The finance minister announced a slew of policy measures while delivering the Interim Budget 2024. She announced several initiatives to facilitate sustainable development for the country across myriad sectors. Many of these are aimed at boosting the technology and startup ecosystem.
Some of the key takeaways from the Interim Budget are as follows:
Boosting EV Infrastructure
The Budget focused on key initiatives that would boost sustainable transportation in India. The government plans to strengthen the country’s electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem by bolstering charging and manufacturing infrastructure. To accelerate the adoption of EVs in mass transportation systems, she announced plans to drive the uptake of electric buses through payment security mechanisms. The FM also said the government aims to support about a crore households under the rooftop solarisation scheme. This aims to provide free electricity to households and acts as a catalyst for the growth of the electric vehicle charging ecosystem.
Decarbonisation and Sustainability
The Finance Minister also spoke of several measures to target the reduction of carbon emissions across myriad sectors. Financial assistance will be provided to procure machinery for biomass aggregation to support the scaling up of biofuel adoption. New initiatives will be formulated to promote the setting up of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundries. The energy sector has traditionally been an industry that has been heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Renewables are being encouraged through myriad schemes and initiatives to transition this critical sector away from polluting fuels.
Aligned with the nation’s decarbonisation efforts, the mandatory blending of fossil fuels with biofuels like CBG will be phased in for sectors like the transportation segment and piped CNG for domestic purposes. To expand offshore wind energy infrastructure, viability gap funding will be provided for an initial capacity of 1 GW. To reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuel imports, 100 MT of coal liquefaction and gasification capacity will be added by 2030.
Fillip to sunrise sectors
By creating a 1 lakh crore rupee corpus, the government aims to aid the growth of India’s tech industry with a 50-year interest-free loan to help develop India’s tech-savvy youth. The corpus will enable long-term financing or refinancing with long tenures at low or nil interest rates. This will encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation in sunrise domains.
The Indian Semiconductor Mission (ISM) has been rejuvenated to attract the right stakeholders to build facilities within the country to manufacture these critical electronic components used in everything from household appliances and mobile phones to automobiles and aircraft. Deep tech for defence purposes will benefit from the new schemes introduced to drive this sector.