A raft of concessions amid consolidation

Source– The post is based on the article “A raft of concessions amid consolidation” published in The Hindu on 2nd February 2023.

What is the news?

The Finance Minister has presented the budget for FY2024. She termed it as the “first Budget in Amrit Kaal”.

What are the key focus areas of the budget?

Inclusive development that ensures prosperity for all, especially the youth, women, farmers, Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

A focus on infrastructure and investment.

Policies to enable green or environmentally sustainable growth.

Rationalisation of direct taxes, including concessions to the middle and salaried classes, and pensioners,

Staying the course on fiscal consolidation.

What is the main agenda of the budget?

It is aimed at actualising a “technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances, and a robust financial sector”.

The economic agenda for achieving this vision would require a focus on giving a strong impetus to growth and job creation.

Which schemes were announced in the budget?

PM VIKAS or Pradhan Mantri Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman– It would offer traditional artisans and craftspeople, or Vishwakarmas, a package of assistance. It will help them improve the quality, scale and reach of their products.

‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’ or ‘MISHTI’– It aims at undertaking mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands.

The funding will be obtained through “convergence between MGNREGS and a compensatory afforestation fund”.

What are some statistics about allocation of funds to various sectors?

Budget estimate for expenditure on rural development in 2023-24 is pegged at ₹2.38 lakh crore. It 5.3% of overall expenditure at 5.3%, There is a marginal increase of 0.1% as compared to previous Budget Estimate. When viewed against the revised estimate, it is 0.6% lower.

Food subsidy bill is ₹1.97 lakh crore. It is almost 5% lower than the 2022-23 Budget estimate and 31% down from the revised estimate.

Capital expenditure allocated is 10 lakh crore rupees. It is a 33% jump from this fiscal’s Budget estimate.

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