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Union Budget Speech 2013-14: Highlights from the Social Sector


28 February 2013

Highlights for focal ministries:

  1. The Ministry of Rural Development has been allocated a total of Rs. 80,194 crore, which is an increase of as much as 46 percent from the revised estimates of 2012-13. Much of this increase can be attributed to the increase in allocations to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The budget estimates for the Ministry of Rural Development for the year 2012-13 stood at Rs 90,435 crores.
  2. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has been allocated with Rs. 65,867 crores, an increase of 17 percent over the revised estimates of 2012-13.
  3. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has received an allocation of Rs. 37,330 crores, a meager rise from Rs. 34,488 crores allocated in the budgetary estimates of 2012-13.
  4. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has received an allocation of Rs. 15,260 crores, an increase from Rs 13000 crores, which was the revised estimated allocation to the ministry in 2012-13.

Highlights for flagship social sector schemes:

  1. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been allocated Rs 33,000 crores – an amount equivalent to the budgeted estimates for the scheme in 2012-13.
  2. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has been allocated a total of Rs 21,700 crore this year, a significant upward increase from Rs 15873 crores in 2012-13.
  3. Allocations for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan have seen a marginal increase – Rs `27,258 crore has been allocated to scheme this year, while Rs 25,555 crores was allocated to the scheme last year.
  4.  The Mid Day Meal Scheme has been allocated a total of Rs 13215 crores, also a marginal increase from the budgeted estimates of 2012-13, which stood at Rs. 11,937 crore.
  5. The Integrated Child Development Scheme has successfully spent all its allocations for the year 2012-13 and has been allocated 17,700 crore in 2013-14, representing an increase of 11.7 percent, from Rs. 15,850 crores.
  6. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has also received increased allocations to the tune of Rs 2260 crores. It receieves Rs 15,260 in the 2013-14 budget.
  7. Allocations to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission have nearly doubled. While the revised estimates last year stood at Rs. 7,383 crores, the budgeted estimates in the 2013-14 budget stand at Rs. 14,873 crores. It has been proposed that a significant proportion of this increased allocation be used in the provisioning of 10,000 buses, especially in hill states.
  8. The Backward Region Grants Fund has received an allocation of Rs. 11,500 crore in 2013-14, with an additional sum of Rs 1000 crores specifically allocated to Left Wing Extreme affected states. BRGF will include a State component for Bihar, the Bundelkand region, West Bengal, the KBK districts of Odisha and the 82 districts under the Integrated Action Plan. In addition, the criterion for identification of eligible districts under the scheme shall see revision.

Other highlights relevant to the social sector:

  1. The 173 Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Additional Central Assistance schemes shall be restructured in to just 70 schemes. Additionally, it was announced that the centre shall allocate a sum of Rs. 5,87,082 crores to the states and union territories as taxes, non-plan grants and loans, and central assistance.
  2. 11 lakh beneficiaries have received benefits under the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme. The government has announced the seeding of bank accounts with aadhar numbers and the extension of the DBT to more schemes by the end of the term of the government.
  3. The Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojana covers 34 million families below the poverty line.  It will now be extended to other categories such as rickshaw, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers, sanitation workers, rag pickers and mine workers.
  4. The launch of the second phase of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was also announced, wherein states who have successfully met their targets of the first phase are eligible to participate.
  5. In an effort to bolster financial inclusion, it was announced that all bank branches would have to have an ATM facility. Further, the Rural Housing Fund (that extend loans for rural housing) has been allocated an increased sum of Rs. 6000 crores in 2013-14, up from Rs. 4000 crores in 2012-13.
  6. The establishment of India’s first Womens’s Bank with an allocation of Rs. 1000 crore has been announced. The bank has been set up with a view to address the gender related issues pertaining to financial inclusion.

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