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Budget 2024-2025: Key takeaways from FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s interim budget speech

According to Sitharaman, India’s economy, which is the fastest growing among major nations, is experiencing significant transformation.

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The key takeaways from the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s interim budget 2024-2025 speech are:

  1. The government aims to make the country Viksit Bharat by 2047. Our Government is working with an approach to development that is all-round, all-pervasive and all-inclusive, Sitharaman said.
  2. PM-SVANidhi has provided credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors.  From that total, 2.3 lakh have received credit for the third time, she said.
  3. India’s economy, the fastest growing among major nations, is going through profound change, Sitharaman said.
  4. The government is focused on more comprehensive GDP, governance, development, and performance, Sitharaman said.
  5. The Finance Minister said PM-JANMAN Yojana reaches out to the particularly vulnerable tribal groups, who have remained outside the realm of development so far.
  6. The government has lifted 250 million people out of poverty in a decade. The crop insurance scheme aims to benefit 40 million farmers.
  7. PM-Vishwakarma Yojana provides end-to-end support to artisans and craftspeople engaged in 18 trades. The schemes for empowerment of Divyangs and Transgender persons reflect the firm resolve of our Government to leave no one behind, she said.
  8. According to Sitharaman, India’s economy, which is the fastest growing among major nations, is experiencing significant transformation.
  9. Sitharaman stated that the government is prioritizing a holistic GDP approach, encompassing governance, development, and performance.
  10. Tax reforms have widened the tax base and increased tax collections, Sitharaman said.
  11. The government will launch a new scheme to strengthen deep tech for defence purposes.
  12. The success of self-help groups empowered 1 crore women to become Lakhpati Didis, the government says while presenting Budget 2024.
  13. Tax benefits for startups and investments made by sovereign wealth and pension funds will be extended until March 2025, she said.
  14. Sitharaman said the government will focus on improving tourist infrastructure in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
  15. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her interim Budget 2024 speech that the government will make substantial investments in the country’s tourism sector.
  16. Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will be building 20 million affordable houses in the next five years, alongside the 30 million houses already constructed.

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PM Modi greets nation on Ram Navmi, says Ayodhya is in incomparable bliss

PM Modi also recalled the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the country today on the occasion of Ram Navami. He said that Ayodhya is experiencing incomparable bliss as this is the first time the festival is being observed there following the consecration of the Ram temple.

He said in a series of posts on X that this is the result of the nation’s citizens’ years of hard labor and sacrifice.

Ram Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Ram, and a temple was just dedicated in Ayodhya at the place of his purported birth.

Together with a huge number of people, Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude and overwhelm at being present for the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya.

He claimed that the same energy still pulses through his memory of that particular moment.

Indians have a strong emotional attachment to Lord Ram. Ram Navami is also a moment to honour and remember the saints and devotees who gave their lives to build the Ayodhya temple, according to Prime Minister Modi.

Following the official opening of the Ram Mandir, Ayodhya has been decorated to greet worshipers on the first Ram Navami.

Vibrant lights have been used to brighten the entire temple complex. The Janmabhoomi Path has a crimson carpet spread on it to make it easier for devotees to walk about in the intense heat. For the comfort of devotees, carpets have also been installed inside the temple premises.

To shield devotees from the sun, a permanent canopy has been installed on the Janmabhoomi Path, while a temporary cover has also been installed on the Bhakti Path. In addition, the Ayodhya administration has installed assistance booths at 29 locations throughout the Mela region, extending from Tedhi Bazar to Naya Ghat.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., the eagerly awaited Surya Abhishek of Ram Lalla will take place. The celestial event will run for four minutes. The Sun’s rays will create a 75 mm tilak on Ram Lalla’s forehead during this time.

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India News

Gujarat Jain couple donate Rs 200 crore wealth, renounce world

The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners.

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A Gujarat-based businessman and his wife have donated their lifetime earnings of Rs 200 crore and have taken the decision to renounce all materialistic desires to become Jain monks. In February this year, Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife donated all their wealth during a ceremony. The Bhandari family, which hails from Himmatnagar, has been in the construction business. The family decided to follow in the footsteps of their 16-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, who adopted monkhood in 2022.

Bhavesh Bhandari, who belongs to a Jain family, had been a part of construction business in Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha and was accustomed to a life of luxury and prosperity from a young age. The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners. A short video clip from the event shows the couple wearing regal attire on top of a chariot and making donations. Adorned in rich attire and jewellery, they stood atop a truck adorned to resemble a chariot, tossing garments and banknotes to the people standing below,

After the couple made their pledge on April 22 to adopt monkhood, the couple is going to break all familial relations and renounce any material possessions and desires. Afterwards, they will begin a barefoot journey across India and will sustain themselves solely on alms.

According to reports the couple will be allowed to own two white garments, an alms bowl, and a rajoharan, a white broom used by Jain monks to clear insects from an area before sitting — a symbol of the non-violent path which they follow. In a similar incident in January, the 8-year-old daughter of a Gujarati diamond merchant renounced material comforts and worldly desires to embrace monkhood. Devanshi Sanghv had participated in a grand procession with camels, elephants, horses and great fanfare before embracing a life of monkhood.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP releases 12th list of candidates, Udayanraje Bhonsle to contest from Satara

The BJP on Tuesday released its 12th list of seven candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

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The 12th list of seven candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which are scheduled to start on Friday, was announced by the BJP on Tuesday. Among the seven candidates is Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who will contest from Satara, Maharashtra, and Abhijit Das Bobby, who represents Diamond Harbour in West Bengal.

The current MP for the Trinamool Congress, Abhishek Banerjee, has been paired against Abhijit Das Bobby, who contested unsuccessfully for the Diamond Harbour seat in the general elections of 2009 and 2014.

Abhishek Banerjee won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with 40.31 percent of the vote, while Abhijit Das secured 15.92 percent of the vote to finish third. Dr. Abul Hasnat of CPI(M), who received 34.66% of the vote, came in second.

With 7,91,127 votes, the leader of the Trinamool Congress party was able to hold onto the seat in 2019. Nilanjan Roy of the BJP received 4,70,533 votes, while Fuad Halim of the CPI(M) secured third place with 93,941 votes.

The 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, is another prominent figure on the list. He is contesting for the Satara Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra as a member of the BJP.

In the 2019 by-election, Bhosale—a former leader of the NCP who joined the BJP in 2022—lost the seat. There has been a back-and-forth in the seat on the Lok Sabha election candidate between the BJP and NCP.

Shashikant Shinde has received his ticket from the NCP (SP).

Shashank Mani Tripathi from Deoria and Thakur Vishwadeep Singh from Firozabad are the final candidates on the BJP’s 12th list.

In Uttar Pradesh, there are two seats.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Som Prakash’s wife Anita Som Prakash, who is a resident of Punjab, will contest for the Hoshiarpur seat in lieu of her husband.

Manjeet Singh Manna Miawind from Khadoor Sahib and Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda are the other two candidates, both of whom are from Punjab.

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