Indian economy witnessed tremendous transformation in past 10 years, says Sitharaman in Budget speech

New Delhi: The Indian economy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has witnessed a profound transformation in the last 10 years when the government took several pro-people reforms that were structural, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday, as she rose to present the interim Budget for 2024-25.

“In 2014, the country was facing enormous challenges, the government overcome those challenges and undertook structural reforms, pro-people reforms were undertaken, conditions for jobs and entrepreneurship were set in, fruits of development started reaching people at scale, country got a sense of new purpose and hope,” Sitharaman said in her initial remarks in her pre-election Budget speech.

“In the second term, the government strengthened its mantra and our development philosophy covered all elements of inclusivity, namely social and geographical. With a whole of nation approach, the country overcame challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, took long strides towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and laid solid foundations for Amrit Kaal.”

“In the second term, the government strengthened its mantra and our development philosophy covered all elements of inclusivity, namely social and geographical. With a whole of nation approach, the country overcame challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, took long strides towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and laid solid foundations for Amrit Kaal.”

India has high aspirations, pride in the present and hope and confidence in its bright future, she added.

Inclusive development and growth, our humane approach to development has marked a departure from the earlier approach of provisioning up to village level Development programmes have targeted each and every household and individual through housing for all, Har Ghar Jal, electricity for all, cooking gas for all and bank accounts and financial services for all in record time. Worries about food were eliminated through free rations for 80 crore people MSP for produce of Anna Data are periodically increased, provision of basic necessities has enhanced real income in rural areas.

She said her government is working towards development which is all round, all inclusive and all pervasive, covering all castes and people at all levels. We are working towards making India a Viksit Bharat by 2047.

“For our government, social justice is an effective and necessary governance model, saturation approach of covering all eligible people is the true and comprehensive achievement of social justice, this is secularism in action, reduces corruption, prevents nepotism. There is transparency and assurance that benefits are received to all eligible people, all regardless of their social standing get access to opportunities. We are addressing systemic inequalities which have plagued our society, our focus is on outcomes and not on outlays so that socioeconomic transformation is achieved,” she said.

The Finance Minister said that the earlier approach to tackling poverty resulted in very modest outcomes. “When the poor became empowered partners in the development process, the government’s power to assist them increased manifold. In the last 10 years, the government has assisted 25 crore people to get freedom from multidimensional poverty,” the Finance Minister said.

After contracting by 5.8 per cent in 2020-21, the economy recorded a growth of 9.1 per cent in 2021-22.

The Finance Ministry in its latest monthly economic review said the Indian economy will become third largest in the world in the next three years with a GDP of 5 trillion from the current 3.7 trillion.

Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs. 34 lakh crore using PM Jan Dhan accounts has led to huge savings for the government. This has been realized through the avoidance of leakages, and savings have helped in providing more funds for the welfare of the poor, the Finance Minister said.

PM SVANIDHI has provided credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors, from that total, 2.3 lakh have received credit for the third time PM JANMAN Yojana reaches out to particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups PM Vishwakarma Yojana provides end-to-end support to artisans and craftspeople scheme for the empowerment of Divyang and transgender people reflects our resolve to leave no one behind, the Finance Minister said.

Every year under PM Kisan Samman Yojana, Direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 crore farmers, including marginal and small farmers Crop insurance is given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana. These assist farmers in producing food for the country and for the world.

The electronic national agricultural market has integrated 1,361 mandis and is providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with trading volume of 3 lakh crores of rupees. The sector is poised for inclusive and higher growth.

Empowering Amrit Peedhi, the youth The National Education Policy 2020 is ushering transformational reforms PM Shri is delivering quality teaching Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskillled 54 lakh youth and established 3,000 new ITIs Large no. of institutions of higher learning namely 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMSs and 390 universities have been set up.

Economic management over the past 10 years has complemented people-centric development, said Sitharaman.

“All forms of infrastructure are being built in record time. All parts of the country are becoming active participants in eco-growth. DPI (digital public infrastructure), a new factor of production in the 21st century, is instrumental in the formalization of the economy. Strengthening of the finance sector has made things more efficient,” she said.

At 11 am, Sitharaman tabled the interim budget as the Lok Sabha polls are due to be held this year. This is the Finance Minister’s sixth Budget as the Finance Minister and last in the second term of the Modi government.

The interim budget will take care of the financial needs of the intervening period until a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls after which a full budget will be presented by the new government.

With this Budget Presentation Sitharaman will equal the record set by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai, who as finance minister, presented five annual budgets and one interim budget between 1959 and 1964.

The Budget Session of Parliament commenced on Wednesday with President Droupadi Murmu addressing a joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

In her address to Parliament, the President said the year 2023 was a historic year for the country and among other steps, the country kept up the momentum of being the fastest-growing major economy.

“The year 2023 was a historic year for India when it grew the fastest among major economies despite the global crisis. India grew about 7.5 per cent for two consecutive quarters,” she said.

The Indian economy is projected to grow close to 7 per cent in the financial year 2024-25 which starts this April, said the Ministry of Finance in a review report.

India’s economy grew 7.2 per cent in 2022-23 and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22. The Indian economy is expected to grow 7.3 per cent in the current financial year 2023-24, remaining the fastest-growing major economy.

The last full Budget of Modi government second 2.0 had proposed to increase capital expenditure outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore in 2023-24, which would be 3.3 per cent of the GDP. It was almost three times the outlay in 2019-20.

(Courtesy ANI)

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