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Key Highlights of Union Budget for UPSC Aspirants

Update on 2024-04-15

Key Highlights of Union Budget 2024-25 for UPSC Aspirants

Budget 2024 has been made publicized with India’s Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitaraman setting forth an ambitious roadmap for the next round of growth that is aimed to take India into the next-gen growth avenues.

The budget 2024 is known as “Amrit Kal” owing to the schemes and programs that it enshrines with a view of setting the growth roadmap for India keeping the next 25 years in consideration.

The Budget 2024 entails several measures including promoting E-Vehicles to reforming the energy sector ultimately reflecting the union government’s progressive plan and strong will to take India into the league of developed nations.

So, here are various key highlights of Budget 2024 for IAS/PCS aspirants.

Fiscal Consolidation Targets, Plans, and Measures in 2024

Budgetary Allocations reflecting the will of the government to tread the path of fiscal consolidation

  1. For the financial year 2024-25, the government has projected a fiscal deficit target of 6.4% of GDP. Though it has gotten marginally reduced from 6.8% last year, the endeavor to curtail down the fiscal deficit to 4.5% of GDP by the financial year 2025-26 truly reflects the government’s objective of achieving fiscal consolidation further on the back of higher economic growth.
  2. Railways are likely to give the anticipated boost to economic growth as the government intends to allow the states a loan of Rs. 1 Lac Crore for a fifty-year time horizon with zero interest payable on it under the PM Gati Shakti project.
  3. The government’s consolidated Capex estimated at a whopping 10.68 Lac Crores lays a strong foundation for India to continuously tread the higher economic growth trajectory.

Energy Transition and Electric Vehicles are one of the key highlights of Budget 2024 for IAS/PCS

  1. To take the energy transition phase forward, the Union Government of India has set an ambitious goal of achieving 280 GigaWatt of electricity production through solar Modules for which the government has allocated an extra Rs. 19500 Crores for the Production Linked Incentive Scheme providing better scope for making solar modules in the country.
  2. The government has gone on to make it mandatory for thermal power stations to use biomass pellets for their five to seven percent fuel requirement. This largely enhances the economic value of agro residue along with improving the air quality and also creating an alternative ecosystem thereby leading to multiple benefits.
  3. The government has decided to set up four pilot projects for the gasification of coal and converting coal into various chemicals for the industry. This is a micro yet very significant step in saving additional foreign exchange outgo while purchasing imported fuels. Also, it opens a new sector aimed at providing employment opportunities and helping India move ahead to attain import substitution.
  4. To promote the Electric Vehicle ecosystem, the government has announced a battery-swapping policy that meets the interoperability standards. This step will help fulfill the objective of introducing mobility solutions thereby reducing dependence on conventional fuels and also meet out UN climate change regulations.

Start-Ups and Defence - Making India self-reliant

  1. The Research and Development activity in Defence to be opened up for the Industry and Start-Ups will provide much-needed impetus for the development of Defence Startups.
  2. The government plans to promote the usage of Drones for which the government has pledged to take forward the Drone Shakti mission in a bid to make India an international hub for manufacturing Drones by the year 2030.

Agriculture - Attempts of the Indian Government to achieve a high degree of inclusive growth

  1. The government has resolved further to provide financial assistance to emerging avenues in Agriculture such as climate action, agri-tech, etc.
  2. Under the new Agri initiatives, the government has decided to transfer the Minimum Support Prices straight into the bank accounts of farmers. This coupled with the Digitization of land records and the use of Kisan Drones is another key initiative that the government aspires to enforce.

Digital Banking and Internet Infrastructure is another key highlight of Budget 2024 for IAS/PCS

  1. With a view to streamlining the payment made by central ministries and putting forward a more transparent mechanism, the government plans to launch an integrated bill payment system wherein all union ministries will be able to utilize the functionality of the integrated bill payment system.
  2. The credit in the Indian banking system has grown by 5.4 Lac Crores which is a very encouraging sign of high GDP growth and continuous consumer spending.
  3. To lay the optical fiber networks the government of India has launched a scheme known as Bharatnet under which the contracts will be awarded using the PPP model. Also, the government has decided to conduct a 5G auction in the financial year 2024-25. Both these decisions will make India stand at par with international standards in the run-up to facilitate rolling out 5G services.
  4. To catch up with the hype associated with blockchain-based digital currencies, the government has asked RBI to launch a digital rupee using Blockchain Technology. This would enable India to have its own cryptocurrency launched by the RBI itself.

Infrastructural Projects - one of the key highlights of Budget 2024 for IAS/PCS

  1. The government is ready to undertake the Ken-Betwa linking project aimed at irrigating 9.05 lac hectares of land. In the entire timeline of the Ken-Betwa Project; the allocation of Rs. 44605 Crores is a landmark event to take the project forward.
  2. To implement the idea of housing for all as promised by the ruling NDA government, the government has planned to identify Eighty Lac families for providing them with houses under affordable housing schemes.
  3. In a bid to create more jobs, the government has decided to order 400 next-gen Vande Bharat trains along with developing 100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals.

Conclusion

The Union Budget 2024-25 is a growth-oriented budget that mostly relies on capital expenditure however there are certain risks inherited with the budget. The budget may expose the nation to the risks of high inflation. In such a case, RBI has to make a call on the increasing rates in order to address inflation. Once the budget gets implemented, the country has to face the upcoming challenges of surging inflation. This challenge can be overcome through carefully monitored monetary policy. Well-designed monetary policies and well-monitored expenditure could lead the country into an anticipated high of investment growth. To get more information you can also walk through with this https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/

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