Budget 2024: A Beginners Guide To The Union Budget

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget for 2024-2025, the first of the National Democratic Alliance government's third term, on July 23, 2024. The Budget Session is scheduled to start on July 22 and end on August 12.

Budget 2024: A Beginners Guide To The Union Budget

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget for 2024-2025, the first of the National Democratic Alliance government's third term, on July 23, 2024. The Budget Session is scheduled to start on July 22 and end on August 12.

The Union Budget is the annual financial statement presented by the Government of India, detailing its expected revenues and expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year, as mandated by Article 112 of the Constitution of India.

Article 112 states, "The President shall, in respect of every financial year, cause to be laid before both Houses of Parliament a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for that year."

Even though Article 112 mentions the President, in practice, it is the Finance Minister who presents the Union Budget in Parliament. The President acts as the head of state but doesn't directly participate in day-to-day governance. The Council of Ministers, led by the Prime Minister, is responsible for executing the government's functions.

Here are 10 key points about the Union Budget, explained in a beginner-friendly way:

1. The Union Budget is an annual financial plan presented by the Government of India, outlining its income and expenses for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from April 1 to March 31.

2. The Union Budget is presented by the Finance Minister of India in Parliament, usually on the first day of February every year. However, in election years, a two-part approach is adopted. An interim budget is presented before the Lok Sabha election, followed by a full budget after the election results are announced.

3. The government generates revenue through taxes (income tax, GST, etc), loans and other sources like dividends from public sector companies.

4. The Budget outlines expenses in various sectors like defence, education, healthcare, infrastructure and subsidies.

5. The fiscal deficit is the difference between the government's total expenditure and its total revenue. Simply put, a fiscal deficit is when the government spends more than it earns, leading to a shortage. The government makes up for this shortfall by borrowing, printing more money or using saved funds.

6. The budget allocation refers to the distribution of funds to various ministries and departments for their respective schemes and programs.

7. There are two budgets - Revenue Budget (day-to-day expenses) and Capital Budget (long-term investments).

8. The budget can affect citizens through changes in taxes, prices of essential goods and funding for public services.

9. The budget is prepared through a series of discussions, meetings and consultations between various government departments and stakeholders.

10. The Union Budget is important as it plays an important role in shaping the country's economic growth, development and social welfare initiatives.