New Delhi, Feb 28: The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Thursday said Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has done a commendable job given the challenges faced by economy.
“The Finance Minister has done a commendable job given the challenges faced by economy,” said Dr. Singh on the General Budget for 2013-14 presented by the Finance Minister in Parliament.
Chidambaram, who presented his historic eighth budget in Parliament today, made promises to the women, the youth and the poor – the three faces that represent the majority of the people of India.
Stating that the government pledges to do everything possible to empower the women and to keep them safe and secure, he said that a number of initiatives were underway and many more would be taken by the Government as well as non-government organizations.
Chidambaram announced the setting up of a fund – Nirbhaya Fund – with the Government contributing Rs. 1000 crore.
The Finance Minister also announced a Rs. 1,000 crore scheme for training youth to boost their employability and productivity.
For the benefit of the poor, Chidambaram assured that Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes will be rolled out throughout the country during the term of the UPA Government.
“We are redoubling out efforts to ensure that the digitized beneficiary lists are available; that a bank account is opened for each beneficiary; and that the bank account is seeded with Aadhaar in due course,” he said.
Chidambaram also announced a sharp increase of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in agriculture credit target to Rs 7 lakh crore for next fiscal and allocated additional Rs 10,000 crore in subsidy for implementing the Food Security Bill.
He also allocated 22 percent more funds to Agriculture Ministry at Rs 27,049 crore for the 2013-14 fiscal, of which Rs 3,415 crore has been earmarked for farm research.
Chidambaram announced extension of interest-subvention on crop loans to private sector banks and commercial banks.
Looking at the success of the scheme-Bringing Green Revolution in the Eastern India, Chidambaram allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the next fiscal.
Another Rs 500 crore has been allocated for crop diversification in states covered during the Green Revolution such as Punjab and Haryana, which are facing stagnation in farm yields.
Expressing the hope that the National Food Security Bill will be passed by Parliament as early as possible, Chidambaram has set apart Rs. 10,000 crore towards the incremental cost that is likely under the Act. (ANI)