New Delhi: Union finance minister P. Chidambaram will be tackling Maoist violence on a priority basis when he presents the annual Budget on Thursday by substantially hiking allocations for schemes to address the development needs of Maoist-affected areas. Also, the anticipated tight fiscal management of Chidambaram is not likely to impact the allocation of the rural development ministry, which runs critical flagship schemes that the Congress is counting on for the 2014 general polls.
Sources said the annual budgetary support to the rural development ministry is set to go up from last year’s Rs 72,000 crore to Rs 75,000 crore for 2013-14.
Chidambaram will also hike budgetary support for the Integrated Watershed Management Programme for 2013-14 from last year’s Rs 3,400 crore to Rs 5,700 crore , sources said.
Under the IWMP, the Centre executes projects in Maoist-affected and drought-prone areas.
Rural welfare schemes set to get a hike
When Union finance minister P. Chidambaram presents the annual Budget on Thursday, the allocation to rural development will be substantial, as in the revised estimate it was scaled down to Rs 55,000 crore from the budgetary estimate of Rs 72,000 crore.
The MNREGS, which is demand-based and statutory, is likely to get about Rs 33,000 crore. However, the department of drinking water and sanitation, which was allocated a generous Rs 14,500 crore last year is set for a deep cut, sources added.