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Govt to increase outlay for social schemes by Rs 33,000 cr

February 12, 2009 16:42 IST

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the UPA government is planning to provide a boost to its flagship programmes including Bharat Nirman by raising the allocation to the segment by Rs 33,000 crore (Rs 330 billion) in the interim budget, to be tabled in Parliament on February 16.

The outlay for the flagship programmes, which -- in addition to the Bharat Nirman scheme -- include the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and others, is proposed to be raised to Rs 1,23,000 crore (Rs 1,230 billion) during 2009-10 from Rs 90,000 crore (Rs 900 billion) last year, representing an increase of about 37 per cent.

The flagship programmes are expected to be given priority, with the government proposing to allocate a major share of gross budgetary allocation in the next fiscal for such schemes.

Gross budgetary support, according to sources, is proposed to be increased to Rs 2,85,000 crore (Rs 2,850 billion) crore for 2009-10 from Rs 2,43,000 crore (Rs 2430 billion) in the previous year.

GBS includes allocation for central ministries and state governments.

Sources further indicate that GBS for 2008-09 is likely to be revised to Rs 2,74,000 crore (Rs 2,740 billion) mainly on account of stimulus packages and the transfer of resources to states.

GBS at revised estimates include over Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) to the states and nearly Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) to the central ministries.

The focus on flagship programmes may hit higher education in the country as the interim budget proposes a major slash in allocation to the IITs. The allocation to the IITs is likely to be a meagre Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) in comparison with Rs 1,171 crore (Rs 11.71 billion) during the last year -- a substantial cut of Rs 371 crore (Rs 3.71 billion).

The government on the other hand, is likely to propose starting 6,000 model schools across the country with a provision of Rs 350 crore (Rs 3.5 billion), sources added.

The allocation for school education may be kept steady at Rs 26,800 crore (Rs 268 billion), in line with last year's provision, while there could be an allocation of Rs 13,100 crore (Rs 131 billion) for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Provision for nutrition is likely to be kept unchanged at Rs 8,000 crore (Rs 80 billion), while the allocation for Navodaya Vidyalayas is set to increase to Rs 1,300 crore (Rs 13 billion) from Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion) last year.

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