Union Budget And Other Economic Policies

Union Budget And Other Economic Policies

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According to the Union Budget Speech 2014-15 delivered by Arun Jaitley (Please click here to download) on 10 July, 2014:

•    The steps announced in 2014-15 Union Budget are only the beginning of a journey towards a sustained growth of 7-8 per cent or above within the next 3-4 years along with macro-economic stabilization that includes lower levels of inflation, lesser fiscal deficit and a manageable current account deficit.

•    There is an urgent need to generate more resources to fuel the economy. For this, the tax to GDP ratio must be improved and non-tax revenues increased.

•    The decline in fiscal deficit from 5.7 per cent of GDP in 2011-12 to 4.8 per cent in 2012-13 and 4.5 per cent in 2013-14 was mainly achieved by reduction in expenditure rather than by way of realization of higher revenue. The fiscal deficit will be 4.1% of GDP and Revenue deficit will be 2.9 per cent of GDP in 2014-15.

•    Although, the external sector witnessed a turn-around with the year ending with a Current Account Deficit of 1.7 per cent of the GDP against 4.7 per cent in 2012-13, this was mainly achieved through restriction on non-essential imports and slowdown in overall aggregate demand.

•    The Finance Minister's (FM) Road map for fiscal consolidation is a fiscal deficit of 3.6 per cent for 2015-16 and 3 per cent for 2016-17. The previous FM tried to reduce fiscal deficit to 4.1 per cent of the GDP in Interim Budget.

•    While inflation has remained at elevated levels relative to what is perceived as acceptable, there has been a gradual moderation in Wholesale Price Index (WPI) recently, from a high of 7.35% in 2012-13 and 5.98% in 2013-14.

Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan

•    The need for sanitation is of utmost importance. Although the Central Government is providing resources within its means, the task of total sanitation cannot be achieved without the support of all. The Government intends to cover every household by total sanitation by the year 2019, the 150th year of the Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi through Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan.

Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana

•    Power is a vital input for economic growth and the Government is committed to providing 24x7 uninterrupted power supply to all homes. “Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana” for feeder separation will be launched to augment power supply to the rural areas and for strengthening sub-transmission and distribution systems. A sum of Rs. 500 crore for this purpose has been allocated.


Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

•    Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana initiated during the NDA-I under the stewardship of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has had a massive impact in improvement of access for Rural population. A sum of Rs. 14,389 crore has been allocated for PMGSY.


•    The Government is committed to providing wage and self-employment opportunities in rural areas. However, wage employment would be provided under MGNREGA through works that are more productive, asset creating and substantially linked to agriculture and allied activities.

National Livelihood Mission

•    Ajeevika, the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), aims to eliminate rural poverty through sustainable livelihood options. Under this mission, Women SHGs are provided bank loans at 4% on prompt repayment in 150 districts and at 7% in all other districts. The FM has proposed to extend the provision of bank loan for women SHGs at 4% in another 100 districts. He has also proposed to set up a “Start Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme” for encouraging rural youth to take up local entrepreneurship programs. An initial sum of Rs. 100 crore was allocated for this.

Rural Housing

•    The Rural Housing Scheme has benefited a large percentage of rural population who have availed credit through Rural Housing Fund (RHF). Accordingly, allocations for the year 2014-15 has been increased to Rs. 8,000 crore for National Housing Bank (NHB) with a view to expand and continue to support Rural Housing in the country.

Watershed Development

•    To give an added impetus to watershed development in the country, the FM has proposed to start a new programme called “Neeranchal” with an initial outlay of Rs. 2,142 crores in the current financial year.

Panchayati Raj

•    Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) is being implemented in 272 backward districts in 27 States, to fill up the critical gaps in development of basic infrastructure facilities and for capacity building of Panchayats/ Gram Sabhas in backward areas. The FM has proposed to restructure the BRGF to address intra-district inequalities to ensure that backward sub-districts units within States receive adequate support.

Safe Drinking Water

•    Rs 3,600 crore has been allocated under National Rural Drinking Water Programme for providing safe drinking water in approximately 20,000 habitations affected with arsenic, fluoride, heavy/ toxic elements, pesticides/ fertilizers through community water purification plants in next 3 years.

Women & Child Development

•    An outlay of Rs. 50 crores will be spent by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways on pilot testing a scheme on “Safety for Women on Public Road Transport”. A sum of Rs. 150 crores will also be spent by Ministry of Home Affairs on a scheme to increase the safety of women in large cities. It has been also proposed to set up “Crisis Management Centres” in all the districts of NCT of Delhi this year in all government and private hospitals. The funding will be provided from the Nirbhaya Fund.

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana

•    It is a shame that while the country has emerged as a major player amongst the emerging market economies, the apathy towards girl child is still quite rampant in many parts of the country. Therefore Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana has been launched which will be a focused scheme that would help in generating awareness and also help in improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women. A sum of Rs. 100 crore has been allocated for this.

Gender Mainstreaming

•    Government would focus on campaigns to sensitize people of this country towards the concerns of the girl child and women. The process of sensitization must begin early, therefore, the school curriculum must have a separate chapter on gender mainstreaming.

Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes

•    Government is committed to the welfare of SCs and STs. This year an amount of Rs. 50,548 crore is proposed under the SC Plan and Rs. 32,387 crore under TSP.

•    To provide credit enhancement facility for young start up enterpreneurs from Scheduled Castes, who aspire to be part of the neo-middle class, a sum of Rs. 200 crore which will be operationalised through a scheme by IFCI has been allocated.

•    For the welfare of the tribals “Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana” is being launched with an initial allocation of Rs. 100 crore.

Empowerment of the Differently Abled Persons

•    Government will make all out efforts to create a more inclusive society for Persons with Disabilities to enable them to enjoy equal opportunities to lead an empowered life with dignity. The scheme for Assistance to Disabled Persons for purchase/fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) has been extended to include contemporary aids and assistive devices. It has been also proposed to establish National level institutes for Universal Inclusive Design and Mental Health Rehabilitation and also a Centre for Disability Sports.

Incentives for the Visually Challenged

•    The Braille Presses in the Government and private sector are not able to meet the demand of Braille Text books for the visually impaired students. It has been proposed to provide assistance to the State Governments to establish fifteen new Braille Presses and modernize ten existing Braille Presses in the current financial year. Government will also print currency notes with Braille like signs to assist the visibly challenged persons.

Welfare of Senior Citizens

Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana

•    NDA Government during its last term in office had introduced the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) as a pension scheme for senior citizens. Under the scheme a total no. of 3.16 lakh annuitants are being benefitted and the corpus amounts to Rs. 6,095 crore. The scheme has been revived for a limited period from 15 August, 2014 to 14 August, 2015 for the benefit of citizens aged 60 years and above.

•    Government is fully committed to the social security and welfare of employees serving in the organized sector. The Government is notifying minimum pension of Rs. 1,000 per month to all subscriber members of EP Scheme and has made an initial provision of Rs. 250 crore in the current financial year to meet the expenditure. Further, increase in mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS from Rs. 6,500 to Rs. 15,000 has been made and a provision of Rs. 250 crore has been provided in the current budget. For the convenience of the subscribers, EPFO will launch the “Uniform Account Number” Service for contributing members to facilitate portability of Provident Fund accounts.


•    Employment exchanges will be transformed into career centres and in addition for providing information about job availability. These centers will also extend counseling facilities to the youth for selecting the jobs best suited to their ability and aptitude. A sum of Rs. 100 crore for this purpose has been allocated.

•    In order to promote leadership skills among the youth, “A Young Leaders Programme” will be set up with an initial allocation of Rs. 100 crore.


•    A programme for the up gradation of skills and training in ancestral arts for development for the minorities called “Up gradation of Traditional Skills in Arts, Resources and Goods” would be launched to preserve the traditional arts and crafts which are rich heritage.

•    An additional amount of Rs. 100 crores for Modernization of Madarsas has been provided to the Department of School Education.

Health and Family Welfare

•    To move towards “Health for All”, the two key initiatives i.e. the Free Drug Service and Free Diagnosis Service would be taken up on priority.

•    In order to achieve universal access to early quality diagnosis and treatment to TB patients, two National Institutes of Ageing will be set up at AIIMS, New Delhi and Madras Medical College, Chennai. A national level research and referral Institute for higher dental studies would be set up in one of the existing Dental institutions.

•    It is a matter of great satisfaction that all the six new AIIMS at Jodhpur, Bhopal, Patna, Rishikesh, Bhubaneswar and Raipur, which are part of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, have become functional. A plan to set up four more AIIMS like institutions at Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP is under consideration. A sum of Rs. 500 crore for this has been allocated.

•    Presently 58 government medical colleges have been approved. It has been also proposed to add 12 more government medical colleges. In addition, dental facilities would also be provided in all the hospitals. 56. For the first time, the Central Government will provide central assistance to strengthen the States’ Drug Regulatory and Food Regulatory Systems by creating new drug testing laboratories and strengthening the 31 existing State laboratories.

•    In keeping with the Government’s focus on improving affordable healthcare and to augment the transfer of technology for better health care facilities in rural India, fifteen Model Rural Health Research shall be set up in the states, which shall take up research on local health issues concerning rural population.

School Education

•    Elementary education is one of the major priorities of the Government. There is a residual gap in providing minimal school infrastructure facilities. Government would strive to provide toilets and drinking water in all the girls school in first phase. An amount of Rs. 28,635 crore is being funded for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rs. 4,966 crore for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.

•    A School Assessment Programme is being initiated at a cost of Rs. 30 crore. To infuse new training tools and motivate teachers, “Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme” is being launched. An initial sum of Rs. 500 crore has been allocated for this.

•    To take advantage of the reach of the IT, a sum of Rs. 100 crore has been allocated for for setting up virtual classrooms as Communication Linked Interface for Cultivating Knowledge (CLICK) and online courses.

Higher Education

•    The country needs a large number of Centres of higher learning which are world class. Jai Prakash Narayan National Centre for Excellence in Humanities in Madhya Pradesh will be set up. Five more IITs in the Jammu, Chattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala will be set up. Five IIMs would be set up in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra. A sum of Rs. 500 crore has been allocated for this.

•    The Government has proposed to ease and simplify norms to facilitate education loans for higher studies.

Digital India

•    A National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills and E-Kranti for government service delivery and governance scheme has been proposed. A sum of Rs. 500 crore has been allocated for this purpose.

•    A programme for promoting “Good Governance” would be launched and Rs. 100 crore has been allocated for this.

Community Radio Stations

•    So far around 400 permissions for setting up of a Community Radio Stations have been issued. To encourage the growth in this sector, a new plan scheme is being taken up with an allocation of Rs. 100 crore. This scheme would support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations.

Housing for All in urban areas

•    The Government intends to extend additional tax incentive on home loans to encourage people, especially the young, to own houses.

•    The FM has proposed setting up a Mission on Low Cost Affordable Housing which will be anchored in the National Housing Bank. Schemes will be evolved to incentivize the development of low cost affordable housing. The FM has allocated a sum of Rs. 4,000 crores for NHB with a view to increase the flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment.

•    The FM has also proposed to add inclusion of slum development in the list of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to encourage the private sector to contribute more towards this activity.

Food Security and Nutrition

•    A national programme in Mission Mode is urgently required to halt the deteriorating malnutrition situation in India, as present interventions are not adequate. A comprehensive strategy including detailed methodology, costing, time lines and monitorable targets will be put in place within six months.

•    Restructuring FCI, reducing transportation and distribution losses and efficacy of PDS would be taken up on priority.

•    The Government is committed to provide wheat and rice at reasonable prices to the weaker sections of the society. Even if due to inadequate rainfall, there is a marginal decline in agriculture production, stocks in the Central pool are adequate to meet any exigency. Government shall, when required, undertake open market sales to keep prices under control.

Kisan TV

•    Kisan TV, dedicated to the interests of the agriculture and allied sector will be launched in the current financial year. This will disseminate real time information to the farmers information regarding new farming techniques, water conservation, organic farming etc. The FM has allocated a sum of Rs. 100 crore for this purpose.

Organic Food in the North Eastern States

•    North Eastern Region of India has tremendous potential for development of organic farming. With a growing global demand for organic food, people living in the NE states can reap rich harvest from development of commercial organic farming. To facilitate this, a sum of Rs. 100 crore has been allocated for this purpose in the current financial year.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

•    Bulk of India's farm lands are rain fed and dependent on monsoons. Therefore, there is a need to provide assured irrigation to mitigate risk. To improve access to irrigation the FM has proposed to initiate the scheme “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana”. A sum of Rs. 1,000 crore for this purpose has been allocated.


•    Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa has been at the forefront of research in the area of agro-technology development and creation and modernization of existing agri-business infrastructure. However, since Independence only one such centre has been established. Government will establish two more such institutions of excellence on similar pattern in Assam and Jharkhand with an initial sum of Rs. 100 crore in the current financial year. In addition, an amount of Rs. 100 crores is being set aside for setting up an “Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund”.

•    It has been proposed to establish Agriculture Universities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan and Horticulture Universities in Telangana and Haryana. An initial sum of Rs. 200 crores has been allocated for this purpose.

•    The Government will initiate a scheme to provide to every farmer a soil health card in a Mission mode. A sum of Rs. 100 crore for this purpose has been set aside and an additional Rs. 56 crores has been allocated to set up 100 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories across the country.

•    To establish a “National Adaptation Fund” for climate change, an initial sum an amount of Rs. 100 crore will be transferred to the Fund.

•    The NDA is committed to sustaining a growth of 4% in Agriculture and for this it will bring technology driven second green revolution with focus on higher productivity and include “Protein revolution” as an area of major focus.

•    The FM has proposed to provide finance to 5 lakh joint farming groups of “Bhoomi Heen Kisan” through NABARD in the current financial year.

•    To mitigate price volatility, a sum of Rs. 500 crore for establishing a Price Stabilization Fund has been set aside.

•    To accelerate setting up of a National Market, the Central Government will work closely with the State Governments to re-orient their respective APMC Acts., to provide for establishment of private market yards/ private markets. The state governments will also be encouraged to develop Farmers’ Markets in town areas to enable the farmers to sell their produce directly.

•    The FM has set aside a sum of Rs. 50 crores for the development of indigenous cattle breeds and an equal amount for starting a blue revolution in inland fisheries.

Agriculture Credit

•    Banks are providing strong credit support to the agriculture sector. A target of Rs. 8 lakh crore has been set for agriculture credit during 2014-15.

Interest Subvention Scheme for Short Term Crop Loans

•    Under the Interest Subvention Scheme for short term crop loans, the banks are extending loans to farmers at a concessional rate of 7%. The farmers get a further incentive of 3% for timely repayment. The FM has continued the Scheme in 2014-15.

Rural Infrastructure Development Fund

•    NABARD operates the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), out of the priority sector lending shortfall of the banks, which helps in creation of infrastructure in agriculture and rural sectors across the country. The FM has raised the corpus of RIDF by an additional Rs. 5,000 crores from the target given in the Interim Budget to Rs. 25,000 crores in the current financial year.

Warehouse Infrastructure Fund

•    Increasing warehousing capacity for increasing the shelf life of agriculture produces and thereby the earning capacity of the farmers is of utmost importance. Keeping in view the urgent need for availability of scientific warehousing infrastructure in the country, the FM has allocated Rs. 5,000 crore for the fund for the year 2014-15.

Creation of Long Term Rural Credit Fund

•    The FM has proposed to set up “Long Term Rural Credit Fund” in NABARD for the purpose of providing refinance support to Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks with an initial corpus of Rs. 5,000 crore.

Allocation of STCRC (Refinance) Fund

•    The Short Term Cooperative Rural Credit (STCRC) – Refinance Fund was announced in Union Budget 2008-09 with initial corpus of Rs. 5,000 crore. In order to ensure increased and uninterrupted credit flow to farmers and to avoid high cost market borrowings by NABARD, the FM has allocated an amount of Rs. 50,000 crore for STCRC Fund during 2014-15.

Producers Development and Upliftment Corpus (PRODUCE)

•    The issue of profitability of small holding based agriculture has assumed importance in view of increasing proportion of small and marginal farmers in the country. The FM has proposed to supplement NABARD’s Producers’ organization development fund for Producer’s development and upliftment called PRODUCE with a sum of Rs. 200 crore which will be utilized for building 2,000 producers organizations across the country over the next two years.

New & Renewable Energy

•    The FM has proposed to take up Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Laddakh in J&K. A sum of Rs. 500 crores has been allocated for this. A scheme for solar power driven agricultural pump sets and water pumping stations for energizing one lakh pumps will be launched. A sum of Rs. 400 crores has been set aside for this purpose. An additional Rs. 100 crore has been set aside for the development of 1 MW Solar Parks on the banks of canals. Implementation of the Green Energy Corridor Project will be accelerated in this financial year to facilitate evacuation of renewable energy across the country.

Smart Cities

•    The Prime Minister has a vision of developing ‘one hundred Smart Cities’, as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernizing the existing mid-sized cities. To provide the necessary focus to this critical activity, a sum of Rs. 7,060 crore in the current fiscal has been provided.



According to the Interim Budget Speech 2014-15 delivered by P Chidambaram (please click here to download) on 17 February, 2014:


•    GDP growth rate has declined from 7.5 percent in Q1 of 2011-12 to 4.4 percent in Q1 of 2013-14.

•    Growth in Q2 of 2013-14 has been placed at 4.8 percent and growth for the whole year has been estimated at 4.9 percent.  This means that growth in Q3 and Q4 of 2013-14 will be at least 5.2 percent.

•    At the end of January 2014, WPI inflation was 5.05 percent and core inflation 3.0 percent.

Social sector spending

•    In 2014-15, an amount equal to or higher than in the BE of 2013-14 is allocated (irrespective of the revised estimates for the year):

Ministry of Minority Affairs-Rs. 3,711 crore
Ministry of Tribal Affairs-Rs. 4,379 crore
Ministry of Housing & Poverty Alleviation-Rs. 6,000 crore
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment-Rs. 6,730 crore
Ministry of Panchayati Raj-Rs. 7,000 crore
Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation-Rs. 15,260 crore
Ministry of Women & Child Development-Rs. 21,000 crore
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare-Rs. 33,725 crore
Ministry of Human Resource Development-Rs. 67,398 crore
Ministry of Rural Development-Rs. 82,202 crore


•    Food inflation is still the main worry, although it has declined sharply from a high of 13.6 percent (last year during budget speech) to 6.2 percent.

•    Foodgrain production in 2012-13 was 255.36 million tonnes and the estimate for the current year is 263 million tonnes. 

•    Estimates of production of sugarcane, cotton, pulses, oilseeds and quality seeds point to new records. 

•    Agriculture exports in 2012-13 stood at USD 41 billion versus imports of USD 20 billion.  In 2013-14, agriculture exports are likely to cross USD 45 billion. 

•    Agricultural credit is likely to touch Rs. 735,000 crore, exceeding the target of Rs. 700,000 crore. 

•    Agricultural GDP growth increased to 3.1 percent in the five year period of UPA-I and further to 4.0 percent in the first four years of UPA-II.  In the current year, agricultural GDP growth is estimated at 4.6 percent.

•    In the present year, banks will exceed the target of Rs. 700,000 crore of agricultural credit. A new target of Rs. 800,000 crore is set for 2014-15. An interest subvention scheme was introduced in 2006-07. There is a subvention of 2 percent and an incentive of 3 percent for prompt payment, thus reducing the effective rate of interest on farm loans to 4 percent.  So far, Rs. 23,924 crore has been released under the scheme. The scheme will be continued in 2014-15.

•    Government has approved the National Agro-Forestry Policy 2014, which has multiple objectives including employment, productivity, conservation and adaptation.

•    A mechanism for marketing minor forest produce has been introduced, and the Budget has allocated Rs. 444.59 crore to continue the scheme in 2014-15.


•    Rs. 48,638 crore is allocated to the scheduled caste sub-plan and Rs. 30,726 crore to the tribal sub-plan. The gender budget is Rs. 97,533 crore and the child budget is Rs. 81,024 crore.

•    The Bharatiya Mahila Bank was inaugurated on 19.11.2013. Rs. 6,000 crore was provided to the Rural Housing Fund and Rs. 2,000 crore to the Urban Housing Fund.

•    Ten years ago, only 9,71,182 women Self-Help Groups had been credit linked to banks. At the end of December 2013, 41,16,000 women SHGs had been provided credit and the outstanding amount of credit was Rs. 36,893 crore.

•    To ensure the dignity and safety of women, Nirbhaya Fund was promised and put Rs. 1000 crore into the Fund. So far, two proposals have been proposed that will receive support from the Fund. In order to make it clear that the Fund will be a permanent fund, the grant of Rs. 1000 crore is declared as non-lapsable. Another sum of Rs. 1000 crore is contributed to the Nirbhaya Fund next year. 
Non Plan Expenditure/ Subsidies

•    Non-plan expenditure in 2014-15 is estimated at Rs. 12,07,892 crore. Of this, the expenditure on subsidies for food, fertilizer and fuel will be Rs. 246,397 crore. This is slightly more than the revised estimate of Rs. 245,452 crore in 2013-14. For fuel subsidy, Rs. 65,000 crore will be provided.  Rs. 115,000 crore has been allocated for food subsidy keeping in mind UPA2 Government’s firm and irrevocable commitment to implement the National Food Security Act throughout the country.

Direct Benefit Transfer scheme/ Aadhaar

•    The DBT scheme is barely a year old. Money is being transferred to beneficiaries under 27 identified schemes, including the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP). A total of 54,20,114 transactions have been put through until 31.1.2014 and Rs. 628 crore has been transferred. Another sum of Rs. 3,370 crore has been transferred to 2.1 crore LPG beneficiaries. The latter scheme has been put on hold for the time being pending resolution of some difficulties that have been pointed out. The Government remains fully committed to Aadhaar under which 57 crore unique numbers have been issued so far and to opening bank accounts for all Aadhaar holders in order to promote financial inclusion.  


•    The restructured ICDS has been implemented in 400 districts and will be rolled out in the remaining districts from 1.4.2014.


•    Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has delivered new technologies to the people:  the JE vaccine, a diagnostic test for Thalassaemia, and a Magnivisualizer for detection of cervical cancer.


•    In 2012-13 and in the nine months of the current financial year, India added 29,350 megawatts of power capacity, 3,928 kilometres of national highways, 39,144 kilometres of rural roads under PMGSY, 3,343 kilometres of new railway track, and 217.5 million tonnes of capacity per annum in our ports.

•    Besides, 19 oil and gas blocks were given out for exploration and 7 new airports are under construction.

•    A new plan scheme with an allocation of Rs. 100 crore has been approved to promote community radio stations.

Historic Legislations

•    12.8 lakh land titles covering 18.80 lakh hectare were distributed under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act.

•    The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act was notified on 1.1.2014, finally putting to rest an oppressive colonial law of 1894.

•    The National Food Security Act was passed assuring foodgrain to 67 percent of the population.

Credit to Minority Communities

•    Ten years ago, the minorities had 14,15,000 bank accounts in 121 districts of India where there is a concentration of minorities. At the end of March, 2013, they had 43,52,000 accounts and the volume of lending had soared from Rs. 4,000 crore to Rs. 66,500 crore.  Loans to minority communities in the whole country stood at Rs. 211,451 crore at the end of December 2013.

Skill development

•    The National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme was launched in August 2013 and has been widely hailed as a success. At last count, 24 Sector Skill Councils, 442 Training Partners and 17 Assessment Agencies had joined the programme. 204 job roles have been finalised. 168,043 youth had enrolled and 77,710 have completed their training. Last year Rs. 1,000 crore was set aside for the scheme. 

Rural Expert

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