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An interim budget is a budget presented in an election year. This is a manner of convention by which the main budget is presented after the general elections are completed and the new Government is formed.

Since the Parliamentary elections are due in April- May this year, an interim budget was presented in the Parliament by Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st Feb.

And as with interim budgets, it did not have any major announcements, but a political statement of the achievements and the vision of the Government. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman stated that they believed in the Economic Measure of GDP – Gross Domestic Product and also on Governance, Development and Performance. She highlighted the achievement under Indirect Taxes – GST (One nation, One market and One tax).

One of her major announcements was on fiscal consolidation – Bringing down fiscal deficit as per the announced consolidation path; transparency and prudence in fiscal policy to 5.1% of GDP in 2024-25.

Some salient highlights of the interim budget 2024- 25 were:

1) Focus on 4 major castes – Poor, Women, Youth and Annadata
2) Focus on Infrastructure: Capex budget of Rs 11,11,111 crore
3) Using Technology as a huge opportunity: Digital Public Infrastructure as a ‘new factor of production’
4) High Powered Committee for extensive consideration of challenges arising from population growth and demographic changes
5) 2 crore more homes under PM Awas Yojana (Rural)
6) Roof-top solar for at least 300 units of power generation every month; Muft Bijli
7) Enhancement of target for Lakhpati Didi from 2.0 crore to 3.0 crore
8) Development of the Eastern Region and its people as a powerful engine of growth
9) 3 major Corridor programmes of Railway for logistics efficiency; 40,000 coaches on ‘Vande Bharat’ standards for passenger safety, convenience and comfort
10) Urbanisation: Metro and Namo Bharat as catalysts for Urban transformation through Transit Oriented Development
11) Rs. 1 lakh crore corpus for Research and Innovation by Private sector in sunrise sectors
12) Boost to tourism including spiritual tourism; interest-free loan to states for development of iconic tourism centres
13) White paper on economic performance of the last ten years with the previous ten years to

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