Interim budget signals PM Modi’s confidence ahead of elections

New Delhi: With general elections around the corner and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in pole position, the government on Thursday unveiled an interim budget focused on shoring up infrastructure while continuing with fiscal consolidation.

PM Modi praised the “historic” interim Budget 2024-25 and said it was a guarantee to strengthen the foundations of a Viksit Bharat by 2047. He called the Budget a “confidence of continuity”.

In a video statement, PM Modi said the interim Budget was a reflection of the “young aspirations of a young India” and would empower the four significant pillars of the country — youth, poor, women and farmers.

PM Modi said the Budget stressed the empowerment of the poor and the middle class and the creation of new employment opportunities for them.

As many analysts expected, the package was short on big-ticket populist outlays — suggesting PM Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are confident of winning a third straight term when the nation of 1.4 billion goes to the polls in April and May.

Touching on infrastructure development, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did say capital expenditure for the next financial year would be raised by 11.1% to a record $133.87 billion, or 3.4% of gross domestic product. The previous budget had hiked infrastructure spending by 33%.

Image courtesy of PIB

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