The Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24 was presented in the parliament on February 1, 2023, by the Finance Minister, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget aims to accelerate the pace of economic growth and development in the country while also addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the key highlights of the budget speech.
The budget lays emphasis on infrastructure development, with a proposed allocation of Rs. 5.54 lakh crore for the sector. This includes a focus on the development of highways, railways, ports, airports, and urban infrastructure. The government also plans to introduce a new National Infrastructure Pipeline 2.0, which will include projects worth over Rs. 100 lakh crore.
The budget proposes an allocation of Rs. 3.05 lakh crore for the healthcare sector, with a focus on improving primary healthcare infrastructure, strengthening disease surveillance systems, and enhancing the capacity of healthcare professionals. The government also plans to set up a new National Centre for Disease Control to strengthen the country's preparedness for future pandemics.
The budget proposes an allocation of Rs. 1.32 lakh crore for the education sector, with a focus on improving the quality of education and enhancing access to education for all. This includes the launch of a new National Education Policy that aims to transform the education system in the country and improve the employability of students.
Agriculture and Rural Development
The budget proposes an allocation of Rs. 2.05 lakh crore for agriculture and rural development, with a focus on improving agricultural productivity and enhancing the income of farmers. The government also plans to launch a new scheme called the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund 2.0, which will provide support for the creation of farm-gate infrastructure and the development of agriculture-related industries.
The budget proposes an allocation of Rs. 4.44 lakh crore for the Digital India initiative, with a focus on enhancing digital infrastructure, promoting the adoption of digital technologies in all sectors, and increasing the reach of digital services to all citizens.
The budget proposes several changes to the taxation system, including the simplification of the tax code and the introduction of new measures to promote compliance. The government also plans to introduce a new Direct Tax Code that aims to simplify the tax system and reduce the compliance burden.
In conclusion, the Union Budget 2023-24 lays emphasis on infrastructure development, healthcare, education, agriculture and rural development, digital India, and taxation reforms. The budget aims to accelerate economic growth and development in the country while also addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed allocations and initiatives are expected to have a positive impact on various sectors of the economy and contribute to the overall growth and development of the country.