Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her fifth Union Budget 2023, in the Lok Sabha on February 1, 2023. While the budget highlighted benefits for the middle class, farmers’ income, SC/ST, or Divyangjan, the policies regarding the financial sector were also highlighted in priority areas.
The Union Budget 2023, according to Nirmala Sitharaman Saptarishi, laid out seven priorities of Budget, “Saptarishi” as below:
- Inclusive development
The budget has been specially designed in such a way that the main focus is on the unprivileged or those who are bailing from Jammu-Kashmir, Ladakh, or North Eastern states. The priority focus of the section will be to increase the income of the farmers and provide assistance related to crop planning, and information services to the farmers.
In the Union Budget 2023, some measures will be taken, such as crop assessment, market information, loan or insurance, agricultural technology setup, and startup-based support will be provided to the farmer through digital service flow. In addition to agricultural credit schemes, the following will also be included under the inclusive development initiatives:
- An agriculture accelerator fund to help farmers set up their agri startups in rural India.
- An Atmanirbhar clean plant programwith an outlay of 2200 crores to provide disease-free supplies for horticulture.
- Access to medical education by establishing 157 new nursing colleges.
- An action plan to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047, considering screening of 7 crore people within the age group 0-40, especially those affected in the tribal areas.
- Facilities to set up ICMR Labs and R&D teams through medical colleges for promoting research activities for medical innovations.
- Setting up of digital libraries for children and adolescents to ensure digital access to books of multiple languages, genres, and geographies primarily focusing spread of knowledge in respective regional languages.
- Reaching the last mile
To ensure policy benefits reaches to masses, the policy division and control over planned incentives will be undertaken through special guidelines for the Ministry of AYUSH in the budget. Reaching to last mile the initiatives included under this head include:
- To undertake major policy decisions for key priority areas including fisheries, dairy, skill development, Jalshakti, and Animal husbandry issue of different benefits.
- It was proposed to appoint 38800 teachers in the next 3 years to support staffing requirements in 740 Schools serving especially the tribal community.
- To assist the victims or families located in drought-prone areas, especially in Karnataka, 5300 crores shall be allocated to save people from such calamities.
- Poor persons in prison shall also be extended a helping hand to improve.
- Infrastructure and Investment
The FM Nirmala Sitharam considering the worthy changes in the economy with the introduction of multiple development projects said ‘ an addition to CAPEX funding for infrastructure development shall be undertaken for up to Rs 10 lakh crore.
Some inclusive policies for infrastructure and investment will also include :
- Easy access to interest-free loans to states, capex addon of Rs 2.4 crore for railways, financing of 100+ infrastructural projects with 75000 crores shall be done.
- Improving air connectivity at regional grounds,50 additional airports, heliports, water aero domes, and landing zones will be established.
- Better flow of waste and waste management shall be done through desludging septic tanks facilitating smooth sewer movements for the general public.
- To lift AI technology in different universities, different centers of excellence in AI will be established.
- For facilitating a smooth transition from 4G to 5G, 100+ labs will be established.
- Urban Infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities shall be undertaken through priority sector landing managed by the National Housing bank.
- Unleashing the potential
For leaving no opportunity in the tech space, the Union Budget was made inclusive of the programs which can unleash the potential of different sectors, employees, and tech. The following initiatives were announced to unleash the potential of the untouched :
- Under Mission Karmayogi – with the online training platform iGOT Karmayogi, continuous learning support and capacity-building plans will be introduced for Civil servants and government employees of the country.
- For the vision of Making AI (Artificial intelligence in India) or making AI work for India, three centers of excellence will be formed with a few academic institutions. Along with this, National Data Government Policy will be introduced for startups and academies for enabling access to anonymized data.
- The State Support Mission of Niti Aayog will be upheld for 3 more years.
- Youth Power
Focused on skill development and job creation at scale, the Union Budget 2023 was made inclusive of the following policies for the Amrit Peedhi of the country :
- Formulation of theNational Education Policywill be undertaken for better education. The PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will be launched aiming at job creation and skill development.
- New age coding skills including AI, Robotics, the course on mechatronics, IOT, 3D Printing, drones, and soft skills shall be provided with on-the-job training partnering with different industries.
- Job and Opportunity access in the international market shall be provided by forming 30 International centers in different states.
- Stipend mechanism and direct benefit transfer shall also be provided through a National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme for 47 lakh youth beneficiaries in India.
- Green growth
To make India a global hub of millets (Bajra), the Indian Institute of Millet Research will be extended support and be recognized as a center of excellence. With improved research and technology, the aim is to reach the international market and leverage the millet industry. The key focus areas under this initiative shall also include :
- Upscaling the dairy, fisheries, and Animal husbandry industry with an addition to the agricultural credit target of Rs 20 lakh crore. Establishing stable value chains for all these targeted investments of Rs 6000 crore shall also be granted.
- The initiatives planned for green growth, green energy, and green mobility, the government will also come up with numerous policies for eliminating carbon emissions and building jobs with green sector development.
- Financial Sector
The core segment of the budget will take ahead better use of technology and implementation of the reforms through balanced financial inclusion among the sectors and their policies. The measures proposed under these segments included :
- Improved Credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, with outlay inclusion of 9000 crores from 1st April 2024.
- Promotion of Domestic tourism through Dekho Apna Desh Initiative.
- For an effective flow of credit, National Financial Information Registry will be placed assuring financial stability and additional support shall be provided to SEBI, to control, regulate and maintain standards or norms in the securities market through certifications, diplomas, etc.
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