Indian Budget 2009-10- Full Text- July 06, 2009
TOWARDS INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT
45. Madam Speaker, the UPA government has gone for a paradigm shift for making the development process more inclusive. It involves creating entitlements backed by legal guarantee to provide basic amenities and opportunities for livelihood to vulnerable sections. ‘Aam Admi’ is now the focus of all our programmes and schemes.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS)
46. (i) It is widely acknowledged that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, (NREGA) first implemented in February 2006, has been a magnificent success. During 2008-09, NREGA provided employment opportunities for more than 4.47 crore households as against 3.39 crore households covered in 2007-08. We are committed to providing a real wage of Rs.100 a day as an entitlement under the NREGA. To increase the productivity of assets and resources under NREGA, convergence with other schemes relating to agriculture, forests, water resources, land resources and rural roads is being initiated. In the first stage, a total of 115 pilot districts have been selected for such convergence. Details of these measures and convergence guidelines will be announced by my colleague, the Minister of Rural Development. I propose an allocation of Rs.39,100 crore for the year 2009-10 for NREGA which marks an increase of 144% over 2008-09 Budget Estimates.
National Food Security Act (NFSA)
(ii) I am happy to announce that the work on National Food Security Act has begun in right earnest. This will ensure that every family living below the poverty line in rural or urban areas will be entitled by law to 25 kilos of rice or wheat per month at Rs.3 a kilo. The Government proposes to put the draft Food Security Bill on the website of the Department of Food and Public Distribution for public debate and consultations very soon.
(iii) Bharat Nirman with its six schemes is an important initiative for bridging the gap between the rural and urban areas and improving the quality of life of people, particularly the poor, in the rural areas. I propose to step up the allocations for Bharat Nirman by 45 per cent in 2009-10 over the BE of 2008-09. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is one of the most successful programmes under Bharat Nirman. I propose to step up the allocation for this programme by 59% over BE 2008-09 to Rs.12,000 crore. I also propose to allocate Rs.7,000 crore to Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Viduytikaran Yojana (RGGVY) which represents a 27 per cent increase over 2008-09 (BE).
(iv) The allocation for the Indira Awaas Yojana ( IAY) is proposed to be increased by 63 per cent to Rs.8,800 crore in Budget Estimates 2009-10. To broaden the pace of rural housing, I propose to allocate, from the shortfall in the priority sector lending of commercial banks, a sum of Rs.2,000 crore for Rural Housing Fund in the National Housing Bank (NHB). This will boost the resource base of NHB for their refinance operations in rural housing sector.
Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)
(v) There are about 44,000 villages in which the population of Scheduled castes is above 50 per cent. A new scheme called Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) is being launched this year on a pilot basis, for the integrated development of 1000 such villages. I propose an allocation of Rs.100 crore for this scheme. Each village would be able to avail gap funding of Rs.10 lakh over and above the allocations under Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation Schemes. On successful implementation of the pilot phase, the Yojana would be extended in coming years.
Empowerment of Weaker Sections
47. The Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY) is being restructured as the National Rural Livelihood Mission to make it universal in application, focused in approach and time bound for poverty eradication by 2014-15. Stress will be laid on the formation of women Self Help Groups (SHGs). Apart from providing capital subsidy at an enhanced rate, it is also proposed to provide interest subsidy to poor households for loans upto Rs. one lakh from banks.
48. The Women’s Self Help Group movement is bringing about a profound transformation in rural areas. There are today over 22 lakh such groups linked with banks. Our objective is to enrol at least 50% of all rural women in India as members of SHGs over the next five years and link these SHGs to banks.
49. The Rashtriya Mahila Kosh has been working towards the facilitation of credit support or micro finance to poor women and has developed a number of innovative schemes for their benefit. In recognition of its role as an instrument of socio-economic change and development, the corpus of the Kosh, which at present is Rs.100 crore, would be raised to Rs.500 crore, over the next few years.
50. The low level of female literacy continues to be a matter of grave concern. It has, therefore, been decided to launch a National Mission for Female Literacy, with focus on minorities, SC, ST and other marginalised groups. The aim will be to reduce by half, the current level of female illiteracy, in three years.
Integrated Child Development Services
51. Government is committed to universalisation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme in the country. By March 2012, all services under ICDS would be extended, with quality, to every child under the age of six.
Student Loans to Weaker Sections
52. To enable students from economically weaker sections to access higher education, it is proposed to introduce a scheme to provide them full interest subsidy during the period of moratorium. It will cover loans taken by such students from scheduled banks to pursue any of the approved courses of study, in technical and professional streams, from recognised institutions in India . It is estimated that over 5 lakh students would avail of this benefit.
Welfare of Minorities
53. The Plan outlay of Ministry of Minority Affairs has been enhanced from Rs.1,000 crore in BE 2008-09 to Rs.1,740 crore in 2009-10, registering an increase of 74%. This includes Rs.990 crore for Multi-Sectoral Development Programme for Minorities in selected minority concentration districts, Grants-in-aid to Maulana Azad Education Foundation which is almost doubled, and provisions for National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation and Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarships for Minorities. Allocations have also been made for the new schemes of National Fellowship for Students from the Minority Community and Grants-in-aid to Central Wakf Council for computerization of records of State Wakf Boards.
54. Aligarh Muslim University has decided to establish its campuses at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala. I propose to make an allocation of Rs.25 crore each for these two campuses.
Welfare of workers in the unorganised sector
55. The unorganised or informal sector of our economy accounts for 92% of the employment and absorbs bulk of the annual increase in our labour force. The Unorganised Workers Social Security Bill, 2007 has now been passed by both Houses of Parliament. I have already initiated action to ensure that social security schemes for occupations like weavers, fishermen and women, toddy tappers, leather and handicraft workers, plantation labour, construction labour, mine workers, bidi workers, and rikshaw pullers are implemented at the earliest. Necessary financial allocations will be made for these schemes.
56. I propose to launch a new project for modernisation of the Employment Exchanges in public private partnership so that a job seeker can register on-line from anywhere and approach any employment exchange. Under the project, a national web portal with common software will be developed. This will contain all the data regarding availability of skilled persons on the one hand and requirements of skilled persons by the industry on the other. It will help youth get placed and enable industry to procure required skills on real time basis.
57. In the last Budget two mega handloom clusters at Varanasi and Sibsagar and two mega powerloom clusters at Erode and Bhiwandi were approved. They are under successful implementation. I propose to add one handloom mega cluster each in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and one powerloom mega cluster in Rajasthan. These will help preserve the magnificent textile traditions in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and generate thousands of jobs in Rajasthan. In addition, I propose to add new mega clusters for Carpets in Srinagar (J&K) and Mirzapur (UP).
58. The National Rural Health Mission is an essential instrument for achieving our goal of Health for all. I propose an increase of Rs.2,057 crore over and above Rs.12,070 crore provided in the Interim Budget.
59. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was operationalised last year. The initial response has been very good. More than 46 lakh BPL families in eighteen States and UTs have been issued biometric smart cards. This scheme empowers poor families by giving them freedom of choice for using health care services from an extensive list of hospitals including private hospitals. Government proposes to bring all BPL families under this scheme. An amount of Rs.350 crore, marking 40% increase over the previous allocation, is being provided in 2009-10 Budget Estimates.
Environment and Climate Change
60. The National Action Plan on Climate Change unveiled last year, outlines our strategy to adapt to Climate Change and enhance the ecological sustainability of our development path. Following this, eight national missions representing a multi-pronged, long term and integrated approach are being launched. I propose to provide necessary funds for these missions.
61. Our government has already set up a ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority’ (NGRBA). I propose increasing the budgetary outlay for the National River and Lake Conservation Plans to Rs.562 crore in 2009-10 from Rs.335 crore in 2008-09.
62. I propose to make a special one-time grant of Rs.100 crore to the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun in recognition of its excellence in the field of research, education and extension. I also propose an allocation of Rs.15 crore each for the Botanical Survey of India and Zoological Survey of India. An additional amount of Rs.15 crore is being allocated to Geological Survey of India.
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