FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden Budget speech was far-sighted. Our first female Finance Minister set priorities straight for a larger vision to make modern India a reality. 2019-20 Union Budget exhibits a progressive strategy for the Modi government’s second term. Here are some interesting facts about the reform-minded Union Budget 2019-20 you probably didn’t notice-
AGRICULTURE- ₹ 1,38,568.97 CR
To enhance the technology in Agriculture, a Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry, and Entrepreneurship’ (ASPIRE) has been consolidated for setting up of 80 Livelihood Business Incubators (LBIs) and 20 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs).
This scheme is meant to earn 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industry sectors.
The Centre will operate with State governments to help farmers benefit from e-NAM and the Agriculture Produce Marketing Cooperatives (APMC) Act in getting a fair price for their produce.
Zero budget farming will soon be an actuality.
ROAD, TRANSPORT & HIGHWAYS- ₹ 83,015.97 CR
Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to make accessible a blueprint soon for developing gas grids, water grids, i-ways, and regional airports to accomplish ‘One nation, one grid!’
Schemes such as Bharat Mala, Sagarmala and UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) are determined to bridge rural-urban divide and advance transport infrastructure.
HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE- ₹ 64,559.12 CR
The government has hiked allocation for Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna to 143%.
The Central government is mapping to set up more than 1.5 Lac Health and Wellness Centres by 2022 under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana and plans to provide healthcare cover of ₹5 Lac to around 10.74 CR families across the country.
One of the most notable announcements in the budget has been the pledge to establish a National Research Foundation to encourage research in all areas.
JAL SHAKTI- ₹ 28261.59 CR
The Jal Jeevan Mission will unite with Central and State Government Schemes- integrating the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to fulfill its objectives of sustainable water supply management ‘Har Ghar Jal’ (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024.
It will focus on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level, including the creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.
Allocation for National Ganga Plan and Ghat Works, National River Conservation Program & Groundwater Monitoring and Regulation has also seen a bulky reduction from BE 2018-19 to BE 2019-20.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY- ₹ 13056.24 CR
NEW & RENEWABLE ENERGY- ₹ 5354.83 CR
The Budget directed on structural and tariff policy reforms to improve distribution sector efficiency in the power sector. This is a huge trial for the government to raise the market for renewable energy.
A big push to electronic vehicles as a medium to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.
FAME II scheme with ₹ 10,000 CR has been approved to stimulate faster adoption of electric vehicles with the suitable incentives and charging infrastructure.
According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the country is expected to produce 5.2 Million tonnes of e-waste harboring toxic metals and chemicals by the end of 2020.
MICRO, SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISES- ₹ 7011.29 CR
‘Make in India’ with distinct emphasis on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, is one of the major focus areas of the Union Budget this year.
The Stand Up India Scheme has been extended to the year 2025.
The Union Budget has laid out a very inventive financial roadmap for social enterprises and voluntary organizations. They are an important component of the Indian economy, with a focus on areas such as education, health, water conservation, sanitation, poverty alleviation, housing, etc.
By proposing a Social Stock Exchange, there is an attempt to bring the capital markets closer to masses for the objective of meeting various social welfare objectives related to inclusive growth and financial inclusion.
Under the ‘Scheme of Fund for Upgradation and Regeneration of Traditional Industries’ (SFURTI) 100 new clusters will be set up during 2019-20 enabling 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain. Focused sectors are Bamboo, Honey, and Khadi clusters.
Skill development will concentrate on new-age skills like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, Big Data, Virtual Reality, and Robotics.
YOUTH AFFAIRS & SPORTS- ₹ 2216.92 CR
The government is authorizing to expand Khelo India Scheme and to provide all essential financial support to popularise sports on all levels.
A National Sports Education Board (NSEB) for development of sportspersons would be set up under Khelo India Scheme.
The allocation to the Sports Authority of India was increased by ₹ 55 CR to ₹ 450 CR. The SAI is the nodal organization to manage nationals camps, provide equipment and other logistics to the country’s sportspersons.
ENVIRONMENT, FOREST & CLIMATE CHANGE- ₹ 2954.72 CR
EARTH SCIENCES- ₹ 1901.76 CR
Allocation for Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has dropped by about 13% from BE 2018-19.
Though India’s per capita carbon emission is very low at only 40% of the global average in comparison to US and European nations, its overall emissions are rising as it is driving on a high trajectory of growth. Just 10 nations are accountable for more than 70% of the total carbon emission of the entire world. Under the Paris Climate Agreement, India has set a target to reduce the emissions intensity of the economy by over 30% compared to 2005 levels by 2030.
Global reports have intimated that India, with 17% of the world population and just 2.5% landmass and 4% of water share is among the nations greatly exposed to the influence of global warming. Last year, the IPCC special report had warned that if urgent measures are not exercised by the world within the next 10-12 years, there will be catastrophic outcomes of global warming.
The Finance Minister’s agenda to grow the economy by building ecosystems in all sectors signifies this as the budget for resurgent India, new India.
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