Even as the Union Budget failed to cheer the markets and experts alike, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee did well to focus on infrastructure. Bottlenecks for speedy implementation of infrastructure projects will be removed to ensure that sufficient funds are made available for this sector. Infrastructure sector proposals will bring in funds to financial national projects such as ports, highways etc. These proposals are expected to help these projects achieve timely financial closure. Experts say they will be beneficial for urban India, and water supply and irrigation projects as well. The Government proposes to develop a blueprint for long distance gas highway leading to a National Gas Grid. This would make easy transportation of gas across the country.
IIFCL (India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited) to develop a Takeout financing scheme in consultation with banks to facilitate incremental lending to infrastructure sector.
IIFCL to refinance 60% of commercial bank loans for PPP (Public-Private Partnership) projects in critical sectors over the next fifteen to eighteen months.
IIFCL and Banks are now in a position to support projects involving total investment of Rs.1,00,000 crore.
Allocation to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) increased by 23 per cent over Budget Estimate 2008-09 in B.E. 2009-10
Allocation for Railways increased from Rs.10,800 crore in Interim B.E. 2009-10 to Rs.15,800 crore in B.E. 2009-10.
Allocation under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) stepped up by 87 per cent to Rs.12,887 crore in B.E. 2009-10
Allocation for housing and provision of basic amenities to urban poor enhanced to Rs.3,973 crore in B.E. 2009-10.
A new scheme, Rajiv Awas Yojana will be introduced with the aim to make the country slum free in the next five years.
Provision for the project BRIMSTOWA initiated in 2007 and funded through Central Assistance to address the problem of flooding in Mumbai, enhanced from Rs.200 crore in Interim B.E. 2009-10 to Rs.500 crore in B.E. 2009-10 to speed up completion of the project.
Allocation for Bharat Nirman increased by 45 per cent in 2009-10 over B.E. 2008-09.
Allocations under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) increased by 59 per cent over B.E. 2008-09 to Rs.12,000 crore in B.E. 2009-10.
Under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), allocation increased by 27 per cent to Rs.7,000 crore.
Allocation under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) increased by 63 per cent to Rs.8,800 crore in B.E. 2009-10.
Allocation of Rs.2,000 crore made for Rural Housing Fund (RHF) in National Housing Bank (NHB) to boost the resource base of NHB for refinance operations in rural housing sector.
Apart from the above mentioned schemes there are some other schemes aimed to increase the education, female literacy, rural development, employment, etc. of the country. They are;
A new scheme, Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) will be launched this year on a pilot basis for integrated development of 1000 villages with above 50 per cent Scheduled Caste population.
Stress will be laid on the formation of women Self Help Groups (SHGs) Reach of Self Help Groups will be widened to enroll at least 50 per cent of all rural women as members of SHGs over the next five years.
Capital subsidy is proposed to provide interest subsidy to poor households for loans upto Rs. 1 lakh from banks.
A National Mission for Female Literacy will be launched with the aim to reduce the current level of female literacy by half in three years.
The Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) is to be restructured as National Rural Livelihood Mission to make it universal in application, focused in approach and time bound, for poverty eradication by 2014-15.
The Budget commits that all Integrated Child Development Services will be extended to every child under the age of six by March, 2012
The allocation for the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been increased by 74 per cent.
Budget has made allocations for the new schemes of National Fellowship for Students from minority community.
A new project is being launched for modernization of the Employment Exchanges to enable job seekers to register on-line from anywhere and approach any employment exchange.
The Government proposes to bring all BPL families under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) The allocation for the scheme is being increased by 40 per cent.
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