The Union Budget 2018-19 was largely focused on the development of agricultural, rural, healthcare and educational sectors. The budget aimed at improving the current status of these sectors as well as the setting a base for the future with schemes aimed at improving the quality of education in India. The government is trying the reach the corners of India so that these sections of the society do not feel neglected. The new schemes or improvements in existing schemes launched in the Union Budget 2018-19 were:
Ayushmann Bharat Yojana
This flagship scheme aims at health protection covering over 10 crore families in India. Each family shall receive Rs 5 lakhs medical insurance coverage. It is said to be one of the largest national healthcare programmes in the world.
The current Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana only provides a coverage of Rs 30,000 to poor Indian families.
Kisan Credit Cards to Dairy Farmers and Fisheries
The Budget 2018-19 has extended the Kisan Credit Cards to dairy farmers and fisheries in an attempt to improve their credit worthiness. It will be easier for landless dairy farmers to get credit now that milk will also be considered as an agricultural produce.
Gobar Dhan Yojana
The 'Gobar Dhan' scheme was introduced to help farmers to manage and reuse cattle dung and other solid waste as compost, fertiliser, bio-gas and bio-CNG . Also known as the Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan, it is hoped to help villages get rid of open-defecation.
Prime Minister Awas Yojana (affordable housing fund)
FM Arun Jaitley in his budget speech said "My government will also establish a dedicated affordable housing fund in the National Housing Bank funded from priority sector lending shortfall and fully serviced bond authorised by the government of India." Under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana 51 lakh houses were built in the year 2017-18 and 51 lakh houses will be built in 2018-19.
National Bamboo Mission
A total fund allocation of Rs 1,290 crores was announced for a 'Bamboo Mission' that holds special significance to the North Eastern states of India. The new scheme will create new employment avenues for these states.
Ekalavya Model Residential School
Eklavya schools are proposed to be started for students from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) in India. These schools will be set up in every block that has over 50% of ST population and 20,000 ST individuals.
Arun Jaitley said "Ekalavya schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas".
These schools will be spread over 20 acres.
Fellowship Scheme for B.Tech Students
1,000 top B.Tech students in the country pursuing a PhD will be awarded opportunities for fellowships in Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISCs). They will also be rewarded with handsome fellowship amounts.