The outlay for the next year in infrastructure is being increased by 11.1% to Rs. 11,11,111 crore
Aligning with the ‘Panchamrit’ goals, the government will facilitate sustaining high and more resource-efficient economic growth and this will work towards energy security in terms of availability, accessibility, and affordability, says Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman giving his Interim Budget Speech 2024-25.
The FDI inflow during 2014-23 was US $596 billion marking a golden era. That is twice the inflow during 2005-14. To encourage sustained foreign investment, we are negotiating bilateral investment treaties with our foreign partners, in the spirit of ‘first develop India’ said Sitharaman.
This year's Budget Speech focused on Infrastructure, Railways, Research & Innovation, Green Energy, E-vehicle & Bio-manufacturing and Bio-foundry.
Increase in Infrastructure Investment: Building on the massive tripling of the capital expenditure outlay in the past 4 years resulting in huge multiplier impact on economic growth and employment creation, the outlay for the next year is being increased by 11.1 per cent to Rs. 11,11,111 crore. This would be 3.4 percent of the GDP.
Indian Railways to implement Railway Corridor Programmes: Three major economic railway corridor programmes will be implemented. These are: Energy, mineral and cement corridors; Port connectivity corridors; and high traffic density corridors. The projects have been identified under the PM Gati Shakti for enabling multi-modal connectivity. They will improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost.
The resultant decongestion of the high-traffic corridors will also help in improving operations of passenger trains, resulting in safety and higher travel speed for passengers. Together with dedicated freight corridors, these three economic corridor programmes will accelerate our GDP growth and reduce logistic costs.
Application of Nano DAP on Various Crops: After the successful adoption of Nano Urea, application of Nano DAP on various crops will be expanded in all agro-climatic zones.
Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan Building on the initiative announced in 2022, a strategy will be formulated to achieve ‘atmanirbharta’ for oil seeds 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.
Corpus of Rs. One Lakh Crore on Research and Innovation: For our tech savvy youth, this will be a golden era. A corpus of Rs. 100,000 crore will be established with a fifty-year interest free loan. The corpus will provide 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 sunrise domains. We need to have programmes that combine the powers of our youth and technology.
Multiple Initiatives in Green Energy: Towards meeting our commitment for ‘net-zero’ by 2070, the following measures - Viability Gap Funding, Coal Gasification and Liquefaction, and Phased Mandatory Blending of CBG in CNG and PNG will be taken. Viability Gap Funding will be provided for harnessing offshore wind energy potential for initial capacity of one giga-watt. Coal gasification and Liquefaction capacity of 100 MT will be set up by 2030. This will also help in reducing imports of natural gas, methanol, and ammonia. Phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas (CBG) in compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport and piped natural gas (PNG) for domestic purposes will be mandated. Financial assistance will be provided for procurement of biomass aggregation machinery to support collection.
Expanding and Strengthening Electric Vehicle Ecosystem: Our Government will expand and strengthen the e-vehicle ecosystem by supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure. Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks will be encouraged through payment security mechanisms.
Launch of Bio-manufacturing and Bio-foundry Scheme: For promoting green growth, a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be launched. This will provide environment friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs. This scheme will also help in transforming today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles.
"We continue on the path of fiscal consolidation, as announced in my Budget Speech for 2021-22, to reduce the fiscal deficit below 4.5 per cent by 2025-26. The fiscal deficit in 2024-25 is estimated to be 5.1 per cent of GDP, adhering to that path," said Sitharaman.
"As for tax proposals, in keeping with the convention, I do not propose to make any changes relating to taxation and propose to retain the same tax rates for direct taxes and indirect taxes including import duties. However, certain tax benefits to start-ups and investments made by sovereign wealth or pension funds as also tax exemption on certain income of some IFSC units are expiring on 31.03.2024. To provide continuity in taxation, I propose to extend the date to 31.03.2025," added Sitharaman.
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