Before delving into the 2024-2025 Financial Budget and its anticipated estimations, let's first explore the significant highlights of the Modi regime financial budgets spanning from 2014 to 2023-24 including key initiatives, fiscal deficit targets, and other aspects during the BJP government's tenure.
Union Budget 2023-24
The Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24, especially in the 75th Year of India's Independence focused on unleashing the potential of green growth and youth power.
The vision for 'Amrit Kaal' articulated in the budget was centered around opportunities for citizens with a focus on youth, growth, job creation, and a strong macro-economic environment. The budget proposed to spend Rs 45,03,097 crore in the financial year, with revenue expenditure estimated at Rs 35,02,136 crore.
The seven priorities, termed Saptarishi, adopted in the budget guided towards 'Amrit Kaal,' providing a blueprint for an empowered and inclusive economy, including inclusive development, reaching the last mile, and infrastructure & investment. The total expenditure was estimated to be Rs 45 trillion, and the deficit was projected to be 5.9 per cent of GDP.
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman |
Union Budget 2022-23
The Union Budget for the financial year 2022-23 was presented by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, 2022. The total expenditure proposed was Rs 39.45 lakh crore, with a sharp focus on infrastructure development, economic growth, and welfare.
The budget aimed to strengthen infrastructure with a sharp focus on PM GatiShakti and inclusive development. It also proposed a Productivity Linked Incentive in 14 sectors for achieving the vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat, with the potential to create 60 lakh new jobs and an additional production of Rs 30 lakh crore during the next 5 years.
The budget also aimed to enhance the banking sector by bringing 100 per cent of 1.5 lakh post offices on the core banking system and setting up 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts. The budget also provided details of the revenue receipts, tax revenue, non-tax revenue, and capital receipts for the financial year 2022-23.
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman |
Union Budget 2021-22
The budget for 2021-22 focused on economic recovery post the pandemic, with increased spending on healthcare and infrastructure.
The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and voluntary vehicle scrappage policy were introduced, and the fiscal deficit target was set at 6.8 per cent of GDP. The proposed budget for the financial year was Rs 34.83 lakh crore.
Union Budget 2020-21
The budget for 2020-21 aimed at boosting economic growth but faced challenges with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The focus was on healthcare, agriculture, and infrastructure development, and the fiscal deficit target was revised to 9.5 per cent of GDP. The proposed budget for the financial year was Rs 30.42 lakh crore.
Fiscal Deficit Target from 2014 to 2024 |
Union Budget 2019-20
The budget for 2019-20 focused on a 10-point vision for the decade, emphasizing economic development, infrastructure, and social justice.
The corporate tax rate for existing companies was reduced to boost economic growth, and schemes like Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi and Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-dhan were introduced. The proposed budget for the financial year was Rs 27.86 lakh crore.
Union Budget 2018-19
The budget for 2018-19 aimed at addressing agrarian distress with increased spending on rural infrastructure. A minimum support price (MSP) for crops at 1.5 times the production cost was proposed, and the fiscal deficit target was set at 3.3 per cent of GDP.
Union Budget 2017-18
The budget for 2017-18 featured significant changes, including the merger of the Railway Budget with the General Budget.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was scheduled for implementation, simplifying the indirect tax structure. Focus on affordable housing, rural infrastructure, and a push for digital transactions marked the budget.
Union Budget 2016-17
The budget for 2016-17 focused on rural development with increased allocation for agriculture and infrastructure.
The government aimed to double the income of farmers by 2022 and introduced the Income Declaration Scheme to tackle black money. The fiscal deficit target was set at 3.5 per cent of GDP.
Arun Jaitley |
Union Budget 2015-16
The budget for 2015-16 continued the emphasis on 'Make in India' and introduced the Atal Pension Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.
Corporate tax was proposed to be reduced gradually, and the fiscal deficit target was set at 3.9 per cent of GDP.
Union Budget 2014-15
The first budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley focused on reviving economic growth and bringing fiscal discipline.
Initiatives like 'Make in India,' 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,' and 'Jan Dhan Yojana' were announced to boost manufacturing, cleanliness, and financial inclusion. The fiscal deficit target was set at 4.1 per cent of GDP.
Other Changes In Budgets
In the Modi regime, former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a change in the budget presentation date from the end of February to February 1, aiming to break away from a 92-year-old tradition and allow more time for preparation and informed debates. In 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replaced the traditional budget briefcase with a 'bahi khata' or cloth ledger, symbolising a departure from colonial practices.