New Delhi: The government will lay a ‘White Paper’ on the table of the Parliament to look at where the country was till 2014 and where it is now, to draw lessons from the “mismanagement of those years”, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Talking about the economy, the Union Finance Minister, in her interim Budget speech on Thursday, said “The crisis of those years has been overcome, and the economy has been put firmly on a high sustainable growth path with all-round development.” (Also Read: Jal Shakti Ministry Allocated Rs 98,418 Crore In Interim Budget)
Sitharaman further added, “The exemplary track record of governance, development and performance, effective delivery, and ‘Jan Kalyan’ has given the Government trust, confidence and blessings of the people to realize, whatever it takes, the goal of ‘Viksit Bharat’ with good intentions, true dedication and hard work in the coming years and decades.”(Also Read: Budget: Rs 1249 Crore For Salaries Of Union Ministers, Entertainment Of Guests, Ex-Governors)
“In 2014 when our Government assumed the reins, the responsibility to mend the economy step by step and to put the governance systems in order was enormous. The need of the hour was to give hope to the people, to attract investments, and to build support for the much-needed reforms. The Government did that successfully following our strong belief of ‘nation-first’,” she added. (Also Read: Jal Shakti Ministry Allocated Rs 98,418 Crore In Interim Budget)
Coming to the Budget document, as expected and in relief for the citizens, the central government neither tweaked nor put any additional tax burden on citizens. Sitharaman on Thursday pegged the fiscal deficit target for 2024-25 at 5.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). (Also Read: Budget 2024: FM Proposes To Raise Capital Expenditure By 11.1% To Rs 11.11 Lakh Cr)
In 2023-24, the government pegged the fiscal deficit target for 2023-24 at 5.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Today, Sitharaman said that the fiscal deficit of 2023-24 was downwardly revised to 5.8 per cent. The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings that may be needed by the government.
The government intends to bring the fiscal deficit below 4.5 per cent of GDP by the financial year 2025-26. Further, the government proposed to increase capital expenditure outlay by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11.11 lakh crore in 2024-25, amounting to 3.4 percent of the GDP.
Last year, which was the last full Budget under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s second term, the government proposed to increase capital expenditure outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore in 2023-24, which was estimated to be 3.3 percent of the GDP.
The interim budget, tabled today, will take care of the financial needs of the intervening period until a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls after which a full budget will be presented by the new government in July.
With this Budget Presentation, Sitharaman equalled the record set by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai, who as finance minister, presented five annual budgets and one interim budget between 1959 and 1964. The Budget Session of Parliament commenced on Wednesday with President Droupadi Murmu addressing a joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.