Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday announced a 17% increase in social spending in the annual budget, on projects ranging from malnutrition programmes to health schemes.
"The country has carried for long enough the burden of hunger and malnutrition," he said. The allocation for the social sector would show an "increase of 17% over the current year," Mukherjee told parliament.
He said that the government would spend 267.6 billion rupees ($5.9 billion) on the health sector alone in the next fiscal year, a rise of 20%, while education spending would also rise, to 520 billion rupees.
A national food security bill, which will provide a legal guarantee of subsidised food for low-income families, would be introduced in the current parliamentary session, he also announced.