Finance Minister P Chidambaram today gave a hefty hike in terms of budgetary allocation to the rural development ministry particularly to UPA's ambitious flagship programme MGNREGS.
"We estimate that they will be able to spend Rs 55,000 crore before the end of the current year, and I propose to allocate Rs 80,194 crore in 2013-14,marking an increase of 46 percent. MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) will get Rs 33,000 crore, PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana) will get Rs 21,700 crore, and IAY (Indira Awaas Yojana) will get Rs 15,184 crore," Chidambaram said in his Budget speech in Parliament. The finance minister also proposed to start PMGSY-II in some states.
The social sector got the necessary funding in the Budget to ensure proper care for children and their mothers.
"In recognition of the needs of children, I propose to allocate Rs 17,700 crore in 2013-14 (to Integrated Child Development Services, or ICDS), representing an increase of 11.7 percent. The focus will continue to be on early childhood care and education," Chidambaram said.
"Maternal and child malnutrition in a country with abundant foodgrains is a shame that we must overcome. A multi-sectoral programme that was announced last year will be implemented in 100 districts during 2013-14 and it will be scaled up to cover 200 districts the year after. I propose to allocate a sum of Rs 300 crore for the programme in 2013-14," the finance minister said.
The need for clean drinking water and sanitation was also in the purview of budgetary allocations.
"Clean drinking water and sanitation have a number of beneficial externalities. I propose to allocate Rs 15,260 crore to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, as against the revised estimates of Rs 13,000 crore in the current year," he said.
Allocation of Rs 1,400 crore was also made to set up water purification plants in the arsenic and fluoride-affected rural habitations.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 16:17 PM