Rural Development and Panchayati Raj was identified as major thrust areas for the Government to ensure sustainable and more inclusive growth. Both Rural development and Panchayati Raj were emphasized upon to large extent in the Union 2012-13 presented by the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on 16 March 2012.
The Union Budget 2012-13 announced a major initiative to strengthen Panchayats across the country through Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat SAShaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA).
Swarnajayanti Gram SwarojgarYojana (SGSY) was restructured into National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) to provide self employment opportunities. Pranab Mukherjee proposed to increase the allocation of NRLM by over 34 percent to Rs. 3915 crores in 2012-13.
Budgetary Provisions for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj
• Budgetary allocation for rural drinking water and sanitation increased from Rs 11000 crore to Rs 14000 crore marking an increase of over 27 per cent.
• The Union Budget 2012-13 proposed increase in allocation for by 20 per cent to Rs.24000 crore to improve connectivity
• Major initiative was proposed to strengthen Panchayats through Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan.
• The budget stated the continuance of Backward Regions Grant Fund scheme in twelfth plan with enhanced allocation of Rs 12040 crore in 2012-13, thereby representing an increase of 22 per cent over the budgetary expenditure of 2011-12
• The Union Budget also proposed allocation under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to be enhanced to Rs 20000 crore.
• For creating warehousing facilities in rural areas, the Finance Minister proposed to earmark an amount of Rs. 5000 crores from the enhanced allocation of Rs. 20000 crores under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
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