Budget 2024 Focuses On Solar Energy, EVs, Agriculture, Housing, Healthcare
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget for 2024, which is significant as it’s the last budget of the current Modi government before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
This budget focuses on several key areas aiming to improve the economy and the well-being of the people.
One major highlight is the rooftop solarisation project. This will allow 1 crore households to get up to 300 units of free electricity every month through solar energy, under PM Suryodaya Yojana. This not only saves money, up to Rs. 18,000 annually but also lets people sell extra electricity to power companies.
For electric vehicles, there are plans to boost entrepreneurship and create jobs in manufacturing and maintenance. This is a step towards cleaner energy and more job opportunities.
The government is also focusing on agriculture, especially after harvesting. Investments will be encouraged in the storage, processing, and marketing of agricultural products. The use of Nano DAP, a fertilizer, will be expanded, following the success of nano urea.
The budget also addresses housing issues. A new scheme will help middle-class families in rented homes, slums, or unauthorized areas to buy or build their own houses.
Healthcare is another focus area. More medical colleges will be set up, and a special vaccination program for girls will be introduced to prevent cervical cancer. The Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme will now include ASHA and Anganwadi workers.
In agriculture, there will be special efforts to increase farmers’ incomes by reducing post-harvest losses and enhancing productivity. A self-reliance initiative for oilseeds, a comprehensive dairy development program, and investment in fisheries are also part of the plan.
The budget promotes foreign investment and has allocated Rs. 75,000 crores as interest-free loans for state reforms. A committee will be formed to address societal changes due to population growth.
The fiscal deficit for 2023-24 is 5.8% of GDP, and there are no changes in tax rates. The government aims to reduce the deficit to 4.5% by 2026.
The interim budget for 2024 includes plans for affordable housing, women’s empowerment, and investments in tourism, including in Lakshadweep. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized in her speech the government’s goal to make India a developed nation by 2047, focusing on governance, development, and performance.