Budget 2018: Union minister Nitin Gadkari today welcomed the nearly Rs 2,000 crore hike in budgetary allocation to the water resources ministry and said the government will focus on expanding irrigation infrastructure and cleaning up the Ganga in 2018-19.
Budget 2018: Union minister Nitin Gadkari today welcomed the nearly Rs 2,000 crore hike in budgetary allocation to the water resources ministry and said the government will focus on expanding irrigation infrastructure and cleaning up the Ganga in 2018-19. For 2018-19, the government has given Rs 8,860 crore to the ministry, up from Rs 6,887 crore in 2017-18. The ministry is implementing key projects such Namami Gange, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana and river inter-linking. The water resources minister told reporters the government plans to issue work orders for the remaining Namami Gange projects. A total of 187 projects have been sanctioned under the Namami Gange programme for infrastructure development, river surface cleaning, rural sanitation and other interventions at a cost of Rs 16,713 crore. 47 projects have been completed and the remaining are at various stages of execution, he said.
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“Our budget has gone up by around Rs 2,000 crore… We will give work orders of all the remaining Namami Gange projects before March. We will definitely be able to complete 80 per cent of the work before 2019 and get to see a clean Ganga,” he said. Gadkari said the ground water irrigation scheme under ‘PMKSY – Har Khet ko Pani’ will be taken up in the country’s 96 irrigation-deprived districts. Rs 2,600 crore have been earmarked for the purpose. “These provisions will help achieve the prime minister’s dream of doubling the income of farmers by 2022,” he added. The actual budgetary provision for the ministry in the year 2016-17 was Rs 4,714.13 crore.
Gadkari thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of presenting a “historic budget”. “The prime minister accorded priority to health services, agriculture, rural development, education in villages, poor people, farmers. Also, the budget has given priority to small businesses, which will ensure economic growth. We will achieve more than 8 per cent growth rate,” he said. “We are the fastest growing economy in the world. The rate of agricultural growth will also go up. This will be reflected in rural areas in a good way,” he added.