Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital India may be the focus of Budget 2017-18

Surabhi New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018


Ministries asked to work out innovative schemes

With the goals of Swachh Bharat and Digital India schemes yet to be met, the government is exploring ways to introduce innovative activities in the two flagship schemes in the Union Budget 2017-18.

“The two schemes have garnered mass public support and are also doing well. But with General Elections in 2019, it is necessary that they make more of an impact and have more quantifiable results,” said an official, adding that this has also been a part of the pre-Budget discussions.

The Digital India mission is now in greater focus due to the need for digital payment solutions for not only direct benefit transfers but also post-demonetisation of high value currency.

The exact contours of the two moves are expected to be finalised closer to the presentation of the Budget.

All nodal Ministries have been asked to work out Swacchta Action Plans that would list out their strategies to promote the national cleanliness campaign for 2017 and 2018 and include them in their Budget proposals.

Converging schemes

Further, they have also been asked to work out strategies for the coming years, where different programmes can be converged under the two flagship schemes of the government.

“Swachh Bharat and Digital India seek to improve the quality of life of common people….To derive maximum benefits from these two programmes, it is important that convergence is achieved between various programmes under implementation by different Ministries,” said the Cabinet Secretariat in a letter in October this year.

The letter to the Ministries of Finance, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Electronics and Information Technology, which are responsible for the implementation of Swachh Bharat and Digital India, also asked them to “give an impetus” to the schemes by incorporating specific and innovative activities for Swachh Bharat Mission and Digital India in Budget 2017-18.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission that was launched on October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of 2019 for eliminating open defecation, eradicating manual scavenging, introducing municipal solid waste management and instilling a behavioural change in people towards cleanliness.

Similarly, the government hopes to digitally empower citizens by providing them all information digitally under the Digital India Mission.

Published on December 15, 2016

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