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Financial News: India Budget Focuses On Infrastructure Spending Ahead Of

India Budget Focuses On Infrastructure Spending Ahead Of Election

02/01/2024 - 06:08:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman focused on boosting capital expenditure, and lowering the fiscal deficit outlook in the Union Budget unveiled Thursday, ahead of the country's parliamentary elections in April-May.

Sitharaman tabled the interim budget in the parliament that envisioned an 11.1 percent increase in infrastructure spending outlay for the next financial year.

Further, the minister announced plans to build 20 million houses in the next five years to meet rising need of families.

The finance minister also announced three major economic railway corridor program.

The fiscal deficit for the FY24 was downgraded on hopes of strong tax collections and rationalization of expenditure.

The budget estimated the fiscal deficit at 5.8 percent of GDP in the fiscal year 2023-24, which was revised down from 5.9 percent.

The fiscal deficit for the FY25 was projected at 5.1 percent.

Sitharaman said India targets to narrow the fiscal gap to less than 4.50 percent of GDP by FY26.

The minister left direct and indirect tax rates, including import duties, unchanged. Certain tax benefits to start-ups were extended for one year.

The Narendra Modi government aims to come back to power for a third term in the general elections to be held in April and May.

Post-elections, another budget is set to be presented in July after a new administration takes charge.

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