Budget Query

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Economy : An overview

  • The Gross Domestic Product increased by 7.5 per cent, 9.4 per cent and 9.6 percent in first three years, of the UPA Government resulting in an unprecedented average growth rate of 8.8 per cent. The drivers of growth continue to be 'services' and 'manufacturing' which are estimated to grow at 10.7 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively.

  • Growth rate in agriculture for 2007-08 is estimated at 2.6 per cent.

  • Food grain production in 2007-08, estimated at 219.32 million tonnes-an all time record. Rice production at 94.08 million tonnes, maize at 16.78 million tonnes, soya bean at 9.45 million tonnes, cotton at 23.38 million bales each, an all time record.

  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana launched with an outlay of Rs. 25,000 crore, National Food Security Mission with an outlay of Rs. 4,882 crore under National Policy for Farmers in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

The growth story : Faster and more inclusive

  • Agricultural credit poised to reach Rs. 2,40,000 crore by March, 2008.

  • 11.4 crore children covered under Mid Day Meal Scheme, the largest school lunch programme in the world.

  • Under National Rural Health Mission 8,756 primary health centres have been made 24x7 .

  • 1,82,000 girls enrolled in residential schools under Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme.

Bharat Nirman

  • Bharat Nirman has made impressive progress in 2007-08 with 290 habitations provided with drinking water each day, 17 habitations connected through all weather road, 52 villages provided telephones, 42 villages electrified & 4,113 rural houses completed each day.

Eleventh five year plan: The crucial second year

  • GBS 2008-09 at Rs.2,43,386 crore higher by Rs. 38,286 crore over 2007-08. Central Plan allocation at Rs.1,79,954 crore, an increase of 16 percent over 2007-08; Bharat Nirman to get Rs. 31,280 crore.

  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA): Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan provided Rs.13,100 crore with the focus to shift from access and infrastructure at the primary level to enhancing retention and improving quality of learning. Mid-day Meal to get Rs. 8,000 crore; secondary education to get Rs. 4,554 crore.

  • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya : Rs. 130 crore provided in 2008-09, to establish Navodaya Vidyalaya in 20 districts having large concentration of Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes.

  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya: Funds (as part of SSA) provided for additional 410 Vidyalayas in educationally backward areas. Rs. 80 crore allocated to set up new or upgrade existing hostels attached to Balika Vidyalaya.

  • National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship: Rs. 750 crore allocated to build up a corpus of Rs.3,000 crore in four years. 1,00,000 Scholarship to be awarded beginning 2008-09.

  • Nehru Yuva Kendra: Rs. 10 crore allocated in 2008-09 to set up a Kendra in 123 districts, and to cover recurring expenditure in the first year.

  • Mid Day Meal Scheme: Extended to upper primary classes in Government and Government aided schools in all blocks which will benefit 2.5 crore children taking the total number of children covered under the scheme to 13.9 crore.

  • Institutes of Higher Education: India to become a knowledge society, three IISERs at Mohali, Pune and Kolkata; and an IIIT at Kanchipuram have started functioning.Government to set up 16 Central Universities in each of the hitherto uncovered states; three IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan; two IISERs at Bhopal and Tiruvananthapuram; and two Schools of Planning and Architecture at Bhopal and Vijayawada: Rs. 5 crore grant provided to Deccan College, Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune.

  • Science and Technology: Rs.85 crore allocated for Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE); which will include scholarships for young learners (10-17 years), scholarships for continuing science education (17-22 years) and opportunities for research careers (22-32 years); Rs. 100 crore provided for establishing the National Knowledge Network.

  • Health Sector: Rs.16,534 crore allocated, for the sector marking an increase of 15% over 2007-08. National Rural Health Mission (NRHM): 462,000 Associated Social Health

  • Activitists have been trained, 177,924 villages have sanitation committees functional and 323 district Hospitals have been taken up for upgradation. Allocation to NRHM has been increased to Rs. 12,050 crore.

  • HIV/AIDS: The National Aids Control Programme provided Rs.993 crore.

  • Polio: Drive to eradicate polio continues with revised strategy and focus on the high risk districts in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Rs. 1,042 crore allocated in 2008-09. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana : Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to provide health cover of Rs.30,000 for every worker in the unorganised sector falling under the BPL category and his/her family. The Yojana will be launched in Delhi and in the States of Haryana and Rajasthan on April 1, 2008. Rs.205 crore provided as the Centre's share of the premia in 2008-09.

  • National Programme for the Elderly: National Programme for the Elderly to be started in 2008-09 with a Plan outlay of Rs.400 crore. Two National Institutes of Ageing, eight regional centres, and a department for geriatric medical care in one medical college/tertiary level hospital in each State to be established during the Eleventh Plan period.

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS): Allocation for ICDS enhanced from Rs.5,293 crore in 2007-08 to Rs.6,300 crore in 2008-09; Remuneration of Anganwadi workers being increased from Rs.1,000 per month to Rs.1,500 per month; remuneration of Anganwadi Helpers increased from Rs.500 per month to Rs.750 per month; over 18 lakh Anganwadi workers and helpers to benefit; 5,959 ICDS projects and 932,000 Anganwadi and mini-Anganwadi centres functional under ICDS at the end of December 2007.

Flagship Programmes

  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS): NREGS to be rolled out to all 596 rural districts in India with provision of Rs.16,000 crore; More money will be provided to meet the legal guarantee of employment as demand rises.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM): Allocation for JNNURM increased to Rs.6,866 crore in 2008-09 from Rs.5,482 crore in 2007-08.

  • Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission: Allocation for Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission enhanced to Rs.7,300 crore in 2008-09 as against Rs.6,500 crore in 2007-08;

  • Total Sanitation Campaign to be provided Rs.1,200 crore in 2008-09.

  • Desalination Plant near Chennai: Rs.300 crore in 2008-09 for a desalination plant near Chennai to be set up under public private partnership.

  • North Eastern Region (NER): Ministry of Development of North Eastern Regionto be provided Rs. 1,455 crore. Including this amount, total Budget allocation for NER, to increase to Rs.16,447 crore in 2008-09 from Rs.14,365 crore in 2007-08.

  • Development and Finance Corporations: Additional equity contributions proposed for National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation Rs. 75.00 crore, National Finance and Development Corporations for weaker sections comprising Safai Karamcharis, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. Rs. 106.50 crore, National/State Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporations Rs. 50.00 crore, National Handicapped Development Corporation Rs. 9.00 crore.

  • Scholarships: Pre- and post-matric scholarship programmes announced in previous Budgets for SC, ST, OBC and minorities to get further funds in 2008-09: Scheduled Castes (Rs.804 crore), Scheduled Tribes (Rs.195 crore), Other Backward Classes (Rs.164 crore) and Minorities (post-matric) (Rs.100 crore).

  • Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship Programme supporting SC and ST students pursuing M.Phil and PhD courses allocated Rs.75 crore in 2008-09.

  • Minorities: Allocation to the Ministry of Minority Affairs increased from Rs.500 crore in 2007-08 to Rs.1,000 crore in 2008-09; Report of the Justice Rajindar Sachar Committee taken up for speedy implementation.

Women and Children

  • Rs, 11,460 crore has been provided for 100% women specific programmes and Rs. 16,202 crore for schemes where at least 30 per cent allocation is for women specified programmes.|

  • Allocation for Ministry of Women and Child Development enhanced by 24% to Rs. 7,200 crore in 2008-09.

Self Help Groups

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India being asked to scale up Janashree Bima Yojana scheme to cover all women self help groups that are credit-linked to the banks; of Rs. 500 crore proposed to be contributed to the corpus of the Social Security Fund with annual contributions to be made as the scheme is scaled up.