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Budget Glossary

Annual Financial Statement

The statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for a particular financial year, presented to Parliament.

Appropriation Bill

A Bill that authorises the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for meeting expenditure during the financial year.

Capital Expenditure

Spending on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets such as buildings, roads, equipment, etc.

Consolidated Fund of India

The chief account of the government where all receipts and borrowings are deposited, and from which all expenditures are withdrawn.

Current Account Deficit

The difference between the country's total imports of goods, services, and transfers and its total export of goods, services, and transfers.

Customs Duty

Taxes imposed on goods imported into or exported from the country.

Direct Taxes

Taxes levied directly on individuals and companies, such as income tax and corporation tax.

Disinvestment

The process of selling or liquidating government-owned assets or shares in public-sector enterprises.

Expenditure Budget

A document providing detailed estimates of government expenditure during the financial year.

Excise Duty

Taxes levied on goods produced within the country.

Finance Bill

A Bill presented to Parliament along with the Budget that details the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration, or regulation of taxes.

Fiscal Deficit

The gap between the government's total expenditure and its total receipts (excluding borrowing).

Fiscal Policy

Government policies regarding taxation, spending, and borrowing to influence the economy.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The total value of goods and services produced in a country during a specific period.

Indirect Taxes

Taxes levied on goods and services, such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Customs duties.

Inflation

The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services rises, eroding purchasing power.

Primary Deficit

Fiscal deficit excluding interest payments on past borrowings.

Public Debt

The total amount of money that a government owes external creditors.

Revenue Deficit

The gap between the government’s revenue receipts and its revenue expenditure.

Revenue Expenditure

Spending on the day-to-day functioning of the government and services, such as salaries, subsidies, and maintenance costs.

Revenue Receipts

The money received by the government from taxes and other sources, excluding borrowings.

Subsidy

Financial assistance granted by the government to individuals or businesses to promote economic and social policy.

Tax Revenue

The income gained by the government through taxation.

Union Budget

The annual financial statement of the Government of India, detailing its estimated receipts and expenditures for the financial year.

Vote on Account

A special provision by which the government obtains Parliament’s approval for expenditure in the interim period between the start of the new financial year and the passing of the Budget.

Budget Estimates

Projections of revenue and expenditure for the upcoming financial year.

Capital Receipts

Funds received by the government from loans, recoveries of loans, and proceeds from disinvestment.

Cess

A tax levied for a specific purpose, such as education or health, in addition to existing taxes.

Contingency Fund

A fund used for emergency or unforeseen expenditures, with its corpus decided by the government.

Debt Servicing

The repayment of interest and principal on debt

Demand for Grants

The proposal of estimated expenditure submitted by various ministries for parliamentary approval.

Demographic Dividend

The economic growth potential resulting from shifts in a country’s age structure, primarily when the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age.

Devolution

The transfer of funds from the central government to state governments.

Effective Revenue Deficit

Revenue deficit minus grants for the creation of capital assets.

Fiscal Consolidation

Policies aimed at reducing government deficits and debt accumulation.

Grants-in-Aid

Funds provided by the central government to state governments or local bodies for specific purposes.

Monetary Policy

The process by which the central bank controls the supply of money, often targeting an inflation rate or interest rate to ensure price stability and general trust in the currency.

Off-Budget Borrowings

Loans taken by state-run firms or special-purpose vehicles that do not appear in the national Budget.

Outlays

The allocation of funds for a specific purpose as part of the Budget.

Primary Market

The market where new securities are issued and sold for the first time.

Public Account

Accounts where funds received by the government for specific purposes, like provident funds or small savings, are deposited.

Revised Estimates

Updated projections of revenue and expenditure made in the middle of the financial year.

Surcharge

An additional charge or tax, usually added to an existing tax.

Supplementary Grants

Additional funds granted when the amount originally provided is insufficient.

Transfer Payments

Payments made by the government to individuals, primarily through social welfare programmes, without any service or goods being received in return.

Treasury Bills

Short-term debt instruments issued by the government to meet short-term borrowing needs.

Zero-Based Budgeting

A budgeting method where all expenses must be justified for each new period, starting from a "zero base”.

Amortisation

The process of paying off a debt over time in regular instalments of principal and interest.

Balanced Budget

A Budget in which revenues are equal to expenditures, resulting in neither a deficit nor surplus.

Black Money

Income illegally obtained or not declared for tax purposes.

Blue Budget

Refers to a government Budget that focuses heavily on environmental and sustainable initiatives.

Bond Yield

The return an investor realises on a bond.

Crowding Out

A situation where increased government spending reduces private sector investment.

Debt-to-GDP Ratio

A measure of a country's debt compared to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

A programme that aims to transfer subsidies and financial assistance directly to the beneficiaries' bank accounts.

Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act

A legislative framework aimed at ensuring fiscal discipline by setting targets for the government's debt and deficits.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

A comprehensive indirect tax levied on the manufacture, sale, and consumption of goods and services across India.

Inflation-Indexed Bonds

Bonds that provide protection against inflation by adjusting the principal and interest payments according to inflation rates.

Line Item Budgeting

A traditional budgeting method where individual financial statement items are grouped by cost centres or departments.

Means Testing

Determining eligibility for government assistance based on an individual's income and assets.

Outcome Budgeting

A budgeting process that links the allocation of resources to the achievement of specific outcomes or goals.

Pay Commission

A commission set up by the Government of India to recommend changes in salary structure of its employees.

Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR)

The tax rate that allows the government to collect the same amount of revenue despite changes in tax laws.

Seigniorage

The profit made by the government by issuing currency, especially the difference between the face value of coins and their production costs.

Twin Deficits

The occurrence of both a fiscal deficit and a current account deficit in an economy.

Universal Basic Income (UBI)

A proposed system where the government provides all citizens with a regular, unconditional sum of money.

Budget Trivia

The first Budget of independent India was presented by Finance Minister R K Shanmukham Chetti on 26 November 1947.

The first Budget after India became a republic was presented by Finance Minister John Matthai in February 1950.

The 1950 Budget laid the groundwork for the creation of the Planning Commission, though Finance Minister John Matthai was ideologically opposed to the idea. Matthai quit after a few weeks of his presenting the Budget.

The 1957-58 Budget, presented by T T Krishnamachari, introduced the wealth tax and a tax on railway passenger fees.

The 1973-74 Budget, presented by Y B Chavan, is known as the 'black' budget due to a high deficit of Rs 550 crore.

The 1986-87 Budget by Finance Minister V P Singh introduced MODVAT, a precursor to the VAT and GST.

The 1987-88 Budget saw the introduction of the minimum alternate tax (MAT) by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, also the Finance Minister then.

The 1991-92 Budget by Finance Minister Manmohan Singh marked the beginning of economic liberalisation and reforms in India.

The 1991-92 Budget reduced the peak Customs duty from 220 per cent to 120 per cent.

The 1997-98 Budget, presented by P Chidambaram, is termed the 'dream' Budget for reducing personal income tax rates significantly.

The 1997-98 Budget introduced the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) to tackle black money.

The 2017-18 Budget did not specify the rollout date for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) but made minimal changes to excise duty and services tax in anticipation of GST implementation.

Initially, the Union Budget was presented at 5 pm on the last working day of February, a practice inherited from the British era.

Yashwant Sinha, under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, changed the Budget presentation time to 11 am in 1999.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley advanced the Budget presentation day to 1 February in 2017.

In 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley merged the Railway Budget with the Union Budget, ending a 92-year colonial practice.

In 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replaced the leather briefcase with the Swadeshi Bahi-khata for carrying Budget documents.

In 2021, Sitharaman read her Budget speech from a Made in India tablet.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government decided to distribute Budget documents electronically to Members of Parliament from 2021.

The printing of Budget documents requires staff to be locked up in the basement printing press of the North Block weeks before the Budget presentation.

The halwa ceremony, marking the beginning of Budget document printing, continues with COVID-19 protocols in place.

The word "Budget" does not appear in the Constitution of India; it is referred to as a "statement of accounts."

Article 112 of the Indian Constitution refers to an annual financial statement of estimated receipts and expenditure.

The word "Budget" comes from the French word 'bougette,' meaning 'a small bag.'

The Budget for the period from 9 October 1946 to 14 August 1947 was presented by Interim Government Finance Minister Liaquat Ali Khan.

The Union Budget was presented only in English until 1955, after which it was printed in both Hindi and English.

The central Budget concept dates back to 1860, two years after the administration of India transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown.

The first Budget in 1860 was presented by James Wilson, who later founded Standard Chartered Bank and 'The Economist' magazine.

The steepest fall in Sensex and Nifty on a Budget day was on July 06, 2009, when Pranab Mukherjee was the Finance Minister.

The sharpest increase in Sensex and Nifty on a Budget day was on February 29, 1992, with both indices closing up by 9.4 per cent.

Budget-making officials are literally locked down in the basement of the North Block days ahead of the Budget. Officials under lockdown do not have access to phones and are taken to a guarded room for emergency calls.

The finance minister is one of the few people allowed into the printing zone in North Block, but without a mobile phone.

The secrecy around the Budget increases from January onwards, culminating in the halwa ceremony, which briefly opens North Block doors to photographers.

Budget speech inputs come from three finance ministry wings — state of the economy and policy approach from the chief economic advisor, expenditure from the expenditure secretary, and taxation from the revenue secretary.

P Chidambaram reportedly typed out his Budget speeches on his computer to maintain confidentiality.

Pranab Mukherjee relied on a few key advisors for writing his Budget speeches.

Arun Jaitley's Budget speeches suggested the involvement of many draftsmen.

Manmohan Singh started the tradition of quoting poets in Budget speeches with Victor Hugo’s line: “No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come” in his 1991 Budget.

Nirmala Sitharaman began her Budget speech in 2021 with Tagore's line: “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

P Chidambaram quoted Tagore in his 1997-98 Budget: “Thy call has sped over all countries of the world… but where is India? Let her take up her burden and march with all.”

Pranab Mukherjee quoted Kautilya’s Arthashastra in the 2010-11 Budget and Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the 2012-13 Budget: “I must be cruel only to be kind.”

Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi held additional charge as finance minister while serving as Prime Minister.

PM Nehru presented the Budget in 1958-59 after T T Krishnamachari resigned due to the LIC-Haridas Mundhra financial scandal.

Indira Gandhi took charge of the finance ministry in 1969, presented the Budget in 1970, and held the portfolio for a year.

Rajiv Gandhi became finance minister in January 1987 and presented the Budget for 1987-88, holding the portfolio for about six months.

The distinction of presenting the most Budgets goes to Morarji Desai, who presented a total of 10 Budgets between 1958-63 and 1967-69. He later became becoming Prime Minister in 1977.

VP Singh presented two Budgets in 1985-86 and 1986-87 before becoming Prime Minister in 1989.

Charan Singh presented the Budget as deputy prime minister in 1979-80 before becoming Prime Minister for a few months.

Manmohan Singh, finance minister from 1991-96, became Prime Minister in 2004.

Pranab Mukherjee and R Venkataraman, both finance ministers, went on to become Presidents of India.

P Chidambaram, known for the 1997 ‘dream budget’, presented nine Budgets in three different stints

The late Pranab Mukherjee presented eight Budgets, first under Indira Gandhi from 1982-84 and then under Manmohan Singh from 2009-12.

Yashwant Sinha, Yashwant Rao Chavan, and C D Deshmukh have each presented seven Union Budgets.

Before his time as Finance Minister, C D Deshmukh was the first Indian to head the Reserve Bank of India from 1943-49 and founded the India International Centre.

Manmohan Singh and T T Krishnamachari have each presented six Budgets.

The term "environmental hygiene" was first mentioned in a Budget by Finance Minister T T Krishnamachari in 1957-58.

Environment was barely mentioned in Budgets for more than a decade after 1957-58.

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, also the Finance Minister, brought the environment to the centre stage in the 1970-71 Budget. In 1982-83, Pranab Mukherjee identified energy saving and environmental protection as high-priority areas.

In 1987-88, Rajiv Gandhi proposed green packages as Finance Minister. Jaswant Singh's 2003-04 Budget reduced duty on electric vehicles from 16 per cent to 8 per cent for environmental considerations.

The only time in India's history that a Budget was tabled by one Prime Minister and passed by another occurred in 1997 when Inder Kumar Gujaral replaced H D Deve Gowda as Prime Minister.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's longest Budget speech in 1991 had a word count of 18,650.

Arun Jaitley's 2018 Budget speech was 18,604 words long.

Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2020-21 speech had a word count of 13,200.

The shortest Budget speech was delivered by H M Patel in 1977, comprising just about 800 words.

Finance Minister John Matthai's second Budget speech for 1950-51 was delivered extempore. That was the only Budget speech in India's history that did not have a written text before delivery.

Nirmala Sitharaman is the only finance minister of India, who completed a five-year term as FM and returned after the general elections to occupy the same ministerial berth.

Pranab Mukherjee is the only finance minister whose last budget in his first stint and his first budget in his second stint were separated by 25 years. The time gaps between budget speeches of P. Chidambaram in his three stints were 7 years and 5 years.

Manmohan Singh is known to have held the finance portfolio for five years from 1991 to 1996. But he held this ministry as an additional charge on two occasions - for 55 days between November 2008 and January 2009 and for 35 days between June and July of 2012.

15 Key highlights from 12 Budget Speeches

2024 Interim Budget:

Nirmala Sitharaman

  1. Economic Resilience: The Indian economy has shown profound positive transformation over the past ten years, with significant structural reforms and pro-people programmes implemented to overcome challenges and spur growth.
  2. Inclusive Development:The government’s development philosophy targets each household through initiatives like housing for all, Har Ghar Jal, electricity, cooking gas, and financial services, enhancing real income in rural areas and generating jobs.
  3. Social Justice: The government’s saturation approach to covering all eligible people aims to achieve true social justice by ensuring transparency, reducing corruption, and preventing nepotism, thereby distributing resources fairly.
  4. Electric Vehicle Ecosystem: Expansion and strengthening of the e-vehicle ecosystem will be supported through manufacturing and charging infrastructure, with greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks.
  5. Bio-manufacturing and Bio-foundry: A new scheme will promote environment-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, and bio-pharmaceuticals, transforming today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm.
  6. Blue Economy 2.0: A new scheme for climate-resilient activities, coastal aquaculture, and mariculture will be launched to promote the blue economy.
  7. Tourism Development: States will be encouraged to develop iconic tourist centres with branding and marketing at a global scale, supported by long-term interest-free loans for financing such development.
  8. Investment Promotion: The FDI inflow during 2014-23 was USD 596 billion, and bilateral investment treaties are being negotiated to encourage sustained foreign investment.
  9. Infrastructure Development: Capital expenditure outlay will be increased by 11.1% to ₹ 11,11,111 crore, representing 3.4% of GDP, to enhance economic growth and employment creation.
  10. Railway Corridors: Three major economic railway corridor programmes will be implemented to improve logistics efficiency, decongest high-traffic corridors, and enhance passenger train operations.
  11. Green Energy: Measures towards meeting the net-zero commitment by 2070 include viability gap funding for offshore wind energy, coal gasification, and liquefaction capacity, and phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas.
  12. Skill Development and Education: The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, and new institutions of higher learning have been established, including IITs, IIITs, IIMs, AIIMS, and universities.
  13. Direct Benefit Transfer: Direct Benefit Transfer using PM-Jan Dhan accounts has saved ₹ 2.7 lakh crore for the government by avoiding leakages, providing more funds for Garib Kalyan.
  14. Agricultural Support: Under PM-KISAN SAMMAN Yojana, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 crore farmers, with crop insurance given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
  15. Tax Reforms: The direct tax base has more than doubled, and tax rates have been reduced and rationalized. The GST has unified the indirect tax regime, reducing compliance burdens and benefiting consumers by lowering prices of goods and services.

2023 Budget:

Nirmala Sitharaman

  1. Economic Growth:India's economy is estimated to grow at 7 per cent in the current year, the highest among major economies, despite global slowdowns caused by Covid-19 and geopolitical tensions.
  2. Digital Public Infrastructure: Continued fiscal support for digital public infrastructure, including Aadhaar, Co-Win, and UPI, which have enhanced India's digital capabilities.
  3. Free Food Grain Scheme: Implementation of a scheme to supply free food grains to over 80 crore people under PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for one year starting January 1, 2023.
  4. Inclusive Development: Emphasis on Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, focusing on inclusive development for farmers, women, youth, OBCs, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and economically weaker sections.
  5. Agriculture Accelerator Fund: Establishment of an Agriculture Accelerator Fund to support agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas, aiming to transform agricultural practices and increase productivity.
  6. Green Growth: Implementation of programs for green fuel, energy, farming, mobility, buildings, and equipment, promoting a low-carbon economy and creating green job opportunities.
  7. National Green Hydrogen Mission: Allocation of Rs 19,700 crore for the National Green Hydrogen Mission, aiming to transition to a low-carbon economy and achieve an annual production of 5 MMT by 2030.
  8. Energy Transition: Provision of Rs 35,000 crore for priority capital investments towards energy transition and achieving net-zero objectives by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  9. Tourism Development: Promotion of tourism through mission mode initiatives, integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits, and encouragement of states to set up Unity Malls for local products.
  10. Financial Sector Reforms: Continued financial sector reforms, including the establishment of a National Financial Information Registry, and initiatives to enhance credit accessibility and financial stability.
  11. Credit Guarantee for MSMEs: Infusion of Rs 9,000 crore into the revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, enabling additional collateral-free guaranteed credit of Rs 2 lakh crore.
  12. Personal Income Tax: Increase in the rebate limit to Rs 7 lakh in the new tax regime, ensuring individuals with income up to Rs 7 lakh do not pay any tax.
  13. Senior Citizens Savings Scheme: Enhancement of the maximum deposit limit for the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
  14. Fifty-year Interest-Free Loan to States: Extension of the fifty-year interest-free loan to states for another year with an enhanced outlay of Rs 1.3 lakh crore for capital expenditure.
  15. Infrastructure Investment: Significant increase in capital investment outlay to Rs 10 lakh crore, representing 3.3 per cent of GDP, to drive growth and job creation.

2022 Budget:

Nirmala Sitharaman

  1. Economic Growth: India's economic growth in the current year is estimated at 9.2 per cent, the highest among large economies, showcasing the country's strong resilience and recovery post-pandemic.
  2. PM GatiShakti Master Plan: Introduction of the PM GatiShakti Master Plan for Expressways to facilitate faster movement of people and goods, with the National Highways network to be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23.
  3. Inclusive Development: Promotion of chemical-free natural farming throughout the country, with a focus on farmers' lands along the river Ganga.
  4. Agricultural Initiatives: Support for the International Year of Millets in 2023, with measures for post-harvest value addition, enhancing domestic consumption, and branding of millet products.
  5. Skill Development: Launch of the Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood (DESH-Stack e-portal) to empower citizens to skill, reskill or upskill through online training.
  6. Education Initiatives: Expansion of the 'one class-one TV channel' programme of PM eVIDYA from 12 to 200 TV channels to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12.
  7. Healthcare: Implementation of the National Digital Health Ecosystem to roll out digital registries of health providers and facilities, unique health identities, consent frameworks, and universal access to health facilities.
  8. Women's Development: Comprehensive revamping of schemes under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, including Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi, and Poshan 2.0 to provide integrated benefits to women and children.
  9. Housing: Completion of 80 lakh houses under PM Awas Yojana in 2022-23 with an allocation of Rs 48,000 crore to support affordable housing for middle class and economically weaker sections.
  10. Infrastructure Investment: Increase in capital expenditure outlay by 35.4 per cent to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23, representing 2.9 per cent of GDP.
  11. Green Bonds: Issuance of sovereign Green Bonds as part of the government’s overall market borrowings to mobilize resources for green infrastructure projects.
  12. Digital Currency: Introduction of the Digital Rupee by the Reserve Bank of India starting 2022-23, using blockchain and other technologies to boost the digital economy.
  13. Telecom Sector: Conducting spectrum auctions in 2022 to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services within 2022-23 and promoting design-led manufacturing for 5G under the Production Linked Incentive Scheme.
  14. Defence: Earmarking 68 per cent of the capital procurement budget for the domestic industry in 2022-23 to promote AtmaNirbharta in defense.
  15. Environmental Initiatives: Allocation of an additional Rs 19,500 crore for Production Linked Incentive for the manufacture of high-efficiency solar modules to achieve 280 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030.

2021 Budget:

Nirmala Sitharaman

  1. Health and Wellbeing:Introduction of the PM AtmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over six years to improve primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare systems.
  2. Capital Expenditure: Significant increase in capital expenditure with an allocation of Rs 5.54 lakh crore for FY 2021-22, a 34.5 per cent rise over the previous year.
  3. Vehicle Scrapping Policy: Announcement of a voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles, aiming to reduce pollution and oil import bills.
  4. Urban Infrastructure: Launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) with an outlay of Rs 2.87 lakh crore over five years to ensure universal water supply in urban areas.
  5. Production Linked Incentive Scheme: Allocation of Rs 1.97 lakh crore over five years for 13 sectors to boost manufacturing and create global champions.
  6. National Rail Plan: Preparation of a National Rail Plan for India – 2030, aiming to create a future-ready railway system by 2030.
  7. National Infrastructure Pipeline: Expansion of the National Infrastructure Pipeline to 7,400 projects with a focus on improving infrastructure and logistics.
  8. Affordable Housing: Extension of the tax holiday for affordable housing projects by one more year to boost the supply of affordable homes.
  9. FDI in Insurance Sector: Proposal to amend the Insurance Act, 1938, to increase the permissible FDI limit from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in insurance companies.
  10. One Nation One Ration Card: Implementation of the One Nation One Ration Card scheme in 32 states and UTs, covering about 86 per cent of beneficiaries.
  11. Disinvestment: Strategic disinvestment of public sector enterprises, including the privatization of two public sector banks and one general insurance company.
  12. Fiscal Deficit: Fiscal deficit for FY 2021-22 estimated at 6.8 per cent of GDP, with a plan to reduce it below 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26.
  13. Digital Census: Allocation of Rs 3,768 crore for the first digital census in India’s history.
  14. Deep Ocean Mission: Launch of the Deep Ocean Mission with a budget outlay of Rs 4,000 crore over five years for ocean exploration and biodiversity conservation.
  15. Electric Vehicle Incentives: Proposal to reduce the customs duty on electric vehicles from 16 per cent to 8 per cent to promote environmental sustainability and green mobility.

2020 Budget:

Nirmala Sitharaman

  1. Healthcare and Wellness: Launch of the PM AtmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an allocation of Rs 64,180 crore over six years to improve healthcare infrastructure.
  2. Education and Skills: Introduction of the New Education Policy to transform India’s education system and a Rs 99,300 crore allocation for the education sector.
  3. Agriculture and Rural Development: Rs 2.83 lakh crore allocated for agriculture, irrigation, and rural development to double farmers' income by 2022.
  4. Infrastructure Development: National Infrastructure Pipeline announced with projects worth Rs 103 lakh crore, targeting sectors like housing, safe drinking water, and healthcare.
  5. Tax Reforms: Introduction of a new simplified personal income tax regime with reduced rates and removal of certain exemptions.
  6. MSME Support: Rs 1,500 crore allocated for a scheme to provide subordinate debt to MSME entrepreneurs.
  7. Digital India: Proposal to provide digital connectivity to public institutions at the Gram Panchayat level under the Bharatnet programme with an allocation of Rs 6,000 crore.
  8. Environment and Climate Change: Rs 4,400 crore allocated for promoting clean air in cities with populations above one million.
  9. Women and Child Development: Rs 28,600 crore allocated for programs specific to women, including expansion of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
  10. Tourism and Culture: Establishment of an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation and development of iconic archaeological sites as on-site museums.
  11. Financial Sector: Increase in deposit insurance coverage from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per depositor.
  12. Skill Development: Allocation of Rs 3,000 crore for skill development and apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses.
  13. Affordable Housing: Extension of the tax holiday for affordable housing projects and allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
  14. Startup Support: Proposal to provide early life funding, including a seed fund to support ideation and development of early stage Start-ups.
  15. Governance Reforms: Proposal to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct a Common Eligibility Test for recruitment to Non-Gazetted posts in government and public sector banks.

2019 Budget:

Nirmala Sitharaman

  1. Five Trillion Dollar Economy: The aim to grow the Indian economy to $5 trillion in the next few years, from the current $2.7 trillion.
  2. Health and Wellness: Introduction of the PM AtmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an allocation of Rs 64,180 crore over six years to improve healthcare infrastructure.
  3. Education and Skills: Rs 99,300 crore allocated for the education sector, along with the introduction of the New Education Policy.
  4. Agriculture and Rural Development: Rs 2.83 lakh crore allocated for agriculture, irrigation, and rural development, aiming to double farmers' income by 2022.
  5. Infrastructure Development: National Infrastructure Pipeline announced with projects worth Rs 103 lakh crore, targeting sectors like housing, safe drinking water, and healthcare.
  6. Tax Reforms: Introduction of a new simplified personal income tax regime with reduced rates and removal of certain exemptions.
  7. MSME Support: Rs 1,500 crore allocated for a scheme to provide subordinate debt to MSME entrepreneurs.
  8. Digital India: Rs 6,000 crore allocated for Bharatnet to provide digital connectivity to public institutions at the Gram Panchayat level.
  9. Environment and Climate Change: Rs 4,400 crore allocated for promoting clean air in cities with populations above one million.
  10. Women and Child Development: Rs 28,600 crore allocated for programs specific to women, including the expansion of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
  11. Tourism and Culture:Establishment of an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation and development of iconic archaeological sites as on-site museums.
  12. Financial Sector: Increase in deposit insurance coverage from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per depositor.
  13. Skill Development: Rs 3,000 crore allocated for skill development and apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses.
  14. Affordable Housing: Extension of the tax holiday for affordable housing projects and allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
  15. Startup Support: Proposal to provide early life funding, including a seed fund to support ideation and development of early-stage startups.

2019 Interim Budget:

Piyush Goyal

  1. Farmers' Income Support: The government announced the PM-KISAN scheme, providing Rs 6,000 per year to farmers with up to 2 hectares of land.
  2. Mega Pension Scheme for Unorganised Sector: The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan was introduced, offering a pension of Rs 3,000 per month for workers in the unorganised sector after the age of 60.
  3. Tax Reforms: Individual taxpayers with annual income up to Rs 5 lakh received full tax rebate, benefiting around 3 crore taxpayers.
  4. Standard Deduction: The standard deduction for salaried individuals was increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000.
  5. Gratuity Limit Increased: The gratuity limit was raised from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh for workers.
  6. House Rent: TDS threshold on rental income was increased from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2.4 lakh, providing relief to small taxpayers.
  7. TDS on Interest: The TDS threshold on interest earned on bank and post office deposits was raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000.
  8. Rollover of Capital Gains: The benefit of rollover of capital gains was increased from one residential house to two houses for capital gains up to Rs 2 crore.
  9. National Education Mission: Allocation for the National Education Mission was increased from Rs 32,334 crore in RE 2018-19 to Rs 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20.
  10. Integrated Child Development Scheme: Funding for the Integrated Child Development Scheme was increased from Rs 23,357 crore in RE 2018-19 to Rs 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20.
  11. Welfare of SCs and STs: Substantial increase in allocation for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, with Rs 76,801 crore for SCs and Rs 50,086 crore for STs in BE 2019-20.
  12. Electricity for All: The government aimed to provide electricity connections to all households under the Saubhagya scheme.
  13. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana: Continued focus on affordable housing for all by 2022 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
  14. Disinvestment Proceeds: Government received over Rs 1 lakh crore from disinvestment proceeds during 2017-18 and aimed to surpass the target of Rs 80,000 crore for the current year.
  15. Fiscal Deficit: The fiscal deficit for 2019-20 was pegged at 3.4% of GDP, with a focus on maintaining fiscal discipline while supporting growth.

2018 Budget:

Arun Jaitley

  1. The Budget includes an earmarked allocation of Rs 56,619 crore for Scheduled Castes and Rs 39,135 crore for Scheduled Tribes .
  2. Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education, and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 lakh crore .
  3. Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) are allocated Rs 3,794 crore for credit support, capital, interest subsidy, and innovations .
  4. Formalisation of MSME businesses is being improved through GST and demonetisation, generating a large financial information database .
  5. Government will onboard public sector banks and corporates on the Trade Electronic Receivable Discounting System (TReDS) platform .
  6. MUDRA Yojana has sanctioned Rs 4.6 lakh crore in credit from 10.38 crore MUDRA loans, with a target of Rs 3 lakh crore for 2018-19 .
  7. A Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FAIDF) and an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) are being set up, each with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore .
  8. Institutional credit for the agriculture sector is proposed to be raised to Rs 11 lakh crore for 2018-19 .
  9. NITI Aayog will evolve a mechanism to enable lessee cultivators to access credit without compromising landowners' rights .
  10. Government proposes favourable taxation treatment to Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs) .
  11. A special scheme will support the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and NCT of Delhi to address air pollution and subsidize machinery for in-situ management of crop residue .
  12. Prime Minister's Ujjwala Scheme target is increased to provide free LPG connections to 8 crore poor women .
  13. The government proposes to increase customs duty on mobile phones from 15% to 20%, on some parts and accessories to 15%, and on certain parts of TVs to 15% to promote domestic job creation .
  14. Customs duty on raw cashew will be reduced from 5% to 2.5% .
  15. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will be renamed to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

2017 Budget:

Arun Jaitley

  1. Fiscal Deficit Target: The fiscal deficit for 2017-18 was pegged at 3.2% of GDP, with a commitment to reduce it to 3% in the following year.
  2. Merger of Railway Budget: The historic merger of the Railway Budget with the General Budget was announced, ending a 92-year-old colonial practice.
  3. Advance Presentation: The Budget presentation date was advanced to February 1 to allow the legislative process to complete before the start of the financial year.
  4. Doubling Farmers' Income: A target was set to double farmers' income by 2022, with measures like increased credit and better market access.
  5. Rural Electrification: An increased allocation of Rs 4,814 crore was proposed under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana to achieve 100% village electrification by May 1, 2018.
  6. MGNREGA Allocation: The allocation for MGNREGA was increased to Rs 48,000 crore, the highest ever, to support rural employment and asset creation.
  7. Affordable Housing: Affordable housing was given infrastructure status, enabling access to associated benefits and promoting housing for all.
  8. Rail Safety Fund: A Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over five years was announced to enhance railway safety.
  9. Swachh Bharat Mission: Significant progress in rural sanitation was highlighted, with the sanitation coverage in rural India increasing from 42% to about 60%.
  10. Skill Development: Launch of the Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) program at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore to provide market-relevant training to 3.5 crore youth.
  11. Women and Children Welfare: Allocation for the welfare of women and children increased from Rs 1,56,528 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1,84,632 crore in 2017-18.
  12. Health Initiatives: Action plans were set to eliminate diseases like Kala-Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018, and Tuberculosis by 2025.
  13. Tourism Development: Five Special Tourism Zones were to be set up, and the Incredible India 2.0 campaign was to be launched worldwide.
  14. Railway Modernisation: Proposals for station redevelopment, enhancing throughput, and eliminating unmanned level crossings by 2020.
  15. Digital Economy: Promotion of digital payments through initiatives like BHIM app and a target of 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017-18.

2016 Budget:

Arun Jaitley

  1. Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare: The government allocated significant resources to support farmers, aiming to double their income over the next five years.
  2. Rural Sector: Emphasis on rural development with increased allocations for rural infrastructure, employment, and social services.
  3. Social Sector: The Budget focused on health care, sanitation, and social welfare schemes to improve the quality of life for all citizens.
  4. Education and Skills: A strong push for enhancing educational infrastructure, skill development, and job creation to empower the youth.
  5. Infrastructure and Investment: Significant investments were planned for roads, railways, and other critical infrastructure to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
  6. Financial Sector Reforms: Measures were introduced to strengthen financial institutions and improve ease of doing business.
  7. Ease of Doing Business: Simplification of procedures and regulations to foster a more business-friendly environment and attract investment.
  8. Fiscal Discipline: Commitment to maintaining fiscal prudence while increasing expenditure in priority areas.
  9. Tax Reforms: Relief to small taxpayers and measures to boost growth and employment through various tax incentives.
  10. Digital Economy: Initiatives to promote a cashless economy and enhance digital infrastructure for greater transparency and efficiency.
  11. Start-ups and Innovation: Support for start-ups with easier regulatory norms and incentives to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
  12. Women and Child Development: Enhanced allocations for programs aimed at empowering women and ensuring the well-being of children.
  13. Defence and Security: Increased budget for defence to strengthen national security and modernize the armed forces.
  14. Affordable Housing: Measures to promote affordable housing, including tax incentives and increased funding for housing schemes.
  15. Environmental Sustainability: Introduction of policies to address environmental concerns, including incentives for clean energy and sustainable practices.

2015 Budget:

Arun Jaitley

  1. The Union Budget aims to set India on a faster growth trajectory amidst a more positive economic environment.
  2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not downgraded India's economic forecast, predicting stronger growth compared to other global economies.
  3. Significant steps taken by the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi have revitalised the economy, enhancing its credibility.
  4. The government's focus is on accelerating growth, enhancing investment, and improving the quality of life for citizens.
  5. Key reforms include the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana for financial inclusion and the Swachh Bharat campaign for better public hygiene.
  6. The Make in India campaign aims to transform India into a global manufacturing hub, creating jobs for the youth.
  7. The Digital India programme seeks to make India a knowledge-based society with broadband connectivity in all villages.
  8. The Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign and construction of school toilets emphasise improving education and welfare for girls.
  9. Reforms in FDI policy have been implemented to attract more investment, particularly in defence, insurance, and railway infrastructure.
  10. The Shrameva Jayate programme aims to improve labour laws and create a better environment for job creation.
  11. The government plans to enhance agricultural productivity through initiatives like the Soil Health Card programme.
  12. A culture of responsibility and efficiency has been promoted in government, with reforms to simplify procedures and regulations.
  13. The North-East region has been given special priority in development, with significant infrastructure projects launched.
  14. The Ease of Doing Business reforms aim to reduce red tape and facilitate smoother business operations in India.
  15. The Budget sets a roadmap for financial inclusion, poverty elimination, and sustainable double-digit economic growth.

2014 Budget:

Arun Jaitley

  1. Economic Revitalisation: The Budget focused on revitalising the economy with measures to stimulate growth, reduce inflation, and improve infrastructure.
  2. Agriculture and Rural Development: Significant allocations were made for agricultural productivity, rural infrastructure, and the welfare of farmers.
  3. Infrastructure Development: Emphasis was placed on developing 100 Smart Cities, improving roads, and modernising ports and airports.
  4. Fiscal Discipline: The Budget aimed for fiscal consolidation with a roadmap to reduce the fiscal deficit to 3 per cent of GDP by 2016-17.
  5. Social Security: New schemes for the welfare of senior citizens, differently-abled persons, and women were introduced, including the revival of the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana.
  6. Education and Skills: New IITs, IIMs, and AIIMS were proposed, along with the launch of the Skill India programme to enhance employability.
  7. Financial Sector Reforms: Measures to strengthen the financial sector included setting up a National Industrial Corridor Authority and promoting financial inclusion.
  8. Tax Reforms: The Budget introduced changes to simplify the tax regime and aimed to provide a stable and predictable taxation environment.
  9. Defence and Security: Increased allocations for defence modernisation, a commitment to One Rank One Pension, and initiatives to improve internal security.
  10. Urban Development: Launch of the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission to urbanise rural areas and improve infrastructure.
  11. Clean Energy and Environment: Emphasis on renewable energy projects, including Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects and the Green Energy Corridor Project.
  12. Housing for All: Initiatives to promote affordable housing, including additional tax incentives for home loans and increased funding for the National Housing Bank.
  13. Tourism and Culture: Development of tourist circuits, preservation of archaeological sites, and promotion of cultural heritage.
  14. Women and Child Welfare: Launch of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana to improve the welfare of the girl child and women.
  15. Technology and Innovation: Proposals to enhance digital connectivity, promote innovation, and support the IT sector through the Digital India programme.

Union Budget 2024 Updates

Union Budget for the financial year 2024-25 will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on July 23. The Parliament's Budget Session is set to take place from July 22 to August 12.
 
This will be the seventh consecutive Union Budget to be presented by Sitharaman. She had also presented the Interim Budget on February 1 this year, which is often referred to as a vote on account, paving the way for the full Budget to be presented by the newly elected government.
 
Given India's objective to become the third-largest economy by 2030, stakeholders seek detailed guidance from the government on the path ahead in the upcoming Budget.
 
Budget 2024
 
Over the past decade, successive Budgets have underscored the government's commitment to doubling farmers' incomes and injecting liquidity directly into their hands. Budget allocations to the agricultural sector have surged fivefold in the last 10 years, from Rs 22,652 crore in FY15 to Rs 1.27 trillion in the Interim Budget for FY25. A continuation of this trend is expected in Union Budget 2024.
 
Preliminary indications also suggest a continued focus of the government on fiscal consolidation in FY25. Consequently, the Budget 2024 might emphasise stimulating growth while managing inflation. The government faces the task of aligning expenditures, particularly on Minimum Support Price (MSP), food, fertilisers, and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), to achieve the fiscal deficit target of 4.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by FY26.
 
Union Budget 2024 is also expected to align with the Modi government's inclusive development and welfare agenda, emphasising growth initiatives such as Ujjwala, Jal Jivan Mission, PM Kisan, and Swachh Bharat.
 
Besides, the railway sector could receive a boost with higher capital allocation, building on the government's focus on revitalising railway assets and infrastructure development. The railway ministry achieved a record Rs 2.55 trillion in budgetary support in Interim Budget 2024, marking an all-time high allocation.

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