Interim Budget pegs FY25 fiscal deficit at 5.1% of GDP, no new tax proposals

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her sixth Union Budget on Thursday. This was an interim Budget ahead of the general elections later this year.

The Interim Budget 2024 was focused on youth and women empowerment, while maintaining fiscal consolidation and continuing capital expenditure.

Ms Sitharaman lowered FY25 fiscal deficit target to 5.1 per cent of the GDP, while she pegged the fiscal deficit for FY24 at 5.8 per cent, slightly improving from the Budget estimate of 5.9 per cent. There were no changes made to direct and indirect tax rates.

The Budget increased allocation for the infrastructure sector by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11.11 lakh crore in FY25, which will make up 3.4 per cent of the GDP.

The government announced a Rs 1-lakh corpus for long-term financing with a 50-year interest-free loan of research in new areas, such as artificial intelligence, and also other sectors, including defence.

Total expenditure in FY25 is seen to grow by 5.8 per cent to Rs 47.65 lakh crore from the revised estimate of Rs 44.9 lakh crore for FY24.

Total receipts other than borrowings for FY25 are estimated at Rs 30.80 lakh crore, while gross tax revenue is estimated to grow by 11.6 per cent to Rs 38.3 lakh crore.

Gross tax revenue in the revised estimate for FY24 is marginally higher by 2.29 per cent to Rs 34.37 lakh crore as against the Budget estimate of Rs 33.6 lakh crore.

The gross and net market borrowings through dated securities during FY25 are pegged at Rs 14.13 lak crore and Rs 11.75 lakh crore respectively.

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