First budget of Amrit Kaal: despite time of challenges, India heading towards a bright future- Mohammad Hanief
Mohammad Hanief/ February 3,2023
In the 75th year of India’s Independence, the world has recognized the Indian economy as a ‘bright star’ as the Economic Growth is estimated at 7 per cent, which is the highest among all major economies, in spite of the massive global slowdown caused by COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War. This was stated by union minister for finance & corporate affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on February 01, 2023. She emphasized that Indian economy is on the right track, and despite a time of challenges, heading towards a bright future.
Sitharaman said that this budget hopes to build on the foundation laid in the previous budget, and the blueprint drawn for [email protected], which envisions a prosperous and inclusive India, where the fruits of development reach all regions and citizens, especially our youth, women, farmers, OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The union finance minister also said that India’s rising global profile is due to several accomplishments like unique World Class Digital Public Infrastructure namely, Aadhaar, Co-Win and UPI; COVID-19 vaccination drive in unparalleled scale and speed; proactive role in frontier areas such as achieving the climate related goals, mission LiFE, and National Hydrogen Mission.
The finance minister pointed out that in these times of global challenges; the G20 Presidency gives India a unique opportunity to strengthen its role in the world economic order. With the theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, India is steering an ambitious, people-centric agenda to address global challenges, and to facilitate sustainable economic development, she added.
According to Sitharaman, the government’s efforts since 2014 have ensured for all citizens a better quality of living and a life of dignity and the per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh and added that in these nine 9 years, the Indian economy has increased in size from being 10th to 5th largest in the world. Moreover, the economy has become a lot more formalized as reflected in the EPFO membership, more than doubling to 27 crore, and 7,400 crore digital payments of Rs 126 lakh crore through UPI in 2022.
The Budget for 2023-24 kept its focus on expanding Capex showing that the Modi government’s priorities are building roads, highways, and railway lines. The middle class has been given some relief in terms of tweaks in the new income tax regime clearly pointing out that the government wants a shift towards the new regime from the older one. The FM stuck to the fiscal deficit roadmap in the Budget with a target of 5.9% in FY 24 and adhering to the target for the current.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced hiking the capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development for 2023-24 and will be at 3.3 percent of the GDP. Presenting the Budget, she said the newly established infrastructure finance secretariat will assist in attracting more private investment.
The prime minister, Narendra Modi remarked that the first budget in the Amrit Kaal of India has established a strong base to fulfill the aspirations and resolutions of a developed India. He said that this budget gives priority to the deprived and strives to fulfill the dreams of the aspirational society, the poor, villages and the middle class.
The Prime Minister termed the traditional artisans like carpenters, lohar (ironsmiths) Sunar (goldsmiths), Kumhars (potters), sculptors and many others as the creator of the nation. Underlining that a new dimension has been added to Women Self Help Groups in the new budget with the introduction of a new special savings scheme for women, the Prime Minister said that it will strengthen women especially the homemaker from common families.
Describing the Budget-2023 as all-inclusive and far-sighted, union home minister and minister of Cooperation, In a series of tweets, has said that the Budget-2023 brought by the government will lay a strong foundation for Amritkal and added that the target of increasing the capital expenditure by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore and keeping the fiscal deficit at 5.9% is laudable and reflects the foresight of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build a New India with strong infrastructure and a strong economy.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has expressed gratitude to union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first budget of Amrit Kaal that will put the country on a faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth path to achieve the goal of 5 Trillion Dollar economy.
The Lt Governor has said that the first budget of Amrit Kaal presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the guidance of prime minister Narendra Modi is to ensure sustained, equitable & inclusive growth and to achieve the milestone of 5 Trillion Dollar economy & to transform India into a global powerhouse.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday presented the Union Budget 2023 in Parliament, at a time when India’s economy faces challenges from a host of global factors, steep rise in inflation and a possible GDP growth slowdown in FY24.
During the budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the focus remains on widening the scope of economic growth, boosting key areas like infrastructure and manufacturing and creating jobs and added that the government remains focus on boosting economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability.
There are seven priorities that will be the focus of the Union Budget, said the finance minister and added that they are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financial sector.
As expected earlier, the finance minister made several announcements to boost the overall agricultural sector, including providing affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. She announced an agriculture accelerator fund to “transform” the sector.
Note: (The views expressed are personal. The author is a regular columnist and can be mailed at [email protected])