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% 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 emphasis on sports is also admirable. Almost all sports are already undergoing significant changes in terms of performance, perks, and facilities. Sports are also linked to youths’ social, mental, and physical health. Sports will channel their energies for the betterment of self and society in all spheres of life by infusing them with positive energy and good health.
Direct Benefit Transfer
The important point is that we can see the changes happening on the ground, which gives everyone confidence. According to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, if the government sends one rupee to the poor, only 15 Paisa reaches the poor. However, 2.2 lakh crore was transferred to farmers through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. DBT has enabled the 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.
The thought process of middle and neo-middle class parents that medical education is only for wealthy families has been debunked by the Modi government by adding more than double the seats available for 64 years until 2014 and opening many new government colleges. For obvious reasons, a country with 1.4 billion people requires many more colleges, so allocating funds and focusing efforts will make it more affordable for all segments of society.
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.
To be implemented effectively and qualitatively, new education policy required a significant boost. This budget contains the most funds allocated to date. This clearly demonstrates the government’s right intention to develop our future generations through overall personality development, research and innovative mindset, knowledge and skill building.
Strong security and military power are required to secure borders and maintain peaceful relations with neighbours. The strengthening over the last eight years, as well as the budget allocated this year, clearly indicate to neighbours that no compromises will be made in terms of sovereignty and national security. “Peace is the way forward,” directs Power. Weak India was repeatedly targeted.
The unrivalled development of railways, highways, and ports has demonstrated that such infrastructure development is required to prosper economically and socially, and the Modi government’s exponential progress is commendable.
The gradual reduction in the burden of income tax on the salaried class is also commendable.
This is Amritkal’s first budget. This Budget aims to build on the previous Budget’s foundations and the blueprint for India@100. 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. To Rs 1.97 lakh, 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%, the highest among all major economies, despite a massive global slowdown caused by pandemic and war.
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 crore 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 crore from cetre in the coming fiscal year. Notably, this is the ministry’s largest allocation ever. The School Education Department’s budget is 68,804.85 crore, while the Higher Education Department’s budget is 44,094.62 crore.
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. Public and private medical facilities will be able to use facilities in select ICMR labs for research. Centres of Excellence will take on a new programme to promote pharmaceutical research and innovation.
For regional connectivity, 50 additional airports, heliports, waterports, and advance landing grounds will be revived.
Three artificial intelligence excellence centres will be established in prestigious educational institutions. Leading industry players will collaborate to conduct interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications, and commercialise problem solutions in health, agriculture, and sustainable cities.
The Centre’s capex target for 2023-24 is Rs 10 lakh crore, which is 33% higher than the budget estimate of Rs 7.5 lakh crore for 2022-23.
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.
To transition from manhole to machine hole mode, all cities and towns will be able to perform 100% mechanical de-sludging of septic tanks and sewers.
To improve the ease of doing business, over 39,000 compliances have been reduced and over 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalised.
The agricultural credit target will be raised to Rs 20 lakh crore, 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 crore budget to help those involved in fisheries even more.
The National Housing Bank will manage the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund, which will be used by public agencies to build urban infrastructure in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
The Senior Citizen Saving Scheme’s maximum deposit limit will be raised from 15 to 30 lakhs.
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.