Saptarishi Priorities? ? Budget 2023-24

‘Saptarishi Priorities’ – Budget 2023-24

News: The FM in her Budget speech announced for Saptarishi Targets or 7 priorities that the government envisages in Amrit Kaal of Bharat.

• The FM called this as the first Budget in Amrit Kaal. The vision for the Amrit Kaal is an empowered and inclusive economy that is technology-driven and knowledge-based with a robust financial sector.
• The Budget identifies 4 transformative opportunities to be leveraged before reaching India@100 - Economic Empowerment of Women through SHGs, PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM VIKAS), Tourism Promotion in Mission Mode and Green Growth.

What are the Saptarishi Priorities?

Priority 1 – Inclusive Development (Agriculture, Health, Education)

• Digital public infrastructure for agriculture - It will be built as an open-source, open-standard and interoperable public good. It will help farmers in terms of Crop planning, improved access to farm inputs, credit and insurance.
• Agri-Credit - Agriculture credit target to be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore with focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries. A new sub-scheme of PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with targeted investment of Rs 6,000 crore to be launched for fishermen, fish vendors and MSMEs.
• Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Programme will be launched to boost availability of disease-free, quality planting material for high value horticultural crops at an outlay of Rs 2,200 crore.
• Global Hub for Millets ‘SHREE ANNA’ - The Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be supported as the Centre of Excellence for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level.
• Agri-Cooperatives - To fulfil the vision of \'Sahakar Se Samriddhi\', the Government plans to establish decentralized storage capacity and set up multiple cooperative societies in uncovered villages over the next 5 years.
• Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be set-up to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas.

• 157 new nursing colleges will be established (in co-location with the existing 157 medical colleges)
• To promote R&D in pharmaceuticals through centres of excellence.
• A Mission to eliminate Sickle Cell Anaemia by 2047 will be launched to enable awareness, screening of 7 crore people (0-40 years age group) and counselling.


Priority 2 – Reaching the Last Mile (Tribal Welfare, Water, Housing, Criminal Justice System, Languages and Inscriptions)

Tribal Welfare:
• Aspirational Block Programme - The government had recently launched the Aspirational Blocks Programme covering 500 blocks for saturation of essential government services across multiple domains.
• Eklavya Model Residential Schools - Centre will recruit 38,800 teachers and support staff for the 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, serving 3.5 lakh tribal students.
• Pradhan Mantri PVTG Development Mission - It will provide PVTG families and habitations with basic facilities such as safe housing, clean drinking water and sanitation, improved access to education, health etc.

• In the drought prone central region of Karnataka, central assistance of Rs 5,300 crore will be given to the Upper Bhadra Project to provide sustainable micro irrigation and filling up of surface tanks for drinking water.

• The outlay for PM Awas Yojana is being enhanced by 66% to over Rs 79,000 crore.

Criminal Justice System:
• The government will provide support poor prisoners who are unable to afford the penalty or the bail amount, required financial support will be provided. For quick delivery of justice, phase 3 of E-courts project will be launched.

Languages and Inscriptions:
• A ‘Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions (Bharat SHRI)’ will be set up in a digital epigraphy museum, with digitization of 1 lakh ancient inscriptions in the first stage.

Priority 3 – Infrastructure and Investments 

Capital Investment as the driver of Growth and jobs:

• Capital investment outlay has been increased steeply for the third year in a row by 33 per cent to 10 lakh crore (3.3 per cent of GDP)—almost three times that of 2019-20.

Support to State Governments for Cap-Investment:
• The Government has decided to continue the 50- year interest free loan to state governments for one more year to spur investment in infrastructure and to incentivize them for complementary policy actions.

Effective Capital Expenditure (through grant-in-aid to states):
• Budgeted at 13.7 lakh crore (4.5 per cent of GDP)

• A capital outlay of Rs 2.40 lakh crore has been provided for the Railways - the highest ever outlay and about 9 times the outlay made in 2013- 14.

• 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advanced landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity.

Enhancing Opportunities for Private Investment in Infrastructure
• It will be done through the newly established Infrastructure Finance Secretariat.

Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure:
• The sectors eligible for financial assistance from IIFCL are the Harmonized list of infrastructure e.g., transportation, energy, water, etc. It will be reviewed by an expert committee.

Lab Grown Diamonds:
• To encourage indigenous production of LGD, and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years.

Sustainable Cities of Tomorrow:
• States and cities will be encouraged to make ‘sustainable cities of tomorrow’ meaning the efficient use of land resources, transit-oriented development, and opportunities for all.

Urban Sanitation:
• All cities and towns will be enabled for 100 per cent mechanical desludging of septic tanks and sewers to transition from manhole to machine-hole mode. The enhanced focus will be provided for the scientific management of dry and wet waste.

Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF):
• UIDF for urban areas on the lines of RIDF. UIDF will be established through use of Priority Sector Lending shortfall and will be carried out by National Housing Board.

• 100 critical transport infrastructure projects, for last and first-mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and food grains sectors have been identified.

Priority 4 – Unleashing the Potential (AI, Governance, Digitization)

• National Data Governance Policy - To facilitate innovation and research by start-ups and academia, a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out, which will enable access to anonymized data.
• The KYC process will be simplified by adopting a ‘risk-based’ instead of a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
• PAN will be used as the common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies.
• To enhance ease of doing business, more than 39,000 compliances have been reduced and more than 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalised under the amendments to the Companies Act 2013.
• To further the trust-based governance, the Government introduced the Jan Vishwas Bill to amend 42 Central Acts.

Artificial Intelligence:
• Centres of Excellence for AI – Three such centres to be setup in top educational institutes.

• 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions.
• An Entity Digi Locker will be set up for use by MSMEs, large businesses and charitable trusts, to share documents online securely, whenever needed by authorities.

Priority 5 – Green Growth (National Green Hydrogen Mission, GOBARdhan scheme, Green Credit Programme, MISHTI, Battery Energy Storage Projects)

GOBARdhan Scheme:
• 500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme will be established for promoting a circular economy.

MISHTI initiative:
• Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’ will be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan.

Green Credit Programme:
• For encouraging behavioural change by companies, individuals and local bodies, a Green Credit Programme will be notified under the Environment (Protection) Act.

Battery Energy Storage Projects:
• Battery Energy Storage Systems with the capacity of 4,000 MWH will be supported with Viability Gap Funding.
• A detailed framework for Pumped Storage Projects will also be formulated.

Amrit Dharohar:
• It will encourage the optimal use of wetlands, and enhance bio-diversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities for the next 3 years.

Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres:
• Over the next 3 years, the Centre will facilitate 1 crore farmers to adopt natural farming by setting up 10,000 Bio-Input Resource Centres, creating a national-level distributed micro-fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network.

Priority 6 – Youth Power

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0:
• Launched to skill lakhs of youth within next 3 years and new age courses such as Industry 4.0 (robotics, IOT, 3D printing) will be covered.
• 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different States

Unity Mall:
• States will be encouraged to set up a Unity Mall in their state capital/important cities or most prominent tourism centre for the promotion and sale of their own ODOPs (one district, one product), GI products and other handicraft products, and for providing space for such products of all other States.

Priority 7 – Financial sector

Data Embassy:
• The government will facilitate the setting up of Data Embassies in GIFT IFSC, Gandhinagar.

• Improved Governance and investor protection in banking sector. Certain amendments proposed in Banking Regulation Act, Companies Act and RBI act.

Financial Schemes:
• Mahila Samman Savings Certificate
• Senior Citizen Savings Scheme - The maximum deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme will be enhanced from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.

Securities Market:
• Central Data Processing Centre - It will be set up for faster response to companies through centralized handling of various forms filed with field offices under the Companies Ac.
• SEBI will be empowered to develop, regulate, maintain and enforce norms and standards for education in the National Institute of Securities Markets and to recognize the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates.

What is the status of Fiscal Management?
• The Indian Finance Minister stated that all states must utilize their fifty-year loan for capital expenses by the end of 2023-24.
• States are allowed to have a deficit of 3.5% of their Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), with 0.5% of this amount specifically designated for power sector reforms.

Revised Estimates 2022-23:
• Total receipts, (excluding borrowings): Rs 24.3 lakh crore
• Net tax receipt: Rs 20.9 lakh crore.
• Total expenditure: Rs 41.9 lakh crore
• Capital expenditure: Rs 7.3 lakh crore

Budget Estimates 2023-24:
• Total estimated receipts (excluding borrowings): Rs 27.2 lakh crore,
• Total estimated expenditure: Rs 45 lakh crore.
• Net tax receipts: Rs 23.3 lakh crore.
• Fiscal deficit - 5.9% of GDP.
• To finance the fiscal deficit in 2023-24, the net market borrowings from dated securities are estimated at Rs 11.8 lakh crore.
• The gross market borrowings are estimated at Rs 15.4 lakh crore.
• Also, the government is committed to sticking to this plan to reduce the fiscal deficit to below 4.5% by 2025-26.

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