The outlay for Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY) has been enhanced by 66% to over Rs 79,000 crores, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2023–24 in Parliament on Wednesday. This is a significant increase considering Sitharaman, in the Budget 2022–23, had proposed an allocation of Rs 48,000 crore for the Housing for All initiative of the government.
This year’s budget is significant as it is the last full budget of the Modi government’s second tenure, as general elections are scheduled for next year. Last year, the government had promised that 80 lakh houses would be completed for the identified eligible rural and urban beneficiaries of PMAY. The Finance Minister announced that the government proposes to increase capital expenditure outlay by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore in 2023–24, which would be 3.3% of the GDP, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“(This overall outlay) would be 3.3% of GDP, almost three times the outlay made in 2019-20. With the substantial increase, it is central to the government’s efforts to enhance growth potential and job creation, the crowd in private investments and provides a cushion against global headwinds,” Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.
For the agriculture sector, which is said to be the backbone of the Indian economy, the government has proposed to increase the credit target to Rs 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries. The country’s agriculture sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 4.6% in the last six years, Sitharaman told Parliament. The government will also launch a sub-scheme of the existing PM Matsya scheme to improve value chain efficiencies, she said. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), launched in 2015.