a white paper on the table of the House on this.

    The goal of Viksit Bharat with good intentions, true dedication and hard work in the coming years will be achieved. With this, Honourable Speaker, I commend the Interim Budget to the House, Ms. Sithraman says concluding her speech. 

  • February 01, 2024 11:57
    Improving taxpayer services

    To improve taxpayer services, there are a large number of petty or disputed direct tax demands, many of them dating as far back as 1962, which cause anxiety to taxpayers, Ms. Sitharaman states in her speech. 

    I propose to withdraw such outstanding direct tax demands upto Rs. 25,000 pertaining to years upto 2009-10 and Rs. 10,000 for the period from 2010 to 2015. This will help 1 crore taxpayers, she says. 

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 11:55
    Tax proposals

    As for tax proposals, in keeping with the convention, I do not propose to make any changes relating to taxation and propose to maintain the same tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties, Ms. Sitharaman says. 

    However, certain tax exemptions for startups and IFSC units are expiring on march 31, 2023. To provide continuity in taxation, I propose to extend these till March 31, 2025, the Finance Minister adds.

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 11:52
    GST has reduced the compliance burden on trade and industry: Sitharaman

    By unifying the tax system, the GST has reduced the compliance burden on trade and industry. As per a recent survey, 94% of industry leaders view the transition to GST as largely positive.

    States too have benefited, Ms. Sitharaman says. She adds that the biggest beneficiary is the consumer as reduction in logistics costs and taxes has helped bring down prices.

  • February 01, 2024 11:51
    Tax provisions

    Listing out the previous changes made in the tax provisions, Ms. Sitharaman thanks taxpayers for their continued support. 

    Under the new tax scheme, there is now no liability for those earning upto Rs. 7 lakh a year. The threshold for presumptive taxation for retail businesses was increased from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 3 crore.

    Corporate tax rate was decreased from 30% to 22% for existing companies and 15% for certain new manufacturing industries.

    Filing tax returns has become simpler and easier. The average processing time of returns has been lowered from 93 days in 2013-14 to a mere 10 days, thereby making refunds faster, Ms. Sitharaman says.

  • February 01, 2024 11:49
    Part B of the Interim Budget begins
  • February 01, 2024 11:49
    Budget Estimates for 2024-25

    Total receipts other than borrowings: Rs. 30.80 lakh crores 

    Total expenditure: Rs. 47.66 lakh crores 

    Tax receipts: Rs. 26.02 lakh crores 

    Scheme of 50-year interest free loans for capital expenditure, to states will be continued with outlay of Rs. 1.3 lakh crores 

    Fiscal deficit in 2024-25 is estimated to be 5.1% of GDP, adhering to the path of fiscal consolidation

  • February 01, 2024 11:49
    Revised Estimates of 2023-24

    RE of total receipts other than borrowings is Rs. 27.56 lakh crores, of which tax receipts are Rs. 23.24 lakh crores 

    RE of total expenditure is Rs. 44.90 lakh crores 

    Revenue receipts at Rs. 30.3 lakh crores are expected to be higher than Budget Estimates 

    RE of fiscal deficit is 5.8% of GDP

  • February 01, 2024 11:48
    Amrit Kaal as Karthavya Kaal

    Our govt. stands committed to create an economy with high growth and an environment to enable people to meet their aspirations, Ms. Sitharaman says. 

    “Every challenge of the pre-2014 era was overcome through our economic management and governance. This has placed the country on a sustained path of high growth. In the full Budget in July, our Govt. will present a detailed roadmap for our pursuit of Viksit Bharat”

  • February 01, 2024 11:47
    Societal changes

    The government will form a high-powered committee to review challenges arising from fast population growth and demographic changes.

  • February 01, 2024 11:47
    Reform in States for Viksit Bharat

    Rs. 75,000 crore is being proposed as 50-year interest free loan for milestone-linked reforms by States.

  • February 01, 2024 11:45
    FDI- First Develop India

    The FDI inflow from 2014-23 was 596 billion USD marking a golden era, Ms. Sitharaman says. We are negotiating bilateral treaties with the spirit of ‘First, Develop India’, she adds

  • February 01, 2024 11:45
    The government will take next-generation reforms, says Ms. Sitharaman
  • February 01, 2024 11:43
    Domestic tourism

    The success of G20 events organized across 60 cities has helped. Our middle class also now aspires to travel more. Tourism, including spiritual tourism, are booming and States will be encouraged to develop tourism centres and market them globally, Ms. Sitharaman says. 

    Long-term interest free loans will be provided to States on a matching basis to develop such tourism centres, she adds.

  • February 01, 2024 11:42
    E-vehicle ecosystem, and bio-manufacturing

    Our government will expand and strengthen the e-vehicle sector through greater manufacturing and charging infrastructure, Ms. Sitharaman says. [Read more here...]

    A new scheme for bio-manufacturing will be launched to encourage bio plastics and bio-agri inputs that are biodegradable. This will transform todays consumption paradigm in manufacturing to one that is green-oriented, she adds. 

  • February 01, 2024 11:41
    Green Energy
    1. Viability gap funding for harnessing shore-wind energy potential [Read more here...]
    2. Coal gassification and liquifaction capacity of 100 metric tons will be set up by 2030.
    3. Phased mandatory of blending of compressed biogas in compressed natural gas for transport and piped natural gas for domestic purposes will be mandated.
  • February 01, 2024 11:39

    Three major railway corridor programs will be implemented. These are:

    1. Energy, mineral and cement corridor
    2. Port-connectivity corridor
    3. High-traffic density corridor

    They will improve logistics efficiency, and reduce cost, Ms. Sitharaman says. She highlights that this will improve safety for passenger trains as well. 

    40,000 normal rail bogeys will be converted to Vande Bharat standards, she adds. 

    Read more here...

  • February 01, 2024 11:32
    Union Finance Minister outlines strategy for Amrit Kaal

    The Finance Minister continues outlining the government’s strategy for Amrit Kaal, speaking on the following areas:

    Aatma Nirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyan - Building on initiative announced in 2022, a strategy will be formulated for achieving self reliance in oilseeds, such as mustard, groundnut, soyabean, sesame and sunflower This will cover research in high yielding varieties, adoption of modern farming techniques, market linkages, procurement, value addition and crop insurance

    Dairy Development- A comprehensive program for supporting dairy farmers will be formulated and efforts are already on to defeat the Foot and Mouth Disease. India is the largest dairy producer in the world but with low productivity of milch. 

    Matsya Sampada- It was our govt. which set up a separate department of fisheries realizing the importance of assisting fishermen, she says. Seafood exports since 2013-14 have doubled. The implementation of the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana will be stepped up.

    Lakhpati Didi - 83 lakh SHGs (self help groups) with 9 crore women are transforming the rural social economic landscape with empowerment and self reliance, says Ms. Sitharaman. Their achievements will be recognized by honouring them. It has been decided to raise the target for such Lakhpati Didis from 2 crore to 3 crore.

    Technological changes- A corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore will be established with 50 year interest free loans for providing long term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates. This will encourage the private sector to scale up Research and Innovation significantly in the sunrise domains, she says. A new scheme will be launched to develop deep tech for defence purposes. 

  • February 01, 2024 11:26
    Strategy for Amrit Kaal

    The Finance Minister says that the Govt will adopt economic polices that will foster and sustain growth, improve productivity, create opportunities for all, help them enhance capabilities. 

    Guided by the principle of Reform, Perform and Transform, the government will take next-generation reforms, she says. 

    Aligning with the Panchamrut goals, our government will focus on sustaining a more efficient growth. For meeting investment needs, we will build a financial sector with scale, capacity and regulatory frameworks.

    Development of the East - Our govt. will pay utmost attention to make the Eastern region and its people a powerful driver of India’s growth

    PM Awas Yojana (Gramin) - Despite the challenges, the implementation continued and we are close to achieving the target of 3 crore houses and 2 crore more houses will be taken up in the next five years. [Read more here...]

    Rooftop solarization and free electricity - One crore houses will be enabled to obtain upto 300 units of free electricity per month through rooftop solar tech

    Expected benefits include savings up to Rs. 15,000 - Rs. 18,000 to households from free solar electricity and selling surplus to discoms. [Read more here...]

    Housing for middle class - A scheme to be launched to help deserving sections of middle class living in rented houses or slums or chawls or unauthorized colonies to buy or build their own houses.

    Medical colleges - Government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilizing existing hospital infrastructure Committee to be set up to examine issues and make recommendations

    Maternal and Child healthcare- Various schemes will be brought under one comprehensive program. Upgradation of Anganwadi centres under Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 will be expedited for improved nutrition delivery, early childhood care and development Newly designed U-Win platform for managing immunization and intensified efforts of Mission Indradhanush will be rolled out

    Ayushmaan Bharat- Healthcare cover will be extended to all Aasha, Anganwaadi workers, and helpers. [Read more here...]

    Agri and Food Processing- Efforts of value addition and boosting farmers incomes will be stepped up. The PM Sampada Yojana has benefited 38 lakh farmers. The PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises has assisted 2.4 lakh SHGs.

  • February 01, 2024 11:24
    Vision for Viksit Bharat: Sitharaman

    The Finance Minster presents a vision for “Viksit Bharat” (Developed India)

    Our vision for Viksit Bharat, is that of prosperous Bharat, in harmony with nature, with modern infra and proving opportunities for all citizens, she says. 

    The next five years will be years of unprecedented development, and golden moments to realise dream of developed India by 2047, she adds. 

    Trinity of Democracy, Demography and Diversity, has the potential to fulfil aspiration of every Indian, she says. 

  • February 01, 2024 11:18
    The economy is doing well, Nirmala Sitharaman

    Average Real income has increased by 50%, inflation is moderate. Peopl are gettng empowered, and enables to pursue their aspirations, says Ms. Sitharaman.

  • February 01, 2024 11:17
    Exemplary track record of governance

    The govt is focussed on a more comprehensive GDP i.e. Governance, Development and Performance. 

    Our govt has provided transparent, accountable, and prompt trust-based administration. The impact is discernible in all sectors, Nirmala Sitharaman says. 

  • February 01, 2024 11:14
    Empowering the Youth: FM on Modi govt’s schemes for youngsters

    The NEP 2020 is ushering transformational reforms. The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskilled 54 lakh youth and established 3,000 new ITIs.

    A large number of higher learning institutions have been set up including 319 universities.

    A fund of funds, Startup India and Startup Credit Guarantee Scheme are helping our youth become Rozgaar Daata.

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 11:12
    Union Finance Minister provides a report card for the last 10 years

    Union Finance Minister provides a report card for the last 10 years as she begins her interim budget speech. 

    Detailing the several schemes aimed at the marginalised groups of the society, Nirmala Sitharaman recalls the milestones of the Modi Government. 

    PM Vishwakarma Yojana provides end to end support to artisans, while schemes to empower the Divyang and transgender persons proves that this government believes in leaving no one behind, she says.

  • February 01, 2024 11:11
    ‘Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan’: FM on pro-poor schemes

    We believe in empowering the poor, the earlier strategy of entitlement didn’t work. With the pursuit of Sabka Saath in these 10 years, the government has assisted 25 crore people to get rid of multi-dimensional poverty.

    This is truly elevating them from poverty. Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs. 34 lakh crore through PM Jan Dhan Yojana accounts has led to savings of Rs. 2.7 lakh crore for the government, which has helped in providing more funds for Garib Kalyan.

    From 78 lakh street vendors, 2.3 lakh have received credit for the third time under the PM Swanidhi Yojana.

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 11:10
    Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan

    Earlier approach of tackling poverty had resulted in modest outcomes. 

    With the pursuit of Sabka Saath, we have assisted 25 crore people to get freedom from multi-dimensional poverty. 

  • February 01, 2024 11:08
    We focus on outcomes and not on outlays: Sitharaman

    For achieving the goal of becoming developed by 2047, we need to empower people. For our govt, social justice is an effective and necessary governance model.

    The saturation approach of covering all eligible people is the true and comprehensive approach to social justice. There is transparency and assurance that benefits are delivered to all regardless of their social standing. This is truly secular.

    We focus on outcomes and not on outlays so that the socio-economic transformation is achieved.

    Read more here...

  • February 01, 2024 11:07
    Inclusive Development and Growth

    Development programmes have targeted each and every household and individual through housing for all, Har Ghar Jal, electricity for all, cooking gas for all and bank accounts and financial services for all in record time Worries about food were eliminated through free rations for 80 crore people MSP for produce of Anna Data are periodically increased, Ms. Sitharaman says.

    This has enhanced real income in the rural areas, says the Finance Minister.

  • February 01, 2024 11:05
    Eexpect that our govt. will be blessed with a resounding mandate: Sitharaman

    The Finance Minister speaks on the themes of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, and Atmanirbhar Bharat.

    She says “We expect that our govt., based on its stupendous work, will be blessed with a resounding mandate”

  • February 01, 2024 11:03
    Our Govt. has overcome several challenges in the last 10 years: Sitharaman

    The Indian Economy has witnessed profound positive transformation in the last 10 years. People are looking forward. 

    When our govt. took office, the country was facing enormous challenges. We have overcome them. The economy got a new vigour and fruits of development reached people at scale. 

    Read more here...
  • February 01, 2024 11:01
    Lok Sabha speaker begins proceedings

    Speaker Om Birla begins proceedings of the Interim Budget session for 2024.

    He calls on Union Finance Minister to present the Budget.

  • February 01, 2024 11:00
    Proceedings for the presentation of the Interim Budget 2024 begin in the Lok Sabha
  • February 01, 2024 10:51
    Union Cabinet approves Interim Budget for 2024

    The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the interim Budget. Following this, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her sixth budget in the Lok Sabha.

    - PTI

  • February 01, 2024 10:37
    Rail stocks trade higher ahead of Budget

    Stocks of companies related to railways were trading in the positive territory on Thursday morning ahead of the presentation of the interim Budget.

    Shares of IRCON International rallied 3.26 per cent, Texmaco Rail & Engineering jumped 2.71 per cent, Indian Railway Finance Corporation climbed 2.58 per cent and Rail Vikas Nigam advanced 1.52 per cent on the BSE.

    The stock of Jupiter Wagons went up 1.46 per cent, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) (0.88 per cent) and Titagarh Rail Systems (0.71 per cent).

    - PTI

  • February 01, 2024 10:27
    Interim Budget 2024: Key numbers to be watched

    Here are the key numbers to watch for in pre-election Budget 2024-25: 

    Fiscal Deficit: The budgeted fiscal deficit, which is the difference between the government expenditure and income, for the current fiscal ending March 2024 is 5.9 per cent, against 6.4 per cent in the last fiscal. The number for 2024-25 would be in focus as it is widely expected that the government would open its purse strings in an election year.

    Disinvestment/Privatisation: In current fiscal year the budgeted disinvestment target is likely to be missed, like the past five years. It is expected the government would set a realistic target of sub-Rs 50,000 crore for next fiscal.

    Capital Expenditure: The government’s planned capital expenditure for this fiscal year is budgeted at Rs 10 lakh crore, higher than Rs 7.3 lakh crore in the last fiscal. The government has been pushing infrastructure creation and also incentivising states to step up capex.

    Tax Revenue: The Budget had pegged direct and indirect tax mop-up at Rs 18.23 lakh crore and Rs 15.29 lakh crore for current fiscal, taking the gross tax collection to Rs 33.61 lakh crore. The government’s tax revenues are expected to overshoot the budget estimates on buoyant collections in GST; and income and corporate tax.

    - PTI

  • February 01, 2024 10:22
    Union Finance Minister meets President Murmu ahead of the Interim Budget presentation today
  • February 01, 2024 10:20
    From briefcase to bahi-khata: changes in how the Union Budget is presented

    In 2019, Finance Minister Sitharaman did away with the traditional Budget briefcase and instead went for a ‘bahi-khata’ with the national emblem to carry the speech and other documents. In 2021, when Budget was presented amidst COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Sitharaman presented the first paperless Budget.

    Until 1999, Budgets were presented at 3 p.m. on the last working day of February. Jaswant Singh changed the Colonial-era practice and presented it at 11 a.m. In 2017, the Modi government decided to present the Budget on February 1 to make it easy for the annual budget exercise before the new financial year. It was in the same year the Railway Budget became the part of the Union Budget. 

    Since 1955-56, the practice of tabling Budget documents in both Hindi and English began.


  • February 01, 2024 10:09
    How have previous Finance Ministers handled the interim budget ahead of General elections

    Though fresh schemes are not announced during Interim Budget, some Finance Ministers in the past have used the occasion to announce doles.

    For instance, the then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his interim Budget in 2019 had announced Rs 75,000 crore outlay for PM KISAN Samman Nidhi scheme wherein farmers are paid Rs 6,000 cash a year. He also raised standard deduction to Rs 50,000, and came up with tax rebate to ensure that individuals with income of up to Rs 7 lakh per annum are not taxed.

    In the pre-election Budget of 2014, the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the Congress-led UPA government slashed excise duty on cars, SUVs, two wheelers, capital goods and consumer durables to boost manufacturing.

    Pranab Mukherjee too in his interim Budget in 2009 hiked the outlay for rural sector schemes to shield economy from the aftermath of global financial crisis triggered by collapse of US-based investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008.

    Jaswant Singh of the BJP-led NDA government in the 2004 pre-election interim Budget announced sops for central government employees.

    - PTI

  • February 01, 2024 10:07
    Nirmala Sitharaman reaches Parliament to present the interim budget

    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reached the Parliament, ahead of the presentation of the interim budget today. 

    Before the session begins, the Union Cabinet will meet to approve the interim budget document. 

  • February 01, 2024 10:04
    Sensex gave positive returns to investors 4 times during last 5 Budget days

    In the last five years, the BSE Sensex has given positive returns to investors four times on the Budget day and the benchmark rallied the most by 5% on the closing trade in 2021.

    Barring February 1, 2020, when the 30-share BSE benchmark ended 987.96 points or 2.42% lower, the bellwether index ended in the positive territory on the Budget day in the year 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2019.

    Read more here...

  • February 01, 2024 09:58
    Markets turn highly volatile after firm opening ahead of Budget

    Benchmark equity indices began the trade on an optimistic note on Thursday but later faced heavy volatile trends ahead of presentation of interim Budget.

    The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 248.4 points to 72,000.51 in early trade after beginning the day on a positive note. The Nifty went up by 62.65 points to 21,788.35. 


  • February 01, 2024 09:40
    India in good position economically: Executive Director of IMF

    Ahead of the presentation of the Union Interim Budget today, K.V. Subramanian, Executive Director of the IMF and former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India said, “...India is in a good position (economically) but we have to continue the work...We have to further strengthen the reforms that have been done in manufacturing.”

  • February 01, 2024 09:29
    Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at Finance Ministry ahead of Budget 2024

    Ahead of the presentation of the interim budget 2024-2025, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived at the Ministry of Finance on Thursday. 

    MoS finance Bhagwat Karad and Pankaj Chaudhary also accompanied her to the Finance Ministry. 

  • February 01, 2024 09:17
    Sensex gave positive returns to investors four times during last five Budget days

    In the last five years, the BSE Sensex has given positive returns to investors four times on the Budget day and the benchmark rallied the most by 5% on the closing trade in 2021. 

    Barring February 1, 2020, when the 30-share BSE benchmark ended 987.96 points or 2.42% lower, the bellwether index ended in the positive territory on the Budget day in the years 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2019.


  • February 01, 2024 09:16
    Finance Ministers of India since Independence
  • February 01, 2024 08:40
    Budget basics: A glossary of terms used in Budget

    Here is a ready reckoner for some of these terms: 

    Disinvestment Receipts

    The term refers to the money raised by the Government through disinvestment, or the sale of its equity stake in companies it owns.

    Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act

    The Act is an attempt to make the Government adhere to a phased plan to reduce fiscal deficit, which denotes an excess of expenditure over revenue.

    Dividend Distribution Tax

    This is a tax levied on companies that pay out dividends to its shareholders, i.e. share a portion of earnings with them.

    Venture Capital Funds

    These are funds that invest in startups, a financially riskier proposition than investing in established companies. 

    Read more here.
  • February 01, 2024 08:01
    Duty cut on mobile parts to positively impact end-pricing of smartphones

    The five percent duty cut on import of mobile components holds the promise of potentially impacting end-pricing for consumers positively, said homegrown mobile manufacturer Lava International

    The Union government on Tuesday notified reduced import duty on mobile spare parts like battery covers, main lenses, back covers, mechanical items made of plastic and metal, and others from 15% to 10% to expedite exports from the country. 

    Read more
  • February 01, 2024 07:24
    How is the interim Budget different from Annual Budget?

    Ahead of the 2024 general elections, the Modi government is preparing to present its second interim budget on February 1.

    Article 116 of the Constitution allows the Lower House to make any grant in advance for the estimated expenditure for part of any financial year by voting and passing such a legislation, i.e. vote on account. The Lok Sabha is empowered to authorise withdrawal of required funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for such expenditure.

    A simple vote on account includes presenting the Centre’s fund requirements for salaries, ongoing projects and other expenditure for the transitional period, and is then passed via the Lok Sabha sans debate. It cannot make any changes to tax rates. It is also valid only for two months and can be extended up to four months. 

    Read the whole explainer here.

  • February 01, 2024 06:43
    Budget expected to focus on infrastructure, spending big on new vote-garnering measures

    The Budget would, however, provide an occasion to assess the fiscal health of the economy against the backdrop of robust economic growth. It would provide an occasion for the government to give a clear roadmap for achieving the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBMA) targets.

    The budgeted fiscal deficit of 5.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the current fiscal is likely to be achieved, but it is nearly twice the FRBM fiscal deficit to the GDP target of 3 per cent for the central government. Correspondingly, the debt-GDP ratio at 54 per cent is also well above the target of 40%. 


  • February 01, 2024 06:10
    Measures for eco, select segments to feature in Sitharaman’s 6th straight budget

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will on Thursday present the Modi 2.0 government’s last Budget before the general elections, which is likely to contain a mix of measures for the economy and electorally significant segments like farmers and women.

    Peppered with political innuendos, her sixth straight Budget may present a political document with a snapshot of the Modi government’s triumphs over the last 10 years and pointers to how it wants to take the country forward.

    With pressure for populist measures off after recent emphatic wins in three states, she is expected to stick to being fiscally prudent while sprinkling sops on sectors like agriculture and engines of the economy that would create jobs and boost consumption. 


  • January 31, 2024 18:18
    Union Budget 2024 live streaming: When and where to watch Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech

    As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gears up to present the sixth Budget of her tenure, take a look at our quick guide on where and how to catch the live coverage of the Budget for the financial year 2024-2025.

  • January 31, 2024 17:31
    Where does the banking sector stand today? Pre-Budget Analysis

    The banking sector in India witnessed a return to relatively good health over the past few years. With more stringent norms set by regulator RBI NPAs have declined and bank balance sheets have shed much of their baggage of bad loans.

    Click here to listen to our In Focus podcast

  • January 31, 2024 17:31
    What is the current state of the Indian economy? Pre-Budget Analysis Part 1 | In Focus podcast

    As we begin our countdown to Budget 2023-24, ​India faces a tough global environment​ and volatile commodity prices, the latter posing upside risks to inflation. Economists see some bright spots in the economy as also some concerning metrics, especially to do with exports and recent Core Sector or IIP figures that have given no discernible trend in recent months. 

  • January 31, 2024 17:31
    What are the private sector investment levels in India? Pre-Budget Analysis

    Private capital expenditure has been anaemic for a few years now, a state of affairs that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Business hates ambiguity and in the last three years, ambiguity alone has ruled our personal and professional lives. 

    ​​Click here to listen to our In Focus podcast​​

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