Union Budget 2024 Key features of Budget 2024-25
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Budget is a plan for how we shall manage our money, outlining our income and expenses. It helps us to allocate funds for various needs and goals, ensuring financial stability and responsible spending. It comes under the Department of Economic Affairs (Ministry of Finance). The Union Budget is the annual financial statement of the Government of India, presenting its estimated revenues and expenditures for a particular fiscal year. Union Budget outlines the government’s economic policies, priorities, and financial allocations across various sectors.

The term Budget has been derived from the French word ‘Bougette’ which translate to ‘small bag’.

Union Budget and Indian Constitution

The term “Budget” is not explicitly mentioned in the Indian Constitution. However, the financial provisions related to budgeting and expenditure are outlined in various articles, primarily in Part XII (Articles 112 to 126). These articles detail the President’s role in presenting the Annual Financial statement (Budget) to Parliament and the procedures related to money bills.

History of Budget

The concept of a budget has a long history and has evolved over time. Here is a brief overview:

  1. Ancient civilizations: The Practice of budgeting can be traced back to ancient civilisations like Mesopotamia and Egypt. These societies had rudimentary systems for managing their resources, including recording income and expenses.
  2. Roman Empire:- The Romans developed a more structured approach to financial planning. They had a detailed system for managing public finaces, with officials responsible for overseeing revenue collection and expenditure.
  3. Medieval Europe:- Feudal societies in medieval Europe also has budget-like systems. Local rulers and monarchs needed to allocate resources efficiently for various purposes, including defense and infrastructure.
  4. Early Modern Period:- With the rise of nation-states and centralized governments in the early modern period, the need for systematic financial planning increased. Governments began to formalize budgetary processes, and monarchs sought approval from representative bodies for taxation and spending.
  5. 18th Century:- The developments of constitutional government and the establishment of parliament systems further shaped budgetary practices. In Britain, for example, the Chancellor of the Exchequer played a crucial role in presenting the budget.
  6. 19th Century:- The idea of an annual budget as a comprehensive financial plan became more entrenched. Governments recognized the importance of transparency and accountability in financial matters.
  7. 20th Century:- The 20th Century saw the refinement and standardization of budgetary practices worldwide. Modern budgeting techniques, such as performance-based budgeting and zero-based budgeting, emerged to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in public finances.
  8. Contemporary Period:- Today, budgeting is a fundamental aspect of governance in almost every country. Governments present annual budgets outlining their revenue, expenditures and policies. The process often involves parliamentary approval and public scrutiny.

In summary, the history of budgeting is a story of gradual evolution, adapting to the changing needs of societies and governments over centuries.

Historical Background of Budget in India

India’s budgetary system has evolved over the years. The roots can be traced back to the British era when the first budget of Independent India was presented in 1947 by R.K. Shanmukham Chetty, the then Finance Minister. The Budget was printed in English language only until 1955.  Later it was presented on April 7, 1860 by the East India Company to the British Crown. It was presented by James Wilson, a Scottish Economist.

PostIndependence, the budget process underwent changes, and notable milestones include the integration of the Railway Budget with the Union Budget in 2017. The budget plays a crucial role in outlining the government’s fiscal policies, revenue generation, and expenditure allocation.

Over the decades, economic reforms have influenced budgetary decisions, with a focus on liberalization, privatization, and globalization in the 1990s. The Goods and ervices Tax (GST), introduced in 2017, marked a significant tax reform affecting the budget structure.

Each year, the Finance Minister Presents the annual budget, addressing key sectors like agriculture, healthcare, education, and infrastructure. The budget reflects the government’s priorities, economic goals, and measures to boost growth while maintaining fiscal discipline.

Finance Minister who presented most Budgets

Morarji Desai was the first Finance minister who presented the most Budgets. He presented 10 times.

Some Key Points About Union Budget

  1. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first woman in India’s history to present the Budget in Financial Year 1970-71. She was serving as Prime minister as well as Financial year in that year.
  2. Nirmala Sitharaman became the first full-time woman Finance Minister to present the Union Budget in 2019.
  3. Manmohan Singh has the longest budget speeches in the  terms of words.
  4. Nirmala Sitaraman has the longest budget speeches in the terms of hours.

Key Features of Union Budget 2024

The Union Budget typically includes key features such as fiscal deficit targets, allocation of funds to different sectors, tax proposals, expenditure plans, and economic growth projections. It provides a comprehensive overview of the government’s financial plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The Key features of Union Budget 2024 are given below:-

  1.  Government is working with an approach to development that is all-round, all-prevasive and all-inclusive. It covers all castes and people at all levels. It is working to make India a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047.
  2. Gross Domestic Product, the Government is equally focused on a more comprehensive ‘GDP’, i.e., ‘Governance, Development and Performance’.
  3. Prime Minister firmly believes, we need to focus on four major castes. They are  Garib (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’(Women),  ‘Yuva’ (Youth) and ‘Annadata’ (Farmer). Their needs, their aspirations, and their welfare are our highest priority.  
  4. Every year, Under PM-KISAN SAMMAN Yojana, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8    crore farmers. Under PM Fasal Bima Yojana, crop insurance is given to 4 crore famers.
  5. The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskilled, 54 lakh youth, and established 3000 new ITIs. A large number of new Institutions of higher learning, namely 7 IITs, 16 IIts, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS and 390 universities have been set up.
  6. Cabinet approves subsidy of Rs 18.50 per kg per month of sugar to beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) till 31st March 2026.  Antyodaya Anna Yojana was implemented in Rajasthan on 25 December 2000. AAY is a government-sponsored program in India that aims to provide highly subsidized food grains to the poorest families. It focuses on househpld living below the poverty line, offering them essential food items at affordable prices through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  7. PM Mudra Yojana has sanctioned 43 crore loans aggregating to 22.5 lakh crore for entrepreneurial aspiratons of the Youth. The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is an Indian government initiative that provides financial support to micro enterprises in the form of loans. It aim to encourage entrepreneurship and assist small businesses by offering three categories of loans: Shishu (up to Rs.50,000), KIshore (Rs. 50,001 to Rs. 5 lakh), and Tarun (Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10 lakh). The scheme facilitates access to credit for non-corporate, non-farm Small/micro enterprise.
  8. In STEM courses, girls and women constitute 43% of enrolment, one of the highest in the world.
  9. Despite the challenges due to COVID, implementation of PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) continued and we are close to achieving the target of three crore houses. Two crore more houses will be taken up in the next five years to meet the requirement arising from increase in the number of families.
  10. Through rooftop solarization, one crore households will be enable to obtain up to 300 units free electricity every month.
  11. Healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme to be extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers and Helpers.
  12. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has benefitted 38 lakh farmers and generated 10 lakh employment. Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food Processing Enterprises yojana has assisted 2.4 lakh SHGs and 60000 individuals with credit linkages.
  13. A corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore to be established with fifty-year interest free loan to provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates.
  14. A new scheme to be launched for strengthening deep tech technologies for defence purposes and expediting “atmanirbharta”.
  15. Capital expenditure out;ay for Infrastructure development and employment generation to be increased by 11.1 Per cent to Rs.11,11,111 crore, that will be 3.4 per cent of the GDP.
  16. Three Major Economic Railway Corridor Programmes identifies under the PM Gati Shakti to be implemented to improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost. 
  17. Energy, Mineral and Cement Corridors
  18. Port Connectivity Corridors
  19. High Traffic Density Corridors
  20. Number of airports in the country doubled to 149. Five hundred and seventeen new routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers. Indian carriers have placed orders for over 1000 new aircrafts.
  21. Coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT to be set up by 2030. Phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas (CBG) in compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport and piped natural gas (PNG) for domestic purposes to be mandated.
  22. Revised Estimates of the total receipts other than borrowing is Rs. 27.56 lakh crore, of which the tax receipts are Rs.23.24 lakh crore. Revised Estimates of the total expenditures is Rs.44.90 lakh crore. Revised Estimate of the fiscal deficit is 5.8 percent of GDP for 2023-24.
  23. Total receipts other than borrowing and the total expenditure are estimated at Rs.30.80 and Rs. 47.66 lakh crore respectively. Tax receipts are estimated at Rs. 26.02 lakh crore.
    • Hence these were the key features of Union Budget 2024.

You may also like:- Weekly Current Affairs and New Events, 11-02-2024

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