Three-pronged focus driven by four transformative opportunities: Seven priorities to act as ‘saptarishi’ to guide vision
GN Bureau | February 1, 2023
Union Budget 2023-24, presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Wednesday, outlined the vision of Amrit Kaal which shall reflect an empowered and inclusive economy. “We envision a prosperous and inclusive India, in which the fruits of development reach all regions and citizens, especially our youth, women, farmers, OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” the finance minister said.
Vision for Amrit Kaal – an empowered and inclusive economy
The FM said that the vision for the Amrit Kaal includes “technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances, and a robust financial sector”. To achieve this, Jan Bhagidari through Sabka Saath Sabka Prayas is essential, she added.
The economic agenda for achieving this vision would focus on three priorities:
facilitating ample opportunities for citizens, especially the youth, to fulfil their aspirations;
providing strong impetus to growth and job creation; and
strengthening macro-economic stability
To service these focus areas in country’s journey to India@100, the budget identifies four transformative opportunities:-
Economic Empowerment of Women through SHGs:
Noting that the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission has achieved remarkable success by mobilizing rural women into 81 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs), the FM stated that “We will enable these groups to reach the next stage of economic empowerment through formation of large producer enterprises or collectives with each having several thousand members and managed professionally. They will be helped with supply of raw materials and for better design, quality, branding and marketing of their products.” Through supporting policies, they will be enabled to scale up their operations to serve the large consumer markets, as has been the case with several start-ups growing into ‘Unicorns’, she added.
PM VIshwakarma KAushal Samman (PM VIKAS):
The FM announced a new scheme for the traditional artisans and craftspeople, generally referred to as Vishwakarma. Noting that the art and handicraft created by them represent the true spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat, for the first time, a package of assistance for them has been conceptualized.
The new scheme will:-
(a) enable them to improve the quality, scale and reach of their products, integrating them with the MSME value chain
(b) include not only financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques and efficient green technologies, brand promotion, linkage with local and global markets, digital payments, and social security
(c) greatly benefit the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, women and people belonging to the weaker sections.
Tourism Promotion in Mission Mode:
Underlining the immense tourism potential the country offers for domestic as well as foreign tourists, the FM stated that “The sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth in particular and there is a large potential to be tapped in tourism.” She announced that promotion of tourism will be taken up on mission mode, with active participation of states, convergence of government programmes and public-private partnerships.
The FM emphasized the focus of the Government on green growth efforts that help in reducing carbon intensity of the economy and provides for largescale green job opportunities. She noted that “We are implementing many programmes for green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment, and policies for efficient use of energy across various economic sectors.”
Saptarishi: Seven guiding priorities of Budget 2023-24
The FM announced the first budget in Amrit Kaal will be guided by seven priorities that complement each other and act as the ‘Saptarishi’.
1) Inclusive Development
2) Reaching the Last Mile
3) Infrastructure and Investment
4) Unleashing the Potential
5) Green Growth
6) Youth Power
7) Financial Sector
Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas
A key theme of Union Budget 2023-24 is the focus on inclusive development. Sitharaman pointed out “The Government’s philosophy of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas has facilitated inclusive development covering in specific, farmers, women, youth, OBCs, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, divyangjan and economically weaker sections, and overall priority for the underprivileged (vanchiton ko variyata).” There has also been a sustained focus on Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and the North-East. This Budget builds on those efforts, she highlighted.
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