Budget 2019: Big plans for rural India

Budget 2019: Big plans for rural India

Budget for rural India

A majority of the nation's population resides in rural India and contributes to 17% of the Indian economy generated through agricultural activities. Budget 2019 had this in mind while putting a focus on rural households.

The following are some of the key takeaways for rural India:
By 2022, the government wants to ensure that every rural family has electricity and facilities for clean cooking. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "I would like to assure the nation that every single rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the connection will have electricity and a clean cooking facility."

Budget 2019 also aims to achieve the objective of 'Housing for All' by 2022, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G). The second phase of PMAY-G, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, aims to construct 1.95 crore houses with amenities like toilets, electricity and LPG connections.

Sitharaman said, " With the use of technology, the DBT platform and technology inputs, the average number of days for completion of houses has reduced from 314 days in 2015-16 to 114 days in 2017-18."

Fishermen and fishing communities were also mentioned in the Budget. Under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana,  the Department of Fisheries will establish a robust fisheries management framework. The scheme will address critical gaps in the value chain, including infrastructure, modernisation, traceability, production, productivity, post-harvest management and quality control.

Transportation is essential to improve rural infrastructure and the Budget has plans to upgrade  1,25,000 kms of road over the next five years, with an estimated cost of 80,250 crores, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

The Scheme of Fund for Upgradation and Regeneration of Traditional Industries will aim to set up Common Facility Centres to provide cluster-based development. The scheme envisions setting up 100 new clusters during 2019-20  and providing 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain. The clusters will focus on the production of honey, khadi and bamboo.

The Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship will set up 80  Livelihood Business Incubators and 20 Technology Business Incubators in 2019-20 to develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in the agro-rural industry sectors.

Sitharaman said, "We hope to form 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations, to ensure economies of scale for farmers over the next five years."

The government wants farmers to connect with e-NAM so that they may get a fair price for their crops and ensure ease of doing business.

The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan will ensure that two crore rural Indians become digitally literate. For the implementation of this scheme, the Budget has a target to take high-speed internet connectivity to rural India under the BharatNet scheme.

Also, Follow Budget 2019 for more updates