Updated February 1st, 2024 at 10:46 IST
Interim Budget 2024: Akash Jindal highlights India's strides in improved standard of living
The economist affirmed that, despite global challenges such as recession and war in various parts of the world, India is still growing.
Interim Budget 2024: As the nation eagerly awaited the unveiling of the interim budget by Finance Minister Sitaram, economist Akash Jindal shed light on several positive economic indicators during an exclusive conversation with Republic Business. Jindal highlighted the improvement in the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) and the overall standard of living.
"24 crore 80 lakh people have moved out of MPI in the past 9 years, signifying positive changes in the quality of life for a significant portion of the population, as they are getting better health facilities and education facilities," Jindal said.
India defies odds
He asserted that despite global challenges, including recessions and conflicts in various parts of the world, India continues to experience economic growth.
"India has demonstrated robust economic growth, surpassing other major economies with a 7.8 per cent expansion in the first quarter and 7.6 per cent in the second quarter," he added.
Jindal cited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projection of 6.7 per cent growth for India, making it the fastest-growing major economy. He emphasised that India is now the fifth-largest economy globally, with a promising trajectory of 6.5 per cent growth for next 2 years.
Jindal highlighted that everyday individuals, including labourers, are now accessing employment opportunities. He said, "The 10 lakh crore capital expenditure undertaken last year is benefiting the common man – the labourer earning Rs 800 per day is securing employment."
India is poised to become a $5 trillion economy, with a projected escalation to $7 trillion by 2030 and $10 trillion by 2035, as affirmed by global experts.
Bold budget hopes
Jindal outlined his expectations, saying, "I anticipate the possibility of an additional exemption of Rs 50,000 in personal income tax. Furthermore, an increment of Rs 25,000 for standard deduction and an additional Rs 25,000 for health insurance are on my radar. Additionally, I foresee a significant deduction in excise for petrol and diesel, around Rs 5, as a substantial measure to curb inflation."
Jindal emphasised, "Our growth is attributed to capital expenditure and infrastructure investment – the magical reasons behind our expansion. Last year witnessed a substantial Rs 10 lakh crore in capital expenditure. My prediction for the upcoming fiscal year is an increased capex ranging between Rs 11 lakh to Rs 12 lakh crore".
Additionally, Jindal defended demonetisation, saying that its long-term benefits are now evident, with India becoming the third-largest digital economy.
Published February 1st, 2024 at 10:40 IST