Press Trust of india

Budget: Sitharaman hikes capital spend, trims deficit for next fiscal; tax rates unchanged

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New Delhi:  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday hiked capital expenditure by 11 per cent for the next fiscal to sustain world-beating economic growth rate while trimming the deficit in a reform-oriented interim budget that also gave relief to common man from disputed small tax demands of up to Rs 25,000.

Presenting a vote on account or an interim budget for 2024-25, Sitharaman proposed no changes in income tax rates for individuals and corporates, as well as customs duty.

In less than an hour-long budget speech, she presented the Modi government’s achievements in the last 10 years that transformed India from being a ‘fragile’ economy to the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

She hiked capital expenditure to Rs 11.11 lakh crore for 2024-25 while trimming the fiscal deficit for this financial year to 5.8 per cent, from the budgeted 5.9 per cent of GDP, and further lowering to 5.1 per cent in the next fiscal.

Stating that every challenge of the pre-2014 era was overcome through economic management and governance, she said the government, in its July budget, will present a detailed roadmap to make India a developed country.

“Guided by the principle ‘reform, perform, and transform’, the Government will take up next-generation reforms, and build consensus with the states and stakeholders for effective implementation,” Sitharaman said in her speech.

The revenue receipts for the current fiscal at Rs 30.03 lakh crore are expected to be higher than the Budget Estimate, reflecting strong growth momentum and formalisation in the economy.

“We continue on the path of fiscal consolidation, as announced in my Budget Speech for 2021-22, to reduce fiscal deficit below 4.5 per cent by 2025-26,” Sitharaman said.

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