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Union Budget 2024: Date, Timing, and Historical Context

Until 1999, the union budget in India was traditionally presented at 5 pm on the last working day of February. However, in late 1999, then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha proposed a shift to 11 am, a move aimed at allowing for same-day budget analysis. With approval, he became the first finance minister to present the union budget at 11 am. In 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley further altered the presentation date to February 1st, departing from the longstanding tradition introduced by the British India Company. Since then, the Union Budget has been presented annually on 1st February at 11 am in the Parliament.

Interim Budget for 2024

The upcoming Union Budget on 1st February 2024 marks the 15th interim budget. Given the imminent Lok Sabha elections in early 2024, this interim budget will serve to meet expenditures until the new government assumes power. Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, is set to present her 6th budget on this occasion.

Key Sectors and Projections

1. Infrastructure Sector:

The infrastructure sector in India is anticipated to achieve a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.57 percent from 2024 to 2029. With a focus on a US$5 trillion economy by 2025, there is a growing demand for efficient and cost-effective solutions in infrastructure development. The Asia-Pacific region, including India, is witnessing an increasing preference for green buildings. Measures such as reducing GST or providing incentives for incorporating pre-engineered buildings (PEBs) in government infrastructure projects could play a crucial role in advancing this objective.

2. Food and Fertilizer Sector:

For the fiscal year 2023-24, the government had allocated INR 1.75 trillion for fertilizer subsidies in the 2023 budget, with 55 percent of the amount expended within the initial five months. However, due to a significant decrease in international fertilizer prices leading up to the Rabi season, it is anticipated that the government may not allocate a higher budget for this purpose. Current estimations suggest that the fertilizer subsidy for the current year is expected to remain around INR 1.88 trillion.

Important Questions Related to Exams

1. When is the Union Budget presented annually in India?
a) 31st January
b) 1st February
c) Last working day of February
d) 15th March

2. Who proposed the change in Union Budget presentation time to 11 am in 1999?
a) Manmohan Singh
b) Yashwant Sinha
c) Arun Jaitley
d) P. Chidambaram

3. In which year did the Union Budget presentation date shift to 1st February?
a) 2000
b) 2010
c) 2017
d) 2020

4. What does an interim budget in India serve to address?
a) Long-term economic policies
b) Short-term expenditure until new government
c) Annual revenue projections
d) Fiscal deficit reduction

5. How many budgets has Nirmala Sitharaman presented as of the Union Budget 2024?
a) 2
b) 4
c) 6
d) 8

6. What is the projected CAGR for the infrastructure sector in India from 2024 to 2029?
a) 5.25%
b) 7.83%
c) 9.57%
d) 12.10%

Kindly share your responses in the comment section!!


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