Budget 2018: After providing a big boost to agriculture and rural infrastructure push by hiking of agricultural credit target for the next fiscal by Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 11 lakh crore while aiming to increase farmers income by 1.5 times in Union Budget 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government wanted to provide thrust to areas that need its support. Elaborating the infrastructure push, Arun Jaitley said that a lot of sectors do well even without any government thrust, and hence it was important to focus on priority areas. “The services sector is doing reasonably well, the manufacturing sector has seen increasing demand in the last few quarters. We need to focus on rural India, the rural construction has seen increased traction,” Arun Jaitley said.
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Further, the Finance Minister also stressed on the importance of providing healthcare for the poor. Keeping in mind the rural and middle class population of the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced world’s largest healthcare program. The new flagship national health protection scheme provides for a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year. Arun Jaitley said that healthcare is a great priority area for the government. “The healthcare scheme envisaged by the government is substantially addressed to rural India,” Arun Jaitley said.
Notably, . this is India’s most ambitious National Health Protection Scheme termed “MODICARE” (apparently to replicate Obamacare) under which Rs 5 lakh cover will be provided annually to 10 crore families.
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Yesterday, Finance Minister had announced various agricultural reforms in a bid to double farmer income by 2022. In a big relief to farmers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced fixing minimum support price (MSP) of Kharif crops like paddy at least 50 per cent higher than the cost of production, while raising farm credit target for the next fiscal by 10 per cent to Rs 11 lakh crore.
In a bid to to enhance livelihood creation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced various measures to benefit the farmers. “Apart from employment due to farming activities and self employment, this expenditure will create employment of 321 crore person days, 3.17 lakh kilometers of rural roads, 51 lakh new rural houses, 1.88 crore toilets, and provide 1.75 crore new household electric connections besides boosting agricultural growth,” Arun Jaitley said.