Union Budget 2019: Modi government had cut the budget on these six most important schemes by nearly 4% in the interim budget presented in February.
Budget 2019 India: When new finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will rise to present her maiden budget on July 5, the one thing that will be keenly watched by social activists is the fate of six most important social welfare schemes of the Modi government. These schemes relate to socially vulnerable groups like SC-STs, minorities and other weaker sections and also includes rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA. Modi government had allocated more than Rs 81,000 crore on these schemes in the Interim Budget.
Though, these schemes are described as core of the core in Union Budget and they are also the first one to be reported among hundred odd such centrally sponsored and central sector schemes, but Modi government had scaled them down in the interim budget presented in February this year.
These 6 centrally sponsored schemes are: National Social Assistance Programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA), Umbrella Scheme for Development of Scheduled Castes, Umbrella Programme for Development of Scheduled Tribes, Umbrella Scheme for Development of Minorities and Umbrella Scheme for Development of Other Vulnerable Groups.
According to information given in the interim budget presented by then finance minister Piyush Goyal in February this year, the government had spent Rs 84,362 crore in 2018-19 as per the revised estimates. However, in the interim budget for FY 2019-20, the government cut the allocation by nearly 4% or Rs 3,179 crore to bring them down to Rs 81,183 crore.
Except two of the total six schemes, all core of the core schemes have witnessed budget cut over the previous financial year.
Only two schemes, National Social Assistance Programme and Umbrella Programme for Development of Minorities were allocated more funds in the interim budget in comparison with the revised estimates for previous year. Four other schemes, MGNREGA, Umbrella Scheme for Scheduled Castes, National Social Assistance Programme and schemes related to other vulnerable groups witnessed reduction in fund allocation in the interim budget in comparison with the revised estimates for the previous fiscal.
These schemes are aimed at providing crucial support to deprived and marginal sections of the society, but the umbrella scheme for development of other vulnerable groups saw the most significant cut in comparison with the last year.
In 2018 Union Budget, Modi government had allocated Rs 2,187 crore for development of other vulnerable groups but actual spending according to the revised estimates presented in February this year, the figure came down to Rs 1,550 crore, a decrease of more than 40% from the allocated amount.
In the interim budget for this fiscal, Modi government further reduced allocation by Rs 323 crore or more than 20%.
According to the allocation made in the interim budget, Modi government cut the allocation to this scheme by 44% in comparison with the allocation made in 2018.