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Indian Budget 2007-08- Full Text of Budget Speech


Petroleum and Natural Gas

77. Energy security is high on the Government's agenda. In the six rounds of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) so far, 162 production sharing contracts have been awarded. Indian and foreign companies have already made an investment of Rs.97,000 crore in exploration. Similarly, after three rounds of bidding, 23 coal bed methane blocks have been awarded for exploration.


78. A rejuvenated textile industry is geared to meet the global challenge. 26 parks have been approved so far out of 30 sanctioned under the Scheme for Integrated Textiles Parks (SITP). I propose to increase the provision for these parks from Rs.189 crore in 2006-07 to Rs.425 crore in 2007-08.

79. I am also glad to announce that the Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme will be continued during the Eleventh Plan. Against a provision of Rs.535 crore in 2006-07, I propose to provide Rs.911 crore in 2007-08. As before, handlooms will be covered under the TUF scheme.


80. A cluster approach for the development of the handloom sector was introduced in 2005-06 and 120 clusters have been selected. 273 new yarn depots have been opened in the current year and the Handloom Mark was launched. Government proposes to take up an additional 100-150 clusters in 2007-08. The 12 schemes that are now implemented will be grouped into five schemes in the Eleventh Plan period. The health insurance scheme has so far covered 300,000 weavers and will be extended to more weavers. The scheme will also be enlarged to include ancillary workers. I propose to enhance the allocation for the sector from Rs.241 crore in 2006-07 to Rs.321 crore next year.

Small and Medium Enterprises

81. Following the credit policy for small and medium enterprises (SME) announced in August 2005, outstanding credit to the SME sector increased from Rs.135,200 crore at end December 2005 to Rs.173,460 crore at end December 2006. While encouraging banks to lend more to the SME sector, I propose to ask banks to have regard to the credit rating acquired by an SME while fixing the interest rate.

Coir Industry

82. Coir is an eco-friendly fibre. The coir industry provides employment to a large number as well as earns valuable foreign exchange. I am happy to announce a scheme for the modernisation and technology upgradation of the coir industry with special emphasis to major coir producing States such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. I propose to make a provision of Rs.22.50 crore.

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