Economy

New schemes on skill development, irrigation likely in Budget

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on June 12, 2014




The Budget for 2014-15 is likely to announce four new centrally sponsored schemes — on skill development, irrigation, cleanliness and Ganga rejuvenation.

For the existing schemes, the Budget is not going to extend any additional allocations.

“We have already made it clear to various Ministries that the possibility of additional allocation over and above the provision in the interim Budget is not there. However, some funds could be provided for initiatives of the new Government,” a Finance Ministry official told Business Line.

The Budget session will begin from the second week of July.

Skill Development

Skill development is one of the topmost priorities of the new Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined the need for skill development.

“Skill development should be accompanied by a spirit of ‘ Shram-ev Jayate’ – giving dignity to labour. Our identity in the world must change from ‘Scam-India’ to ‘Skill India’,” he said in his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Although the previous Government had announced initiatives for skill development and set up the National Skill Development Corporation under public private partnership, funds were provided through various programmes such as the National Rural Livelihood Mission and the National Urban Livelihood Mission. The target was to achieve skilling of 50 million people in the Twelfth Plan period including 9 million in 2013-14.

The previous Government had also proposed to the National Skill Development Corporation to set the curriculum and standards for training in different skills. It was said that upon passing the test after training, the candidate will be given a certificate as well as a monetary reward of an average of ₹10,000 a candidate. An amount of ₹1,000 crore was provided for the initiative.

Irrigation

The Modi Government aims to provide irrigation facility to each farm land and a scheme is expected to be announced in the Budget. This would not only create irrigation facility but also increase their utilisation. The Planning Commission, in its 12{+t}{+h} Plan document, had said that performance in respect of creation and utilisation of irrigation facilities during 11th Five-Year Plan was not satisfactory as total capacity creation was 9.5 million hectare, but estimated utilisation was only 2.7 million hectare.

Ganga rejuvenation

The Government has already set up a dedicated organ for cleaning river Ganga along with Water Resources Ministry. A special scheme may be announced in the Budget. The scheme will be based on the report of the inter-Ministerial group and will focus not just on cleaning and revitalising the river but also for promoting inland water transportation.

Effort would be made to bring a new scheme for cleanliness. On Wednesday, Modi called for ‘ Swachh Bharat’ or clean India to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019.

Published on June 12, 2014

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