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Return to Main Page of Budget 2005-2006

Indian Budget 2005-06
Full Text of P. Chidambaram, Minister of Finance, Budget Speech(Feb 28, 2005)


35. In his address to Parliament, the President outlined an overarching vision to build India, and called it ‘Bharat Nirman’. Bharat Nirman has been conceived as a business plan, to be implemented over a period of four years, for building infrastructure, especially in rural India. It will have six components, namely, irrigation, roads, water supply, housing, rural electrification and rural telecom connectivity. In each of these areas, we must dare to be bold and set for ourselves high targets to be achieved by the year 2009.

The UPA Government’s goals are:

• to bring an additional one crore hectares under assured irrigation;

• to connect all villages that have a population of 1000 (or 500 in hilly/tribal areas) with a road;

• to construct 60 lakh additional houses for the poor;

• to provide drinking water to the remaining 74,000 habitations that are uncovered;

• to reach electricity to the remaining 1,25,000 villages and offer electricity connection to 2.3 crore households; and

• to give telephone connectivity to the remaining 66,822 villages.

‘Bharat Nirman’ will require huge resources. Government believes that Bharat Nirman is an achievable project, and it is our intention to give rural India a new deal fully involving the Panchayati Raj Institutions in the planning and implementation.

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