In the lead-up to the national polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration presented its final budget, aiming to strike a balance between appeasing key voter groups and maintaining fiscal prudence.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman outlined several measures targeting various sectors, but reactions to the budget highlight both winners and losers in the Indian economy.
Winners: Budget 2024
The budget emphasizes promoting investments in post-harvest activities and enhancing self-reliance in oilseed production. Plans to develop dairy farming and increase spending on fisheries aim to bolster productivity in the agricultural sector.
With the government raising threshold limits for tax rates, the middle class stands to benefit from increased disposable income. Additionally, initiatives supporting middle-class individuals in homeownership contribute to the broader goal of ensuring housing accessibility for all.
Efforts to incentivize states in developing tourist destinations and offering interest-free loans signal a push towards boosting tourism, which could spur economic growth and job creation.
While the budget allocates funding for wind energy projects, expectations for more robust subsidy programs to accelerate renewable energy adoption remain unmet.
Losers: Budget 2024
Despite a modest increase in infrastructure spending, concerns persist about the adequacy of investment to address India’s infrastructure challenges effectively.
While the government aims to strengthen the electric vehicle ecosystem, the absence of an extension to existing subsidy programs raises doubts about the sector’s growth trajectory.
The decision to maintain high import taxes on gold disappoints the jewelry industry, impacting stocks and hindering efforts to curb illegal inflows.
India’s reduced disinvestment targets for the current fiscal year reflect challenges in concluding stake sales, casting uncertainty on the government’s privatization agenda.
As the nation gears up for elections, the budget priorities of the Modi administration underscore the intricate balance between economic development and political strategy. The outcomes of these budget measures will undoubtedly shape the country’s economic trajectory and influence voter sentiment in the upcoming polls.