Vikash Sharma

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a slew of measures while presenting the interim budget 2024 in the Parliament.

According to Sitharaman, three major economic railway corridor programmes will be implemented in the country.

These are:

Energy, mineral and cement corridors
Port connectivity corridors
High traffic density corridors

The Finance Minister further informed that the projects have been identified under the PM Gati Shakti for enabling multi-modal connectivity. They will improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost.

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“The resultant decongestion of the high-traffic corridors will also help in improving operations of passenger trains, resulting in safety and higher travel speed for passengers. Together with dedicated freight corridors, these three economic corridor programmes will accelerate our GDP growth and reduce logistic costs,”said Sitharaman.

Key Highlights

40,000 normal rail bogies will be converted to the Vande Bharat standards to enhance safety, convenience and comfort of passengers.
States will be encouraged to take up comprehensive development of iconic tourist centres, branding and marketing them at global scale. 
A framework for rating of the centres based on quality of facilities and services will be established. 
Long-term interest free loans will be provided to States for financing such development on matching basis.
To address the emerging fervour for domestic tourism, projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities will be taken up on our islands, including Lakshadweep.

Government will form a high-powered committee for an extensive consideration of the challenges arising from fast population growth and demographic changes.

Coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT will be set up by 2030.

A comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers will be formulated. Efforts are already on to control foot and mouth disease.
Building on the initiative announced in 2022, a strategy will be formulated to achieve ‘atmanirbharta’ for oil seeds such as mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower.

Healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers.

Upgradation of anganwadi centres under “Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0” will be expedited for improved nutrition delivery, early childhood care and development.   

Government will encourage vaccination for girls in age group of 9 to 14 years for prevention of cervical cancer.

Government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilizing the existing hospital infrastructure under various departments. 

A committee for this purpose will be set-up to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations.

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