Budget: Govt raises capital expenditure outlay by 33 pc to Rs 10 lakh crore

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NEW DELHI: The government has proposed to increase capital expenditure outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore in 2023-24, which will be 3.3 percent of the GDP, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday.

“This (outlay) will be 3.3 per cent of GDP, almost three times the outlay made in 2019-20. With substantial increase, it is central to the government’s efforts to enhance growth potential and job creation, crowd in private investments and provide cushion against global headwinds”, Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday.

Further, the government proposes to increase the agricultural credit target to Rs 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, she said. The agriculture sector of the country has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent in the last six years. The government will also launch a sub-scheme of existing PM Matsya scheme to improve value chain efficiencies, she said.

Sitharaman started her Budget speech at 11 am, the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term. Like the previous two budgets, Union Budget 2023-24 is also presented in paperless form.

This year’s Budget holds much significance as the country is scheduled to have the next Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024.

As per established tradition, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Ministers of State Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Karad and Finance Secretary T V Somanathan called on President Droupadi Murmu earlier in the day. This is the fifth budget presentation by Sitharaman.

The Budget session of Parliament began on Tuesday with the President’s address and subsequent tabling of the Ecomomic Survey for 2022-23. The formal exercise to prepare the annual Budget for the next financial year (2023-24) commenced on October 10.

The Economic Survey, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, noted that India’s GDP is expected to grow in the range of 6 to 6.8 per cent in the coming financial year 2023-24. This is in comparison to the estimated 7 per cent this fiscal and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22. (ANI)

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