The Union Budget for the rural population has several reforms, such as infrastructure to improve rural roads, housing, and infrastructure, which will increase employment. Regional rural banks will be able to raise capital from the market.
Union Budget 2019 Highlights
The Union Budget 2019 was announced by the Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman on 05 July 2019. Similar to the budget of the last year, the government continues to strongly focus on the rural population of the country. Listed below are some of the important highlights in the budget for the rural population of the country:
- The Finance Minister of India has promised all the rural households in the country will get access to electricity and clean cooking gas by the year 2022. This is other than the people who are not willing to take the connection.
- The government is planning to take measures to ensure that there is access to clean water for all the houses in the rural areas.
- The Finance Minister has also said that 1.25 lakh km of roads will be built by the government over the next five years. This will be part of the phase three operation under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). This project is expected to cost around Rs.80,000 crore.
- Funding for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has been increased to Rs.19,000. This is an increase 22% when compared to the Rs.15,000 crore in the last budget.
- All the women part of every self-help group will be provided with a loan of Rs.1 lakh under the MUDRA scheme.
- There are also plans to build 1.95 crore houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural).
- The Centre has allocated Rs.9,200 crore for the National Social Assistance Programme, a plan that offers pension for senior citizens who are in need. This allocation is an increase of Rs.300 crore in comparison to the Rs.8,900 crore that was allocated last year.
Union Budget 2018 Highlights
The Former Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley, in the Union Budget 2018 has clarified that the government will lay special focus on the rural segments of the country. The various measures on this front include:
- In the case of infrastructure, the government will focus on roads in rural regions. The government is also looking to encourage private investments for infrastructure projects through Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs). The proposed spending for the rural infrastructure development is Rs.14.34 lakh crore.
- Rs.19,000 crore has been set aside for PM Rural Road Plan for the financial year 2018-19.
- Focus on improvement in rural roadways, rural housing, and rural infrastructure will improve the employment figures.
- The rise in the rural income is expected to increase the demand for cement, which currently stands at 33%.
- There is a plan to set up rural roadways for 3.7 lakh kilometres. This could be a huge boost to the business of construction companies.
- Micro-pension and insurance penetration schemes introduced in this budget will help in boosting financial inclusion.
- Micro-entrepreneurs will be benefited from the growth in Mudra loan targets by 23%.
- The Swachh Bharat Mission has resulted in the creation of 6 crore toilets throughout the country today. Additionally, 2 crore toilets will be created in the coming 2 years. This will be beneficial in addressing the pressing issue of defecation in the open, particularly in rural segments.
- Rs.5 lakh will be allocated for each family as part of medical reimbursement on an annual basis under the National Health Protection Scheme.
- Organic farming will be encouraged to a great extent. Women self help groups (SHGs) will be encouraged to adopt organic farming practices under the National Rural Livelihood Programme.
- Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, 51 lakh houses will be constructed in rural areas in 2018-19.
- Under phase I of the Bharatnet project, broadband access has been given to 20 crore rural citizens in the country. The government will set up 5 lakh wi-fi hotspots and offer broadband internet connectivity to 5 crore rural citizens.
- Strong regional rural banks will be allowed to raise capital from the market to increase the amount of loans provided to the rural economy.
The Union Budget 2018 will be announced in a few days, and this budget expects to introduce several landmark reforms in the country. The significance of the budget lies in the fact that it is the first one to be presented after the implementation of the GST reform. It will also be the last full budget of the current government before the 2019 General Elections. The Union Budget 2017 has been widely referred to as the budget of reforms; the Union Budget 2018 is likely to be called the populist budget.
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