BUDGET 2017 – As the finance minister gears up to present the Union Budget for the next financial year, Business Standard scans the 2016-17 Budget speech for a status check on key announcements made last Budget by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for various sectors and assesses how much has been achieved.
Rural sector: Building roads falls far short of target
For ensuring adequate transport infrastructure in rural areas of the country, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana received a much higher allocation of Rs 19,000 crore in 2016-17. However, against a target of 48,812 km of road length, so far 32,668 km have been completed. The other key announcements focused on the farmer. Under the Soil Health Card Scheme, the target was to cover all 140 million farm holdings by March; however, against a target of 25.3 million soil samples collection by March, by December 23.3 million had been collected and based on those, 128.2 million soil health cards are being made. Further, compared to the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana’s (PMKSY’s) aim to bring 2.85 million hectares under irrigation, over 1.3 million hectares have been brought under PMKSY till December. Organic farming was also slated to receive a big boost with the aim of bringing 500,000 acres under organic farming over three years under the Parmparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana. Against the first year’s target of covering 200,000 hectares, an area of 190,000 hectares has been covered under organic farming till December 2016. Lastly, the government had announced that it would launch a Unified Agricultural Marketing E-Platform. The platform was launched and 250 mandis of 10 states have been integrated with e-NAM Portal. Read more for status check on key announcements for the rural sector. READ MORE