THe Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Finance Bill, 2024, marking the end of the interim budget exercise in the House with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking to allay apprehensions of opposition parties on tax devolution to some states and assuring that the government will fulfil whatever has been recommended by the Finance Commission.
Replying to the debate on the interim budget 2024-25 which was presented by her on February 1, Sitharaman said 14 sectors are benefiting from the PLI schemes brought by the BJP-led government and over 7 lakh job opportunities, both direct and indirect, have already been created.
“Fourteen sectors benefit from the PLI Schemes brought by our government. Manufacturing locations are coming up in 24 states and more than 150 districts. The Government has committed nearly Rs 1.97 lakh crores over five years starting 2021-22. Rs 1.07 lakh crore worth of investment has been committed under the PLI Schemes. Exports worth Rs 3.40 lakh crores are happening, Rs 8.7 lakh crore worth production and sales are happening and 176 MSMEs are selected as direct beneficiaries of the PLI Scheme,” she said.
Referring to the IMF report on debt mentioned by some opposition members, she said it talks only of a worst-case scenario and is not a fait accompli.
“The kind of measures we are taking to bring down the debt is reassuring. If you look at India’s Debt to GDP ratio, it’s in the range of 80 to 84 per cent whereas there are many advanced countries which have over 100 and 200 per cent. Many of the developed countries and emerging market economies have over 100 per cent. The members of the House can be rest assured that the Debt to GDP ratio is being attended to,” she said.
The House also passed the financial agenda relating to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The House also passed the relevant appropriation bills.
“The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is seeking a Vote on Account for Rs 59,364 crore, which is only for the part of the year. This covers revenue expenditure of Rs 40,081 crore and capital expenditure of Rs 19,283 crore. Centre will provide Rs 41,751 crore in 2023-24 and Rs 37,278 crore in 2024-25 as assistance to the Union Territory. The Supplementary Demands for Grants for J-K is Rs 8,713 crore, primarily for repayment of debt & power sector-related procurement,” the minister said.
“For current 15th Finance Commission from 2020-21 till 31st march 2026, in four years Karnataka has already received Rs 1,29,854 crore. It is estimated that at the end of the fifth year, Karnataka would’ve received Rs 1,74,339 crore. This is regards to tax devolution.”