Indian Budget 2009-10- Full Text- July 06, 2009
TOWARDS BUILDING ACCOUNTABLE INSTITUTIONS
Improving delivery of public services
63. As substantial resources, both public and private, are mobilized to fuel the growth of the economy and make it more inclusive in character, efficiency of delivery must become the focus of government programmes. The enactment of the Right to Information Act at the Centre and in many states has been an important and successful step in this direction, ushering in greater transparency and accountability in the public decision-making process.
64. The setting up of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a major step in improving governance with regard to delivery of public services. This project is very close to my heart. I am happy to note that this project also marks the beginning of an era where the top private sector talent in India steps forward to take the responsibility for implementing projects of vital national importance. The UIDAI will set up an online data base with identity and biometric details of Indian residents and provide enrolment and verification services across the country. The first set of unique identity numbers will be rolled out in 12 to 18 months. I have proposed a provision of Rs.120 crore for this project.
65. For modernisation of Police force in the States, an additional amount of Rs.430 crore is being proposed, over and above the provisions in the Interim Budget. The Government has also sanctioned special risk/hardship allowances to the personnel of Para Military Forces at par with Defence forces. Provisions for payment of these allowances are also being proposed in the Budget.
66. For strengthening Border Management, an additional amount of Rs.2,284 crore, over and above the provision in the Interim Budget, is being provided for construction of fences, roads, flood-lights on the international borders.
67. Significant augmentation in the strength of para-military forces is being done. This calls for more investment in creating the necessary infrastructure, particularly in the area of housing. The Government, therefore, proposes to launch a massive programme of housing to create 1 lakh dwelling units for Central Para-Military Forces personnel. This will not only contribute to the morale of the forces, but will also enable leveraging of government’s annual budgetary resources and create an innovative financing model.
One Rank One Pension for Ex-Servicemen (OROP)
68. Our country owes a deep debt of gratitude to our valiant ex-Servicemen. The Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on OROP has submitted its report and the recommendations of the Committee have been accepted. On the basis of these recommendations, the Government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre 1.1.2006 defence pensioners below officer rank (PBOR) and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners. Both these decisions will be implemented from 1st July 2009 resulting in enhanced pension for more than 12 lakh jawans and JCOs. These measures will cost the exchequer more than Rs.2,100 crore annually. Certain pension benefits being extended to war wounded and other disabled pensioners are also being liberalised.
69. The demographic advantage India has in terms of a large percentage of young population needs to be converted into a dynamic economic advantage by providing them the right education and skills. The provision for the scheme, ‘ Mission in Education through ICT,’ has been substantially increased to Rs.900 crore. Similarly, the provision for setting up and up-gradation of Polytechnics under the Skill Development Mission has been increased to Rs.495 crore. The government shall take forward its intent of having one Central University in each uncovered State and for this purpose I am allocating Rs.827 crore. I am also allocating Rs.2,113 crore for IITs and NITs, which includes a provision of Rs.450 crore for new IITs and NITs. The overall Plan budget for higher education is proposed to be increased by Rs.2,000 crore over Interim BE.
70. Union Territory of Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and Haryana. The facilities at Punjab University , Chandigarh , need to be improved. I, therefore, propose to make an allocation of Rs.50 crore for this university. To enable the Union Territory Administration to provide better infrastructure to the people, I propose to suitably enhance the Plan allocation for Chandigarh during the current financial year.
Commonwealth Games 2010
71. The Commonwealth Games present the country with an opportunity to showcase our potential as an emerging Asian Power. I propose to substantially enhance the allocations for the Commonwealth Games from Rs.2,112 crore in the Interim Budget to Rs.3,472 crore in the Budget for 2009-10.
72. Madam Speaker, the Government is committed to ensure that Sri Lankan Tamils enjoy their rights and legitimate aspirations within the territorial sovereignty and framework of Sri Lanka ’s Constitution. The Ministry of External Affairs is working closely with the Sri Lankan Government in this regard. I propose to allocate Rs.500 crore for the rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons and reconstruction of the northern and eastern areas of Sri Lanka .
73. As Honourable Members are aware, Cyclone Aila struck the coast of West Bengal in the last week of May 2009. Extensive damage was caused to roads, houses and infrastructure. While immediate interim relief has been provided from the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF), it is proposed to draw up a programme for rebuilding the damaged infrastructure. For this purpose, I propose to allocate Rs.1,000 crore.
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