Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Interim Budget 2024 in the Lok Sabha, at Parliament House in New Delhi, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.
| Photo Credit: PTI
Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) through Jan Dhan accounts, totalling up to Rs 34 lakh crore, have translated into savings of Rs 2.7 lakh crore for the government, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated in her budget speech. Ms Sitharaman added that with earlier prevalent leakages being addressed, this meant more funds could be endowed towards PM Garib Kalyan Yojna.
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The interim Economic Survey (for Jan 2024) further informs that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) provided access to low-cost bank accounts to a large unbanked population. Further, the DBT eased the transfer of the benefits from varied govt schemes directly to the eligible beneficiaries’ bank account. “This has narrowed the rural-urban divide and increased the aspirations of the rural population, leading to higher spending on aspirational goods,” adding, “The all-inclusive welfare approach of the government will further contribute to increase of the consumption base through the expansion of the middle class.”
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Earlier, unrelatedly, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that social justice was not just a political slogan for the government, but an “effective and necessary governance model”.
Ms Sitharaman is presenting her sixth budget, the latest being interim citing its occurrence in the election year.