Amid heightened expectations surrounding Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's presentation of Union Budget 2024, there were no big announcements from the Union minister on Thursday. However, the revised estimate of fiscal deficit is 5.8% of GDP while there is no change in tax slab. Assuring a "strong growth momentum", the FM says that FY25 capex target has been set at Rs 11.1 lakh crore, up 11.1%. The scheme for affordable middle class housing is coming soon, she says, adding, "We revise the target of lakhpati didis scheme at 3 crore, from 2 crore earlier." Stay informed by accessing live updates on Budget 2024 as they unfold on the processor.
Indian Railways allocated Rs 2.52 lakh crore: Ashwini Vaishnaw
Indian Railways allocated Rs 2.52 lakh crore for FY 2024-25 in Interim Budget, Ashwini Vaishnaw says "Unprecedented allocation"— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) February 1, 2024
Read @ANI Story | https://t.co/NlyVBm1Hop#Railways #AshwiniVaishnaw #Budget #BudgetSession pic.twitter.com/iL8cH8ytOy
ViksitBharatBudget benefits every section: PM
India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor: 'We are taking it forward'
17.20 pm: On the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, "Well, it's been announced and we are taking it forward."
"Yes, there is a significant disturbance in the Red Sea area and the Middle East. But this is a project which has long-term implications for the entire region, region up to Europe. So, yes, we will be taking this project forward. We will be consulting and taking it in all its contours," ANI quoted the FM as saying.
Budget to fulfil hopes of 140 crore Indians: Yogi
17.02 pm: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath says, "The Interim Budget will provide a pace to building a developed and an 'Atma-Nirbhar' India." "Greetings to the Finance Minister for presenting a budget that will fulfil the hopes of 140 crore Indians. This interim budget will prove to be important for the development of every section," ANI quoted Yogi as saying.
GDP means governance, development and performance: FM
16.56 pm: The FM says the government has got the trust, confidence and blessings of the people based on its exemplary track record of GDP that is "governance, development and performance".
Every section has received due attention: Piyush Goyal
#WATCH | Delhi: On Interim Union Budget 2024, Union Minister Piyush Goyal says, "Finance Minister Sitaramanji, in her interim budget, has been able to bring out a confident India story. A story of resilience despite severe geopolitical tensions. A story of growth and forward… pic.twitter.com/99FDevJica— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2024
White paper on economic performance of the last 10 years: FM
#WATCH | Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, "There will be a white paper on the economic performance of the last 10 years compared with the previous 10 years...Govt has got the trust, confidence and blessings of the people based on its exemplary track record of GDP… pic.twitter.com/Fd2B9p3UwJ— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2024
We are on track to meet glide path: FM
16.38 pm: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, "The budget deficit, fiscal deficit 5.8% which is much lower than the 5.9." "Similarly, for the 2024-25 budget, we've given 5.1 as the fiscal deficit. So clearly indicating that we are on track to meet the glide path which was set in 2021-22 and that we are well on track to meet the 4.5% fiscal deficit on or below 4.5 even by FY 26," ANI quoted her as saying.
We managed economy with correct intentions: FM
#WATCH | Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, "It is an interim budget presented before just the elections. GDP- Governance, development and performance. On governance, this budget speaks from a position where we've delivered on development. We managed the economy with… pic.twitter.com/Y1lGzWNgIh— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2024
FM press meet: Sitharaman says key takeaways, among others, include the following:
2 crore more homes under PMAY
Housing for the middle class
Rooftop solar units for middle class
Lakhpati didis’ numbers to go up
Next generation reforms
Viksit Bharat: Three major corridors coming up; high-density routes
Urban transformation through Namo Metro etc
Tourist centres: 1 lakh crore investment
White paper on economic performance
Nirmala Sitharaman holds press conference after presenting Interim Budget
Budget only for day-to-day affairs: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge
16.17 pm: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge says, "I listened to the budget carefully; nothing was mentioned in this budget for the poor, lower middle class and the middle class."
"This is their budget only for day-to-day affairs. They did not give the details of promises made for 10 years, they should have compared how many promises were made and how many were fulfilled. They should give a comparative statement," ANI quoted Kharge as saying.
Tharoor: Budget speech both short and disappointing
VIDEO | "I think the budget speech was both short and disappointing. There was very little of substance, major omissions and lots of issues were not even touched about," says Congress MP @ShashiTharoor on Union Budget 2024. #Budget2024WithPTI pic.twitter.com/CJakEku097— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) February 1, 2024
INDIA will present full Budget, says DMK MP
15.44 pm: The opposition's response to the budget has been highly critical, with DMK MP T Siva expressing strong sentiments, stating, "They are waiting for the next full Budget. The INDIA alliance will win, and we will present the best budget after the next elections." Congress leader Sachin Pilot remarked that there was nothing new in the Budget speech, and no measures were announced to provide relief to the common masses. He also criticized the president's address, deeming it more of a political speech. AAP MP Sushil Kumar Rinku predicted significant losses for the BJP in the 2024 elections due to this budget. Congress leader Supriya Shrinate pointed out discrepancies in the finance minister's speech, stating, "Sitharaman said that income has increased by 50%, but government data says that real income has decreased by 25%."
Budget outlines vision for confident India: Defence minister Rajnath Singh
15.33 pm: Defence minister Rajnath Singh said the interim budget outlines the vision for a "confident, strong and self-reliant #ViksitBharat". In a post on X, he wrote: Congratulations to Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman for presenting a positive and encouraging ‘Interim Budget’ which outlines the vision for a confident, strong and self-reliant #ViksitBharat. Inspired by PM Shri @narendramodi’s vision of making India a developed nation by 2047, this Budget gives the glimpse of India’s rapid economic transformation. There is something in this Budget for every section of the society. There is big push for infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, housing and technology development in this Budget. During the COVID-Pandemic when the world was faltering India emerged as the beacon of hope. This Budget is perfectly aligned with PM’s ‘Panchamrit Goals’ and it also paves the way for the next five years of unprecedented growth. This Budget has increased the capital expenditure outlay to 11.1% from FY 24 to ?11.11 Lakh Crore for FY 25. This massive capex push will provide a big boost to making India a five trillion dollar economy by 2027."
Non-populace budget: IMF’s KV Subramanian
15.14 pm: On the fiscal deficit announced in the interim budget, KV Subramanian, executive director of the IMF and former chief economic advisor to the government of India, says, "As I said, it is a non-populace budget. Compared to 5.9%, which was a budget estimate, the actual fiscal deficit has been announced at 5.8%.” “My sense is that when the revised numbers come, the fiscal deficit will be even lower because the revenue that has been projected will actually be much higher. 5.1% is very good. Unless there is a change in the Budget that comes in July, I would say that the 5.1% will definitely be achieved," ANI quoted him as saying.
Nothing in it for poor: Shiv Sena (UBT)
15.13 pm: Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi says, "There is a huge difference between saying and doing." "This is what we have been seeing for the last 10 years. There is nothing in it for the poor, women and youth. This budget has poured cold water on the expectations of the general public," ANI quoted Chaturvedi as saying.
15.07 pm: Ajit Gulabchand, chairman of the Board of Hindustan Construction Company Ltd, says, "I think this was a short and crisp budget speech, keeping with the message they want to give." "They have not introduced any new taxes or done any changes in a manner that would upset. They have kept stability, as expected, in place. They have said that they will continue to spend on infrastructure as well as welfare programs which are all very necessary and which they have been doing very well over the years," ANI quoted Gulabchand as saying.
14.55 pm: Former Janata Dal (United) president Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) says, "This is an interim budget and it reflects on the work done by the government in various sectors in the last five years." "It also talks about their goals for the years ahead," ANI quoted him as saying.
14.50 pm: According to statements attributed to Muthoot Finance MD George Alexander Muthoot, the government's backing of MSMEs, women entrepreneurs, and the agricultural sector is in line with their objective of providing credit support to these sectors, addressing their economic needs. Media reports also highlight that experts believe a lower Government of India (GOI) borrowing programme in the upcoming fiscal year could mitigate the increase in funding costs for lenders. Additionally, they suggest that the plan to construct an additional two crore houses under the PMAY (Grameen) in the next five years, along with the proposed housing scheme for the middle class, is expected to stimulate demand for affordable housing units, which bodes well for housing finance companies.
14.44 pm: The government's interim budget, presented by the finance minister, strikes a balance by offering support to MSMEs, women entrepreneurs, and the agricultural sector, experts say.
CII president R Dinesh welcomes government's push for infrastructure, Capex-led growth
14.32 pm: CII president R Dinesh has welcomed the government's push for infrastructure and Capex-led growth. "The immediate reaction would be the consolidation of the fiscal deficit. Our recommendation initially was a 5.4% fiscal deficit, which is a very significant step forward, but it doesn't sacrifice the focus on growth," ANI quopted him as saying. The capex spend is up by 11.1%, which is a good thing, he says.
India-middle East-Europe corridor is game changer for India, others: Nirmala Sitharaman
14.31 pm: "Trinity of democracy, demography and diversity can fulfill aspirations of every Indian," says Nirmala Sitharaman in the interim budget. She added that India-Middle East-Europe corridor is a game changer for India and others."
14.31 pm: PM SVANIDHI has provided credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman
13.06 pm: Pradeep Kumar Aggarwal, founder and chairman, Signature Global (India) Limited, says, "The announcements are wonderful. The biggest thing is that there was a lot of focus on infrastructure.” “Focus has been given on the bottom of the pyramid - especially the section which was not addressed earlier. This is a balanced budget. They did the best they could. So, quite hopeful that we will hear more announcements in the time to come," ANI quoted Aggarwal as saying.
13.05 pm: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari says, "The finance minister's budget is aimed at strengthening India's economic sector in line with PM Modi's resolve to make India the third largest economy of the world." "This is a budget to speed up the country's development and increase employment," ANI quoted him as saying.
13.3 pm: Union minister Kiren Rijiju says, "I thank finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and PM Narendra Modi for this budget. No sector has been left out. Today we have become a confident country in the world in terms of economy.”
A stepping stone towards a 'Viksit Bharat': Dharmendra Pradhan
13.05 pm: Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan says, "This budget will prove to be a stepping stone towards a 'Viksit Bharat'. “The biggest announcement of this budget is the 'Jai Anusandhan' scheme for which Rs 1 lakh crore has been announced as a corpus fund in today's budget. Whichever private entity would opt for a loan, they will get an interest-free loan for 50 years. This will directly benefit India's new generation, ANI quotes him as saying. “National Education Policy has been implemented. Innovation has taken the form of a revolution. PM Shri has been discussed. New IITs and IIMs have been discussed. Skilling and up-skilling of 1.4 crore youth of the country will be done as part of Skill India. Three new railway corridors have been talked about. This simply means more employment of skilled manpower and the lifestyle of people will improve. To sum up, this budget is well-balanced between welfare and wealth creation," Pradhan says.
Vote-on-account, says Congress
12.20 pm: Congress MP Manish Tewari said, "It is a 'vote-on-account' which has only one purpose to keep the government solvent for the first quarter of the current fiscal year." "What's worrying is that there is a budget deficit of Rs 18 lakh crore. This means that the government is borrowing for its expenditure. This number is only going to increase next year," ANI quoted Tewari as saying.
11.59 am: The FM says, "FDI is 'First Develop India'. "FDI inflow during 2014 to 2023 was Rs 596 billion US dollars, marking a golden era. This was twice the FDI inflow between 2005 to 2014. For sustained FDI, we are negotiating bilateral investment treaties with foreign partners," says FM.
11.58 am: No change in tax slab, says the FM
11.56 am: The revised estimate of fiscal deficit is 5.8% of GDP.
FM assures strong growth momentum; says FY25 capex target set at Rs 11.1 lakh crore
11.46 am: Assuring a "strong growth momentum", the FM says that FY25 capex target has been set at Rs 11.1 lakh crore, up 11.1%. The scheme for affordable middle class housing is coming soon, she says, adding, "We revise the target of lakhpati didis scheme at 3 crore, from 2 crore earlier."
'New world order post-Covid'
11.40 am: The FM says, “A new world order is emerging after the Covid-19 pandemic. India successfully navigated its way through pandemic. India assumed the G20 summit after a very difficult time.” She added: "India as a G20 host showed the way forward and built consensus for solutions for problems being faced by the world."
11.39 am: 83L SHGs are transforming lives across India, invoking "lakhpati didis", says the FM. The FM says, “Our government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilising the existing medical infra under various departments. One crore households will get up to 300 units of electricity every month with rooftop solarisation.”
11.29 am: The FM says, the economy is doing well and inflation is moderate. "Our government is committed to adopting economic policies that promote and sustain growth, facilitate inclusive and sustainable development, enhance productivity, create opportunities for all, enable skill development, and contribute to generating resources for investments, fulfilling the aspirations of the people," she declares.
Next five years to see 'unprecedented development'; sky’s the limit: FM
11.27: The next five years will see "unprecedented development", says the FM, adding "sky’s the limit". Maintaining that "we expect people to give us a resounding mandate in the Lok Sabha polls," the FM stated that 25 per cent people of India have come out of the poverty in the recent years. Sitharaman says the corridors will become the bedrock of "the world trade in the next 100 years". The government will launch the next generation reforms in consultation with the states, with MSMEs growing at an amazing pace.
11.17 am: Indian economy sees positive transformation during last 10 years, says the FM.
11.14 am: The FM says, "Our emphasis is on achieving outcomes rather than simply making outlays, ensuring that we drive social and economic transformation.”
11.11 am: "We need to focus on four castes: garib (poor people), mahilayen (women), yuva (youth) and annadata (farmers). Garib ka vikas, desh ka vikas (the progress of the poor means the progress of India," says the FM, adding, "secularism in action prevents corruption. The PM Jan Dhan Yojana has touched the lives of the lowest strata of society."
11.02 am: Nirmala Sitharaman presents interim budget; invoking sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas. She says the Union government has overcome various challenges. The FM assues increased opportunities for employment and development.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman (L), along with ministers of state Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and Pankaj Chaudhary and senior officials of the ministry of finance, called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget. President Murmu extended her best wishes to the Union finance minister — @rashtrapatibhvn
10.54 am: Union Cabinet approves Modi govt's last Budget ahead of Lok Sabha elections
The Union cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved pre-election Budget. Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu offered curd to the FM ahead of the Budget presentation.
10.41 am: FM carries tablet in red pouch to present paperless budget
Sitharaman, wearing a blue sari and golden blouse, posed for a photo with her ministry team while heading for Parliament, carrying her 'bahi-khata' (a tablet wrapped in red cloth with a golden national emblem).
10.10 am: FM Sitharaman reaches Parliament
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, carrying the Budget tablet, arrives at Parliament.