The government is expected to spend Rs 2,000 crore next year as its plan to provide a unique identification number to the country’s 1.1 billion population takes off.
The Unique Identification (UID) project is intended to help prevent misuse of funds for the poor and for better implementation of development measures. The allocation of Rs 2,000 crore in the budget for 2010-11 is the first tranche of about Rs 20,000 crore that the government plans to spend in executing the UID over the next five years, said an official, who did not want to be named because the details are confidential until the budget is presented to parliament on February 26.
Although successive governments have kept increasing budgetary allocations for rural welfare and social sectors, the outcome has rarely been commensurate with the money spent. The reason: lack of proper identification of who is poor, and who should benefit from such welfare programmes.
In the upcoming budget, the government is expected increase allocations to key rural and social programmes by 11 per cent. Besides the UID project, allocations for women and child welfare measures and social justice programmes are set to increase by 50 per cent and 100 per cent respectively.
The centre’s spending on education is likely to increase 15 per cent, as enforcing the recently-passed Right to Education law requires significant expansion of the school system, said the official.
However, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme that saw large increases in past years, will see a moderate hike of just 2.5 per cent.