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Charting a Visionary Course: Analyzing India’s Interim Budget— ‘Amrit Kaal as Kartavya Kaal

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Pooja Paswan
February 12, 2024

In the wake of the impending general elections later this year, the recently unveiled Interim Budget 2024 stands as a testament to the government’s unwavering commitment to fostering inclusive growth, with a particular focus on youth and women empowerment. Rooted in the guiding principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas,’ this budgetary blueprint aims to weave a tapestry of development that spans across the entire social and geographical spectrum of the nation.

With an overarching vision encapsulated by the phrase ‘सर्वांगीण, सर्वस्पर्शी और सर्वसमावेशी’ (all-round, all-pervasive and all-inclusive), the government envisions a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. This ambitious goal necessitates enhancing people’s capabilities and empowering them at every level.

As the Interim Budget lays out its strategic framework for the ‘Amrit Kaal,’ it emphasizes economic policies that foster sustainable growth, inclusive development, increased productivity and opportunities for all. Guided by the principles of ‘Reform, Perform and Transform,’ the government is set to embark on next-generation reforms, fostering consensus with states and stakeholders for effective implementation.

Aligned with the ‘Panchamrit’ goals, the Interim Budget aims to sustain high and resource-efficient economic growth, ensuring energy security in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability. To meet the burgeoning investment needs, the government pledges to fortify the financial sector in terms of size, capacity, skills and regulatory framework.

As India embarks on this transformative journey, the Interim Budget 2024 not only outlines the fiscal roadmap for the year but also serves as a beacon illuminating the path towards an empowered, inclusive and prosperous India.

Aspirational Districts Programme: Unlocking the Potential for Inclusive Growth

In a significant stride towards balanced development, the government underscores its commitment to assisting states in the accelerated progress of aspirational districts and blocks. The focus is not merely on infrastructural development but extends to generating substantial economic opportunities, thereby fostering a more inclusive growth trajectory.

Development of the East: Igniting the Powerhouse of Growth

Recognizing the untapped potential in the eastern region, the government pledges heightened attention to transform it into a formidable catalyst for India’s overall economic growth. This strategic focus aims to bridge regional disparities and empower the people of the eastern part of the country.

PM Awas Yojana (Grameen): Overcoming Challenges with Steadfast Implementation

Undeterred by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government proudly announces the near-fulfillment of the three crore houses target under the PM Awas Yojana (Grameen). Despite setbacks, the momentum continues, with an ambitious plan to construct an additional two crore houses in the next five years to accommodate the growing number of families.

Rooftop Solarization and Muft Bijli: Energizing Homes and Empowering Lives

In a groundbreaking move aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision on the consecration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the government introduces a scheme for rooftop solarization. This initiative aims to provide free electricity, up to 300 units per month, to one crore households. The benefits encompass substantial savings for households, electric vehicle charging, entrepreneurial opportunities and employment prospects for the youth in various technical capacities.

Railways: Transforming Connectivity for Economic Prosperity

Under the PM Gati Shakti initiative, the government unveils plans for three major economic railway corridor programs, addressing energy, mineral, cement, port connectivity and high-traffic density corridors. These transformative projects are poised to enhance logistics efficiency, reduce costs, decongest high-traffic corridors and ultimately accelerate GDP growth.

Green Energy: A Sustainable Leap Towards ‘Net-Zero’

Affirming its commitment to achieving ‘net-zero’ by 2070, the government outlines key measures. These include viability gap funding for offshore wind energy, establishing coal gasification and liquefaction capacity and mandating phased blending of compressed biogas in transport and domestic usage. These initiatives collectively move India towards a greener and more sustainable energy future.

Electric Vehicle Ecosystem: Driving the Future of Mobility

With a focus on environmental sustainability, the government unveils plans to expand and fortify the electric vehicle ecosystem. Supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure, coupled with encouraging the adoption of e-buses in public transport networks, aims to propel India towards a cleaner and more energy-efficient transportation sector.

Bio-manufacturing and Bio-foundry: Paving the Way for Green Growth

Introducing a new scheme for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry, the government aims to promote green growth by fostering the production of environmentally friendly alternatives. This includes biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs, signaling a shift towards regenerative manufacturing principles.

Amrit Kaal as Kartavya Kaal: A Pledge for High Growth and National Development

Closing the loop, “Amrit Kaal as Kartavya Kaal” reflects the government’s steadfast dedication to strengthen and propel the economy towards unprecedented growth. Termed as ‘Kartavya Kaal,’ this commitment harmonizes seamlessly with the Prime Minister Modi’s overarching vision for national development, unfurling a realm of possibilities and opportunities as India commemorates its 75th year of independence. The concurrent golden era of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) influx and active negotiations for bilateral investment treaties not only mark a buoyant period but also underscore a promising outlook for sustained foreign investments, serving as a potent catalyst in propelling the nation’s economic trajectory towards greater heights.

Author: Dr. Pooja Paswan is currently enrolled at the John.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, India. She has Ph. D in Public Administration and specializes in Public Policy. She was recipient of the ASPA 2019 Founders Fellow. She has worked extensively in the area of development administration and policy. She can be reached at https://jmi.academia.edu/PoojaPaswan and [email protected]. Twitter @poojapaswan

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