Highlights

  • Sitharaman: No spectacular announcements expected in February's Interim Budget.
  • Interim Budget focuses on estimates, avoids major policy declarations

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Adhering to India's Election Commission guidelines, the interim Budget abstains from introducing significant initiatives that might influence voter preferences towards the current government. Moreover, it excludes the Economic Survey presentation.

Budget 2024: FM Nirmala Sitharaman confirms no major announcements

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the public's expectations, clarifying that the upcoming February 1 Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 won't feature any major announcements. Emphasizing its nature as a vote-on-account, she highlighted its purpose to sustain expenditure until the next government assumes power after the 2024 general elections, the dates for which are yet to be disclosed.

Speaking at the CII's Global Economic Policy Forum 2023 in New Delhi, Sitharaman emphasized, "The February 1 Budget is just a vote on account; a budget to meet expenditure till the next government comes to power. No spectacular announcements." She indicated that the comprehensive budget would follow in July.

The Interim Budget primarily comprises estimations related to government expenditure, revenue, fiscal deficit, and financial projections for the forthcoming months. It refrains from major policy declarations to avoid encumbering the government with additional commitments. Complying with the Election Commission of India's code of conduct, the interim Budget refrains from unveiling major schemes that could sway voter sentiment in favor of the incumbent government.

Additionally, the interim Budget does not include the presentation of the Economic Survey. Instead, it primarily secures Parliamentary approval for crucial expenditures like salaries and ongoing operational costs through a vote-on-account.

Notably, significant policy changes and long-term projects typically await the full Budget presentation post-general elections, which generally remains valid for up to two months but can be extended if required.

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