NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present the Interim Budget 2024 in the Parliament on February 1, 2024. By doing so, she will be the first full-time woman Finance Minister of the country who will present her sixth straight budget - equalling the record of former prime minister Morarji Desai.
The upcoming Lok Sabha elections will most likely take place on April or May this year, as a result of which, the Interim Budget 2024 will only comprise of government expenditure before the election period.
The main budget will be presented most likely in July after the formation of the new government.
Part A of the budget will include financial schemes in crucial sectors like banking, education, healthcare and rural and urban industries. Welfare schemes will also be included in it.
On the other hand, Part B of the budget will comprise direct and indirect taxes, excise duty, any revisions to tax slabs, etc.
The budget will also have projections of revenue expected from income tax, corporate tax, GST, excise duty, etc.
As the nation proceeds towards the interim budget, here is a recap of the budget presented last year.
On February 1, 2023, Sitharaman presented India's budget, which was worth Rs. 45,03,097 crore.
The revenue expenditure was estimated to be Rs 35,02,136 crore out of the total expenditure of the budget.
During her budget speech, the Finance Minister said that the purpose of the budget was to have strong public finances and a strong financial sector aimed at benefiting all sections of society.
Nominal GDP for 2023/24, which also included real GDP and inflation, was estimated to grow 10.5 per cent year-on-year to Rs 30175000 crore rupees ($3.69 trillion) in 2023/24.
The federal budget targeted a fiscal deficit of 5.9 per cent of GDP for 2023–24, compared to 6.4 per cent for the current fiscal year.
It aimed to achieve a fiscal deficit of 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025/26.
The finance minister expected India's economic growth to be 6–6.8 per cent in 2023–24, slightly lower than the 7 per cent expected in the current fiscal year.
The spending target in the budget was raised by 7.5 per cent to Rs 4503000 crore for 2023/24 vs. the revised Rs 4187000 crore for the current fiscal year.
The budget estimated spending in real terms to rise less than 3 per cent considering the estimated around 5 per cent retail inflation for the upcoming fiscal year.
Capital spending was seen to rise by 33 per cent to Rs 1000000 crore for 2023–24.
The finance minister proposed to hike the capital outlay for railways by 48 per cent to Rs 240000 crore in 2023/24 from a revised Rs 162000 crore in 2022/23.
The finance minister proposed to hike outlays for road transport by 24.4 per cent to Rs 270000 crore in 2023/24 from a revised Rs 217000 crore in 2022/23.
The total defence outlays in the budget were raised to Rs 594000 crore against the revised Rs 585000 crore for 2022/23.
The education budget was raised to Rs 113000 crore for 2023/24 vs. Rs 99900 crore in 2022/23.
Health budget raised to Rs 88950 crore for 2023/24 vs. Rs 70940 crore in 2022/23.
Allocations for the rural job guarantee programme were cut to Rs 60000 crore vs revised Rs 89400 crore outlays for 2022/23.
Increases budget allocations to Rs 79000 for affordable housing in 2023/24.
To provide Rs 35,000 crore for energy transition.