No cuts in Interim Budget allocations: Nirmala

The Asian Age.  | Madhusudan Sahoo

Business, Economy

The FM also said that prices of essentials have come down due to steps taken by the government to contain inflation

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi during a press conference, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Exuding confidence in India’s economic growth, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said that all the allocations have not been cut under any head in the interim Budget for 2024-25, rather it has either remained the same or gone up in FY25 Budget in the flagship schemes.

Besides, retail inflation has been stable, within the tolerance band of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), while labour force has gone up, unemployment rate has declined, she said while replying in Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha also passed the Rs 47.66-lakh-crore interim Budget 2024-25 of the Union government with a voice vote, approving the Rs 1.8 lakh crore budget of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a voice vote as well. The two budgets, along with the supplementary demands for grants and relevant appropriation bills, were piloted by Sitharman. “The fiscal deficit of the central government is proposed to be brought down to 5.1 per cent of the GDP during 2024-25,” the minister said while replying to the debate.

Concerned about the Centre not giving funds to states, Sitharaman said, “Whatever finance commission has recommended, I do follow it to the last word. As far as Karnataka is concerned, the state is receiving funds as per finance commission recommendation and on time as well. In addition, Karnataka has also been provided interest-free loans for 50 years for undertaking infrastructure development activities.”

Reeling out numbers, she said, as per the recommendation of 13th Finance Commission, Karnataka was given Rs 61,691 cr while Rs 1,51,309 crore were provided as recommended by 14th Finance Commission. “About Rs 1,29,854 cr has been provided to the state for four years as against the five-year term of 15th Finance Commission,” she replied on an allegation made by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah as ‘injustice’ meted out by the Centre on devolution of tax share to the state.

She also said that prices of essentials have come down due to steps taken by the government to contain inflation.