The current Central Government has completely altered people’s, industry’s, and experts’ perceptions of the General Budget. Previously, governments were only concerned with winning elections, and many of the measures announced were merely to deceive the public. However, the current regime’s sensitivity, sensibility, and sincerity in making “Bharat great” again has driven it to make budgets that reflect the people’s long-term aspirations. Some measures may irritate some people, but they are necessary for a better Bharat.
This year’s Budget focuses not only on all segments of society, but also on making our country “Aatmanirbhar” (Self-reliant). Even today, the majority of our population lives in villages. Therefore, it is critical to focus on the growth of each village by providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, tools, technology, supporting infrastructure, easy access to money, medical facilities, and housing, as well as toilet and food grain facilities to marginalised families in rural areas. Simple logic dictates that real economic upliftment for each family and GDP growth in the double digits will be possible only if the economy is primarily driven by rural forces, which account for roughly 70 per cent of the total population.
When the economies of the major developed countries are in danger of collapsing for a variety of reasons, most agencies and international banks are bullish on India’s economic prospects. This is the result of the current Government’s actions over the last nine years. Many of the actions and policies that appeared negative or unworthy at the time of announcement are now yielding positive results when the world is facing a serious economic crisis. As a result, we must trust the policies and actions announced in the Budget by our FM, Nirmala Sitharaman, because they will help build a strong nation in all aspects of life.
The fact of the matter is that this Amrit Kaal is about to put India at the top of the global table. The guidance of “Saptarshis” reflects our vision for the future.
Seven priorities – as Saptarshis to guide us in the Amrit Kaal –
- Inclusive Development
- Reaching the last mile
- Infrastructure and investment
- Unleashing potential
- Green Growth
- Youth Power
- Finance Sector
Direct Benefit Transfer
The important point is that we can see changes happening on the ground, which gives everyone confidence. According to late PM Rajiv Gandhi, if the Government sends Rs one to the poor, only 15 paisa reaches the poor. Fortunately, Rs 2.2 lakh crores was transferred to farmers through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. DBT has enabled implementation of numerous such schemes. It is difficult to get work done effectively using the majorly corrupt bureaucratic system, so utilising a technology-oriented system has made it possible. The corrupt political and bureaucratic system still exists; various Governments and people must work together to create a corruption-free and efficient bureaucracy in order to reap the greatest benefits from policies and actions.
Research and Development
Any country’s economic growth is dependent on Research and Development. The focus in this sector, over the last eight years, has produced excellent results, attracting foreign investors to India. Even though funds have increased from the previous year, the amount of funds allocated has been criticised. The industry and research institutes should also contribute financially to this sector.
This is Amrit Kaal’s first Budget. This Budget aims to build on the previous Budget’s foundations and the blueprint for [email protected] The Indian economy is on the right track and will have a bright future.
Since 2014, the government’s efforts have resulted in a higher standard of living for all citizens.The per capita income has more than doubled. In the last nine years, India’s economy has grown from tenth to fifth largest in the world. The world has also recognised India as a bright star; our current year growth is estimated to be 7.0 per cent, the highest among all major economies, despite a massive global slowdown caused by pandemic and war.
Catchphrases of the Budget
Unique acronyms, Indic terms and the usage of Sanskrit words rooted in Dharmic traditions for the schemes have been the unique feature of the Modi-led NDA Government’s budget. Here are few new terms and acronyms used by Smt Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech
Saptarshi: Seven sages who are considered immortal and the guiding force for Dharmic values – Inclusive Development, Reaching the last mile, Infra and Investment, Unleashing the potential, Green growth, Youth power, Financial sector
Shree Anna: India is the world’s largest producer and second largest exporter of ‘Shree Anna’. India grows several types of ‘Shree Anna’ such as Jowar, Ragi, Bajra, Kuttu, Ramdana, Kangni, Kutki, Kodo, Cheena, and Sama. These have several health benefits and have been an integral part of our food for centuries.
GOBARdhan: 500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme will be established to promote a circular economy. These will include 200 compressed biogas (CBG) plants, including 75 plants in urban areas, and 300 community or cluster-based plants at a total investment of 10,000 crores.
Amrit Peedhi: To empower youth and help the ‘Amrit Peedhi’ realise their dreams, India formulated the National Education Policy, focused on skills, adopted economic policies that facilitate job creation at scale, and supported business opportunities.
Panchamrit: The Prime Minister has given a vision for “LiFE”, or lifestyle for the environment, to spur a movement toward an environmentally conscious lifestyle. India is moving forward firmly for the panchamrit and net-zero carbon emission by 2070 to usher in a green industrial and economic transition. This Budget builds on our focus on green growth.
MISHTI: Building on India’s success in afforestation, ‘Mangrove initiative for shoreline habitats & tangible incomes’, MISHTI, will be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, wherever feasible through convergence between MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund and other sources.
So far, the Centre has transferred Rs 2.2 trillion in cash under the PM Kisan Yojana. “The country has become far more formalised,” FM stated.
There have been 96 million new LPG connections, 1.02 billion Covid-19 vaccinations, and 478 million new Jan Dhan accounts. In keeping with its commitment to ensuring food security, the Centre has implemented the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, which will provide free food grain to all Antyodaya and priority households for one year beginning January 1, 2023.
The Centre will establish an agriculture accelerator fund to encourage rural agribusiness startups. In addition, agricultural digital public infrastructure will be built as an open source, open standard, and interoperable public good.
In addition, the Government will launch a Rs 2,200 crores Aatmanirbhar Clean Plan programme. Railway capital expenditure of Rs 2.40 trillion has been set for 2023-24.
The Ministry of Education will receive 1,12,898.97 crores from center in the coming fiscal year. Notably, this is the Ministry’s largest allocation ever. The School Education Department’s Budget is 68,804.85 crores, while the Higher Education Department’s budget is 44,094.62 crores.
Boost to Green Growth
India’s economic growth is estimated to be 6.8 per cent in 2023-24 financial year, being the highest among all major economies, irrespective of the sluggish global growth due to the COVID-19 and the Russia – Ukraine war. The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the Union Budget of Amrit Kaal in Parliament. The Union Budget 2023 is built on the outline drawn for [email protected] “Amrit kaal’s” goal is to improve the quality of life of our people with inclusive growth and development, in which the prosperous outcome of action reaches all.
The ‘use-and-dispose’ economy currently in place, characterised by witless and destructive consumerism, is to be replaced by the circular economy towards attentive and purposeful utilisation. The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, proclaimed Mission LiFE at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26) to put people’s actions at the heart of the global climate action narrative. The Mission seeks to encourage people to engage in simple, everyday activities that, when widely adopted, can effectively halt climate change.
One of the seven Saptarshi’s i.e, Green Growth, stated among seven priority sectors by the Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman, considers India’s current emphasis on green growth with a budget of 19,700 crores. The recently established National Green Hydrogen Mission will aid in the transformation of the economy to one with a low carbon intensity, lessen reliance on imports of fossil fuels, and enable the nation to assume technological and market leadership in this emerging industry with a hope to have a 5 MMT annual production rate by 2030. In addition, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has allocated Rs 35,000 crores in the Budget for energy transition, net zero emissions, and energy security for priority capital investment by the concerned ministry.
Sustainable economic development is the need of the 21st century; a Battery Energy Storage System with a capacity of 4,000 MWH is planned to support with viability gap funding, and a comprehensive framework for pumped storage projects will be developed. The inter-state transmission line for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW renewable energy from Ladakh with a cost of 20,700 crores, including central funding of Rs 8,300 crores, has been announced. In addition to the above initiatives, the Prime Minister’s Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana (PM-PRANAM) incentivizes the State Governments and Union Territories to promote the usage of alternative fertilizers such as composted manure, cow dung, Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources (GOBARdhan) scheme to establish 500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants to promote a circular economy through effective management and encouragement of cattle and organic waste in the country with the budget allocation of Rs. 10,000 crores, to establish 300 community or cluster-based plants.
By Dr S Lingamurthy and Shivanjali Shukla
Importantly, 157 new nursing colleges will be established in conjunction with the existing 157 medical colleges that have been in operation since 2015. The goal is to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047. The Centre will hire 38,800 teachers and support staff for 740 Eklavaya Model Residential Schools serving 3.5 lakh tribal students over the next three years.
The agricultural credit target will be raised to Rs 20 lakh crores, with an emphasis on livestock, dairy, and fisheries. The government will launch a sub-scheme under the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with a Rs 6,000 crores Budget to help those involved in fisheries. Many other initiatives must also be evaluated, and this Budget must be viewed in a broader context, with experts analysing the socioeconomic situation from 1947 to 2014, as well as the current administration’s nine years in office.