India’s Interim Budget 2024-25: Key highlights for social justice, welfare, and economic growth

India’s Interim Budget 2024-25 was unveiled by Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, in a historic parliamentary session. Aligned with the principles of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas,’ the budget embodies a ‘whole of nation’ approach encapsulated in ‘Sabka Prayas’ to foster comprehensive development.

Notable highlights include a strong focus on social justice, with Prime Ministerial attention on uplifting the ‘Garib’ (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), ‘Yuva’ (Youth), and ‘Annadata’ (Farmer). The ‘Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan’ initiative has successfully aided 25 crore people out of multi-dimensional poverty in the last decade. PM-Jan Dhan accounts played a pivotal role in generating savings of Rs. 2.7 lakh crore for the Government, while PM-SVANidhi provided credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors. The budget extends its reach to ‘Annadata’ through PM-KISAN SAMMAN Yojana, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, and the Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM). Empowering women, the ‘Momentum for Nari Shakti’ initiative includes 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans to women entrepreneurs and increased female enrolment in higher education by 28%.


The budget envisions sustainable energy with rooftop solarization, aiming to provide 1 crore households with 300 units of free electricity monthly. Ayushman Bharat is expanded to cover all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers, and Helpers. Infrastructure development sees a significant boost with a capital expenditure outlay increase of 11.1% to Rs. 11,11,111 crore, equivalent to 3.4% of the GDP.

Railways witness transformative measures, including three major economic railway corridor programs under PM Gati Shakti and the conversion of 40,000 rail bogies to Vande Bharat standards. The aviation sector experiences growth, with the number of airports doubling to 149 and Indian carriers placing orders for over 1000 new aircraft. Green energy initiatives include setting up coal gasification and liquefaction capacity and mandatory blending of compressed biogas.

The tourism sector is incentivized for comprehensive development, and investments are encouraged with a provision of Rs. 75,000 crore as a fifty-year interest-free loan to support reforms by State Governments. The budget demonstrates fiscal responsibility, with the Revised Estimates for 2023-24 showcasing a fiscal deficit of 5.8% of GDP. For 2024-25, the budget estimates a fiscal deficit of 5.1% of GDP, indicating prudent financial management. Direct and indirect taxes retain the same rates, with notable achievements in taxpayer services, including faceless assessment and appeal.