FM Nirmala Sitharaman unveils Budget 2023 on a positive note; identifies growth areas for India
Presenting the BJP government's final Budget before the general election next year, Sitharaman declared it the “first budget of Amrit Kaal”.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled Budget 2023 on an optimistic note, stating that despite facing challenges, the Indian economy is on a positive trajectory towards a prosperous future.
"Today, Indians stand with their head held high and the world appreciates India's achievements and successes," she said while presenting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's final Budget before the general election next year.
Declaring Budget 2023 as the “first budget of Amrit Kaal”, Sitharaman outlined seven priorities, terming those as saptarishis after the seven great sages of Hindu mythology:
- Inclusive development
- Reaching the last mile
- Investment and infrastructure
- Unleashing the potential
- Green growth
- Youth power
- Financial power
Amrit Kaal, a term coined by PM Modi, refers to the next 25 years leading to India’s 100th year of Independence, which the Prime Minister says can be used to turn India into a developed country.
Sitharaman also called out four opportunities to catalyse the Indian economy:
- Economic empowerment of women by creating self-help groups (SHGs) and producer enterprises or collectives
- Supporting traditional artisans and craftsmen via a new package
- Boosting tourism and employing youth
- And focusing on green fuels, buildings, farming, mobility, etc., to provide large-scale green job opportunities.
For startups, Sitharaman's opening remarks outlined the setting up of agriculture-focused startup incubation centres, supporting tech-driven and knowledge-based enterprises, and supporting entrepreneurship via skilling centres that will focus on pertinent, latest technologies, including AI/ML, IoT, mechatronics.
The finance minister displayed equanimity in the face of the impending recession, choosing to emphasise growth sectors for India instead. The creation of jobs for the youth and the provision of reskilling opportunities were prioritised in Budget 2023, widely anticipated to have a populist slant in the run-up to next year's general election.
Edited by Megha Reddy