Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday gave her speech on Union Budget, after which the Lok Sabha was adjourned till 11am tomorrow. In her nearly one and a half hour long speech, she highlighted the government’s expenditure to several sectors for the financial year 2023-2024.
“(This overall outlay) would be 3.3 per cent of GDP, almost three times the outlay made in 2019-20. With the substantial increase, it is central to 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.
Earlier on Monday the government proposed a capital outlay of about Rs. 2.40 lakh crore for railways. This new outlay for the railways is the highest ever and nine times of what it was in 2013. This was the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term. Similar to the previous two Union Budget, the 2023-24 Union Budget was also presented in paperless form. This was the fifth time Sitharam is presenting the budget. This year’s budget is more important given that the country is scheduled to have next Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024. Sitharaman along with ministers of state, Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Karad and Finance Secretary T. V. Somanathan called on President Droupadi Murmu. The government also proposed to increase the agricultural credit target to Rs 20 lakh crore with more focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries. Currently agriculture sector of the country has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent in the last six years. In addition to this the government will also launch a sub-scheme of the existing PM Matsya yojana to improve value chain efficiencies.