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Updated February 4th, 2024 at 12:07 IST

Government hikes budget allocation to rural development ministry

The interim budget outlines a substantial allocation of Rs 86,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

Business Desk
Nirmala Sitharaman Unveils Bold Initiatives in Interim Budget 2024-2025
Nirmala Sitharaman Unveils Bold Initiatives in Interim Budget 2024-2025 | Image:PTI
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The government has hiked the budget allocation for the rural development ministry to Rs 1.77 lakh crore for the fiscal year 2024-25, marking 12 per cent increase from the previous year's allocation of Rs 1.57 lakh crore. However, a closer look at the mid-year review of expenditure, as indicated by the revised estimates, reveals a three per cent increment from the Rs 1.71 lakh crore spent during the last financial year.

The interim budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, outlines a substantial allocation of Rs 86,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for the upcoming fiscal year. This represents a remarkable 43 per cent surge from the allocation of Rs 60,000 crore in the previous budget. Yet, the revised estimate indicates that the actual expenditure on the scheme in the last financial year matched the allocated Rs 86,000 crore for the upcoming fiscal.

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Noteworthy is the Finance Minister's announcement in the pre-election budget of the construction of an additional two crore houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin over the next five years, with an allocation of Rs 54,500 crore. In the previous fiscal year, Rs 54,487 crore was allotted to the PMAY(G), but the revised estimate stands at Rs 32,000 crore, approximately 41 per cent of the allocated amount.

Sitharaman also shared the expansion of the target for creating 'Lakhpati Didis' under the DAY-NRLM initiative, increasing it from two crores to three crores. The 'Lakhpati Didi' initiative encourages self-help group households to undertake multiple livelihood activities, leading to a sustainable income of Rs 1 lakh or more per year.

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The budget allocation for the National Livelihood Mission-Ajeevika witnessed a six percent increase, reaching Rs 15,047 crore, compared to the previous year's Rs 14,129.17 crore. The revised estimate for the scheme remains consistent at Rs 14,129.17 crore.

On a contrasting note, the allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna has decreased, with a budget allocation of Rs 12,000 crore for 2024-25, as opposed to the Rs 19,000 crore in the previous budget. The revised estimate indicates an expenditure of Rs 17,000 crore.

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 17:22 IST

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