Indian Budget 2006-07- Full Text
Full Text of P. Chidambaram, Minister of Finance, Budget Speech(Feb 28, 2006)
XI OTHER PROPOSALS
Research and Development
94. Our outstanding human resources have the capacity to make India a Knowledge Society. Government accords high importance to research and development. The National Agricultural Innovation Project for research at the frontiers of agricultural science is expected to receive multilateral assistance shortly, and will be launched in July, 2006.
95. The National S&T Entrepreneurship Board has set up a number of Technology Business Incubators with seed funding from the Technology Development Board. Government will be happy to provide enabling concessions to the incubatee-entrepreneurs.
Institutions of Excellence
96. Last year, I made a beginning with an unprecedented grant of Rs.100 crore to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore to help develop it into a world-class institution. I am happy to report that the IISc has obtained approval for an ambitious programme of modernization, and is implementing the same. This year, I must recognize another historical event. Three great Universities have entered their 150th year. These are the University of Calcutta, the University of Mumbai and the University of Madras. I propose to mark the beginning of the 150th year celebrations with a grant of Rs.50 crore to each University for a specified research department or a research programme in that University. On the conclusion of the year, I intend to make another grant of Rs.50 crore to each of them.
97. I propose to make the special grant of Rs.100 crore for an institution of excellence to a distinguished institution, the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in acknowledgement of its pioneering contribution to the green revolution.
98. If agriculture is an ancient Indian skill, biotechnology is the new frontier that India will conquer. In order to foster research and development in biotechnology, the Ministry of Science and Technology has decided to accord the status of an autonomous National Institute to the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
99. Honourable Members will recall that Government has taken up a programme to upgrade 500 ITIs over five years. 100 ITIs are now covered with the help of the private sector. Assistance has been sought from multilateral agencies to cover the remaining 400 ITIs. I propose to allocate Rs.97 crore for this purpose in 2006-07. The Skills Development Initiative (SDI) announced last year has been taken up through a PPP scheme, and I propose to make an initial provision of Rs.10 crore.
Backward Regions Grant Fund
100. Upon the establishment of a Backward Regions Grant Fund, a sum of Rs.1,156 crore has been disbursed so far in the current year to the districts identified as backward as well as under Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY). The Fund is being placed under the administrative control of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, and I propose to allocate Rs.5,000 crore in 2006-07.
Jammu and Kashmir
101. Government will continue to provide special assistance to Jammu and Kashmir. The State Plan for 2006-07 has been fixed at Rs.2,300 crore. In addition, I propose to provide a sum of Rs.848 crore for the J&K Reconstruction Plan, including Rs.230 crore for the Baglihar Project. I also propose to provide special central Plan assistance of Rs.1,300 crore to enable the State to undertake reforms in the power sector.
102. Government has fulfilled the long-standing need of retired Armed Forces Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) for better pensionary benefits. About 12 lakh PBOR have benefited to the tune of Rs.460 crore with effect from January 1, 2006, and I am sure the House will welcome this decision.
103. In view of the enhanced expenditure on modernisation of defence forces, I propose to increase the allocation for defence from Rs. 83,000 crore to Rs. 89,000 crore in 2006-07, and this will include Rs. 37,458 crore for capital expenditure.
104. The National e-Governance Plan will be approved shortly, and 25 projects, in mission mode, will be launched in 2006-07. Among them is Project MCA-21 to enable companies to file returns electronically and a project for setting up common service centres and assigning unique ID to BPL families. It is Government’s intention to bring a number of services online, in a web-based mode, including applications under the Right to Information Act, applications for house sites, ration cards, transfers of teachers, inclusion in the electoral roll, filing of police complaint, and issue of birth/death certificates and copies of land records.
Celebrating History and Heritage
105. In 2007, we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the First War of Indian Independence, an event that shaped the destiny of the nation. To ensure that the event is observed in a befitting manner, I propose to make a provision of Rs.10 crore for preparatory activities.
106. Two Gandhian institutions, the National Gandhi Museum, Rajghat and the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Fund, Indore deserve support. I intend to provide Rs.5 crore each to the corpus of these institutions in 2006-07.
107. I am happy to inform the House that Kuttiyattam, Vedic Chanting and Ramlila have been declared ‘Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ by the UNESCO. These old art forms and oral traditions need to be safeguarded. Pending drawing up a detailed scheme, I propose to make an initial provision of Rs.5 crore in 2006-07.