The budget speech by interim finance minister Piyush Goyal placed a large emphasis on rural development: the achievements made and plans for their welfare in the coming financial year. Announcements made today include:
- Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme: It will provide direct income benefit of Rs 6,000 (in 3 equal installments) per year to the bank accounts of farmers with land less than 2 hectares.
- Saubhagya scheme: 2.5 crore unelectrified households identified by the government will receive electricity connection by March 2019. As many as 28,594 households which include 8,460 in Rajasthan and 20,134 in Chhattisgarh are yet to be electrified.
- Digital Villages: 1 lakh digital villages will be created in the next 5 years.
- Shram-Yogi Maandhan: The 'Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan' is a mega pension scheme that aims at the workers of the unorganized sector with monthly income up to Rs 15,000.
- Interest subvention on loans: Farmers pursuing animal husbandry and fisheries will get 2 percent interest subvention.
- Separate department for Fisheries.
- Development of the North-East: 21 percent higher allocation, that is Rs 58,166 crore was announced for the North Eastern states.
- A committee will be set up under NITI Aayog to identify de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities that are not formally classified. A Welfare Development Board under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will be set to implement welfare and development programmes for these communities.
Progress so far:
In his budget, Piyush Goyal mentioned some of the NDA government's achievements so far.
- Open Defecation Free: Piyush Goyal said that the government has achieved 98 percent rural sanitation coverage under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and as many as 5.45 lakh villages have been declared "Open Defecation Free."
- PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana: Over 1 crore youth trained under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana, an initiative aimed at enabling self-employment. Goyal said that "India has become world's second largest start-up hub."
- Ayushman Bharat: The Interim Finance Minister said that the world's largest healthcare programme announced exactly a year ago in the Budget 2018-19 had already benefitted close to 10 lakh patients already.
- Minimum Wages: "Highest ever growth of 42 percent recorded in minimum wages of labours during last 5 years," Goyal said.
- Ujjwala Yojana: Over 6 lakh free LPG connections provided under the scheme, so far.