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Interim Budget 2024: Your Dictionary for All Key Terms

The Interim Budget for 2024, to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2024, holds significance as it precedes the upcoming general elections later in the year. Understanding the key terms associated with the budget is essential for gaining insights into the government’s expenditure plans for the next financial year.

1. Union Budget (Annual Financial Statement):

    • Definition: The Union Budget, also known as the Annual Financial Statement (AFS), is a comprehensive presentation of the government’s expenditure and receipts during a fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
    • Approval: The budget estimates for the upcoming fiscal year must be sanctioned by Parliament to enable the government to utilize funds from the Consolidated Fund of India.

2. Economic Survey:

    • Role: A flagship document of the finance ministry, the Economic Survey is presented annually ahead of the Union Budget.
    • Contents: It provides detailed information about the Indian economy, including the economic outlook and the impact of government decisions. Prepared by a team led by the Chief Economic Advisor, it serves as a valuable resource for understanding economic affairs.

3. Inflation:

    • Measurement: Usually expressed in percentages, inflation quantifies the rate at which products and services in an economy increase over time.
    • Significance: A rise in inflation reflects a decrease in currency value and purchasing power, influencing the central bank’s policies.

4. Fiscal Policy:

    • Definition: Fiscal policy outlines estimated taxation and government spending, serving as a key instrument to monitor the country’s economic position.
    • Role: It includes adjustments in spending levels and tax rates to influence economic conditions, often working alongside monetary policy controlled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

5. Fiscal Deficit:

    • Meaning: When a government’s total expenditure exceeds total revenue, excluding external borrowings.
    • Importance: Maintaining a healthy fiscal deficit ratio is crucial, especially for developing countries like India, to meet revenue and capital expenditure needs.

6. Divestment:

    • Process: Involves the sale of existing assets, opposite of investment.
    • Context: The government aims to divest assets that have become financially challenging over the years.

7. Capital Expenditure (Capex):

    • Definition: Funds used by the government to acquire, maintain, or upgrade physical assets such as property, infrastructure, or equipment.
    • Characteristics: Categorized as long-term expenditure, usually incurred for asset building and infrastructural projects.

8. Customs Duty:

    • Levy: Charged when certain goods are imported/exported, not covered by Goods and Services Tax (GST).
    • Significance: Can be subject to changes announced in the budget, affecting various sectors.

9. Goods and Services Tax (GST):

    • Announcements: Changes to GST are not made in the budget but fall under the jurisdiction of the GST Council.

10. Direct Tax (Income Tax):

    • Components: Includes income tax and corporate tax.
    • Expectations: Major announcements related to income tax are not anticipated, but minor adjustments may occur.

11. Current Account Deficit (CAD):

    • Measurement: Indicates when the value of imported goods and services exceeds the value of exports.
    • Importance: A component of the country’s balance of payments, reflecting trade imbalances.

12. Revenue Deficit:

    • Definition: Occurs when the government’s net income or revenue generation is less than the projected amount.
    • Indicator: Highlights overspending on regular income compared to budget estimates.

13. Revenue Surplus:

    • Opposite: A situation where the government’s net realized income exceeds the projected amount.
    • Outcome: Indicates that actual revenue and expenditure surpass budget estimates.

14. Plan and Non-plan Expenditure:

    • Components: Expenditure is divided into plan and non-plan categories.
    • Plan Expenditure: Determined after discussions with stakeholders or ministries.
    • Non-plan Expenditure: Involves recurring expenses like interest payments, statutory transfers, pension payments, and government salaries. Debt servicing, defense expenditure, and interest payments are major expenses in this category.

Important Questions Related to Exams

1. What is the Union Budget also known as?

    • A) Financial Report
    • B) Economic Survey
    • C) Annual Financial Statement (AFS)
    • D) Monetary Overview

2. Who prepares the Economic Survey presented before the Union Budget?

    • A) Prime Minister
    • B) Chief Economic Advisor and team
    • C) Finance Minister
    • D) Reserve Bank of India

3. How is inflation measured?

    • A) In Kilograms
    • B) In Percentages
    • C) In Liters
    • D) In Currency Notes

4. What does Fiscal Policy outline?

    • A) Environmental Regulations
    • B) Taxation and Government Spending
    • C) Social Welfare Programs
    • D) Foreign Relations

5. What is Fiscal Deficit?

    • A) Government savings
    • B) Excess government revenue
    • C) Total expenditure exceeding revenue
    • D) External borrowings

6. What is the opposite of Divestment?

    • A) Investment
    • B) Dividend
    • C) Acquisition
    • D) Asset Growth

7. What does Capital Expenditure refer to?

    • A) Daily Expenses
    • B) Short-term Investments
    • C) Long-term Assets
    • D) Import Taxes

8. Which sector eagerly awaits announcements on Customs Duty during the budget?

    • A) Education
    • B) Healthcare
    • C) Manufacturing
    • D) Agriculture

9. Where are changes to Goods and Services Tax (GST) announced?

    • A) Union Budget
    • B) State Budget
    • C) GST Council
    • D) Economic Survey

10. What do Direct Taxes include?

    • A) Sales Tax
    • B) Property Tax
    • C) Income Tax and Corporate Tax
    • D) Excise Duty

11. What does Current Account Deficit (CAD) measure?

    • A) Budget Surplus
    • B) Trade Imbalances
    • C) National Savings
    • D) Government Debt

12. When does Revenue Deficit occur?

    • A) When expenses match revenue
    • B) When expenses exceed revenue
    • C) When revenue exceeds expenses
    • D) Annually

13. What is Revenue Surplus indicative of?

    • A) Budget Overspending
    • B) Efficient Financial Management
    • C) Excessive Borrowing
    • D) Budget Deficit

14. What does Non-plan Expenditure primarily include?

    • A) Infrastructure Development
    • B) Capital Investments
    • C) Recurring Expenses
    • D) Social Welfare Programs


Please provide your answers in the comment section!!

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