Focus on UPA’s flagship programmes in interim budget

New Delhi, Feb 17: The rural development ministry got an allocation of Rs.822.02 billion in the interim budget Monday with a special focus on the government’s flagship programmes for rural development, employment, housing, roads and social security.

Presenting the interim budget for 2014-15 in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P. Chidambram said higher allocations for key flagship programmes are irrespective of the revised estimates for the year.

He said an allocation of over Rs.822 billion has been made for the rural development ministry.

The central outlay for the National Rural Livelihood Mission (Ajeevika) is Rs.40 billion, of which Rs.3.35 billion has been earmaked for northeastern region and Sikkim.

Another flagship programme of the UPA government, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) got an outlay of Rs.34,000 crore.

The MGNREGS has been implemented by the rural development ministry since February 2006.

The government has decided to revise the wage rate on the basis of consumer price index for agricultural labour once every year and accordingly wages have been revised in 2012.

The total outlay for central sector schemes for 2014-15 is Rs.8.17 billion, which includes provision for National Institute of Rural Development (Rs.500 million), Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (Rs.100 million), and BPL survey (Rs.5.77 billion).