“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” famously said Peter Drucker, a renowned management consultant and author.

Along the same lines, how do you see India in 2047, the centenary year of Independence? What kinds of changes would you like to see by then? Take a pause and think.

Should there be only electric and auto-driving cars? Should all the major cities have metro trains? Should there be bullet trains between major cities? I think digital proliferation would have achieved its advanced level and artificial intelligence (AI) would have overtaken mundane tasks. Quantum computers will be operational. We need to crystal-gaze to find how the world, and specifically India would look like over 23 years down the line. What suddenly took me to the future is the government’s vision for 2047 — Viksit Bharat.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her interim Budget speech on Thursday, presented a solid vision for a developed nation.

Government’s vision for Viksit Bharat

“We are working to make India a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. For achieving that goal, we need to improve people’s capability and empower them,” the finance minister said.

The government’s vision for Viksit Bharat is a prosperous Bharat in harmony with nature, modern infrastructure and opportunities for all citizens.

The government thinks that the next five years will be years of unprecedented development and the golden moments to realise the dream of developed India @2047. The trinity of demography, democracy and diversity will play a pivotal role. Sky’s the limit as there is no dearth of opportunities.

The government is already taking steps towards its vision as it has crafted four pillars for Viksit Bharat.

It has made a provision of Rs 75,000 crore for 50-year interest-free loans to states to support milestone-linked reforms by states, as part of its vision towards turning a developed nation.

The Prime Minister too had spoken about the 2047 goal last month and the government hopes to present the vision in full Budget in June.

The Budget 2024

Despite general elections around the corner, the finance minister did not choose the path of populism but focused on fiscal consolidation.

The Finance Minister has pegged the revised estimate of revenue receipts at Rs 30 lakh crore, which means by March 2024-end it expects to receive Rs 30 lakh crore through direct and indirect taxes, as against the expectation of Rs 27 lakh crore at the start of the year in the Budget estimates. This is because of tax buoyancy, strong growth momentum and formalisation in the economy. Higher revenue receipts have helped the finance minister to bring down the fiscal deficit to 5.8 per cent for FY24 and peg it at 5.1% for the next year, which is a significant achievement. This means the government is successfully bridging the gap between what it earns as revenues and what it spends.

In a double bonanza of sorts, the FM also decided to boost its capital expenditure this year while successfully keeping the fiscal deficit under a lid.

It plans to spend Rs 11.1 lakh crore on capital expenditure in an election year, which is a big increase over this fiscal’s Rs 10 lakh crore spend. Remember, higher capital expenditure has a multiplier impact on economic growth and employment creation.

Moving Ahead

There are many segments where India is entrenching. While the FM highlighted various schemes like PMJDY, PM Swanidhi, Har Ghar Jal, and Electricity for all, she also highlighted India’s achievements in sports saying that the country has 86 Chess Grand Masters now.

Overall, I found it very impressive that the government is thinking of the next 23 years. It’s perhaps easy to think of the next 1-2 years, but long-term vision and plans need efforts and fortitude.

While we will need advanced developments and modern infrastructure in 2047, let’s not forget that we will need solutions to growing health problems, unpredictable medical conditions and climate change. In the digital world today, the biggest irony is that food and grocery delivery boys can reach faster but not ambulances. We should use artificial intelligence but we should not need to face a situation to use artificial oxygen.

(Editor’s Note is a column written by Amol Dethe, Editor, ET CFO. Click here to to read more of his articles exploring several buzzing topics.)

  • Published On Feb 2, 2024 at 08:54 AM IST

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