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Rural development ministry gets bigger slice with 46% hike

Social sector schemes being the thrust of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the Rural Development Ministry, saw its budget increase from Rs 76,376.00  crore to Rs 80,194 crore for 2013-14 fiscal. This increase in budget comes despite the fact that the ministry was able to spend only Rs 55,000 crore in the last fiscal.

The rural development minister defended his ministry for not utilising the funds  by deflecting the blame on the state governments.’ We are only a bank that disburses money, utilisation of these funds  depends on the state governments and lack of administrative capacity in state governments  is one of the reasons why funds have not been utilised,’ said rural development minister, Jairam Ramesh.

In the budget, finance minister P Chidambaram  maintained the funds for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MGNREGA) Rs 33,000 crore government’s. The funds for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) have been slashed from Rs 24,000 crore to Rs 21,700 crore and rural housing scheme, Indira Awas Yojana, will get Rs 15,184 crore in the next fiscal.

Even for PMGSY, despite being allocated a substantial amount of Rs 24,000 crore but the rural development ministry could spend only Rs 10000 crore.’ This year, we have got 21,700 crore this will be broken up into two. PMGSY-I which will absorb about Rs 15,000 crore, compare to Rs 10,000 crore last year, and about Rs 6,000 crore will be given to undertake upgradation works under the PMGSY II,’ said Ramesh.
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