The pressure on revenue and the economic downturn are likely to score a direct hit on the government’s flagship schemes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) in the upcoming budget for 2010-11.
The NREGA got a massive hike of 144 per cent for the fiscal 2009-10 from the Rs 16,000 crore allocated in 2008-09. But this time round, the increase is likely to be a modest 2.5 per cent, to Rs 40,100 crore for the rural job plan in 2010-11.
Sources in the rural development ministry told Hindustan Times that the ministry had demanded Rs 44,000 crore for the NREGA, now re-christened as Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, for the next fiscal.
But, it would get a mere Rs 1,000 crore more than the amount that was allocated for the current fiscal.
NREGA, which was the key to Congress’ success in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, provides 100 days of guaranteed work to every rural household in a financial year. It is being implemented in all 619 districts.
Some 4.41 crore rural households have been provided with employment till January-end, 2010.
However, the budget outlay for IAY, a scheme to provide houses to rural poor, for 2010-11 would see an increase of Rs 1,200 crore at Rs 10,000 crore.
The allocation for another flagship scheme,Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), which envisages all-weather road connectivity in rural areas, would remain unchanged at Rs 12,000 crore.
There would be a marginal increase of Rs 530 crore in the budget for Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), a self-employment scheme for the rural poor, at Rs 2880 crore.
The rural development ministry’s total budgetary allocation for 2010-11 has been pegged at Rs 66,000 crore, an increase of less than Rs 4,000 crore from the Rs 62,670 crore that was allotted in 2009-10.