The Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Union Budget 2023 and the world is taking notice – While, India shines as a ‘bright star’ with an estimated 7% growth rate, outpacing major world economies.
This Amrit Kaal Budget, as we call it, has been lauded for its focus on people-centric reforms and policies, and rightly so, it has been rolling as a promising sign of India’s commitment to inclusive development.
Well, at the heart of this multi-faceted budget is the Jan Bhagidari initiative embodying the spirit of ‘Sabka Prayas, Sabka Vikas’, pointing at India’s roadmap to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, with its citizens as the prime stakeholders.
Jan Bhagidari – What makes it the ‘Citizens Voice’ in the choir of democracy?
Jan Bhagidari is a forward-thinking initiative that is all about putting the power back in the people’s hands and letting them sing their tune in the government’s decision-making process.
This initiative acknowledges the orchestration of collective wisdom and invites citizens to conduct their thoughts into the budget-making process through activities like public consultation, social audit, and citizen report cards. As for the government, it helps to understand the public’s preferences, needs, and opinions about the budget, upholding the ‘Amrit Kaal vision’ to a prosperous and inclusive India.
Picture India as a country where the melody of development reaches every corner and citizen, especially the youth, women, farmers, and marginalized communities. With Jan Bhagidari, this vision can become a reality.
As of today, India’s rising global profile is the testament of several accomplished symphonies, such as:
- the world-class digital public infrastructure,
- the Covid vaccination drive of unparalleled scale and speed; and
- the proactive role in frontier areas like the climate-related goals, mission LiFE, and National Hydrogen Mission.
None of which would have been possible without ‘Sabka Prayas’.
How does it shape the Amrit Kaal Budget 2023?
The vision for ‘Amrit Kaal’ is an economy powered by technology and knowledge, with sturdy public finances and a thriving financial sector. The Union Budget 2023 acts as a mirror to the government’s policy aspirations, fiscal position, and economic perspective. And with Jan Bhagidari, the government is hitting all the right notes by including the voices of every segment of society in the budget-making process.
Jan Bhagidari adds a rhythm of transparency to the budget-making process. It opens the doors for citizens to participate through online platforms, giving their feedback and inputs that can be used to craft a better budget. The initiative also brings accountability to the forefront by educating citizens on the budget and its impacts.
The Union Budget 2023 has set the tone, with its many initiatives aimed at fostering financial stability and personal relief. Tax slabs have been revised, deposit limits increased on the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS), a savings scheme for women, and an agriculture accelerator fund has been set up to finance high-value horticulture.
The government is also investing 22 billion rupees ($269 million) in horticulture, promising to boost the agricultural sector and has set a pace to increase digital payments through the UPI system.
Here’s a table summarizing the key aspects of the Jan Bhagidari initiative and its impact on the Union Budget 2023:
|Key Aspect of Jan Bhagidari
|Impact on Union Budget 2023
|Citizen participation in decision-making
|Ensures that budget reflects public preferences and needs
|Public consultation and social audit
|Increases transparency and accountability in the budget-making process
|Use of technology and social media
|Enhances citizen engagement and provides data for informed decision-making
|Focus on financial stability and inclusiveness
|Introduces initiatives aimed at promoting financial stability and inclusiveness for all citizens
|Citizen Report Cards
|Helps the government understand the preferences, needs, and opinions of citizens, allowing for better budget allocations.
Jan Bhagidari is more than just a campaign – It is a revolutionary effort that has for a change given the microphone to underrepresented communities and allowed the government to create a more fair and inclusive Union Budget. Not only that, the latest budget has several provisions that aim to enhance the economy in various sectors. Investments in capital goods, expansion of the rural economy, and incentives for eco-friendly energy and mobility are some of the ways the government plans to do so.
To provide relief to personal incomes, the budget announces new tax slabs for the new tax regime and increases the limit for tax exemption on leave encashment to ₹25 lakh. The government also kept the salaried and middle class in mind and has provided for higher basic exemption limits and proportionate benefits in higher slabs in the new tax regime.
This Amrit Kaal budget” can be seen as the realm towards Bharat’s vision to progress as the world’s largest economy in the Amrit Kaal, as voiced by many experts. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how it impacts the country’s progress and helps to close any existing economic gaps in the coming months.