The government will set aside an additional Rs 4,000 crore for rural job scheme MGNREGA, taking the total expenditure for the initiative to Rs 47,000 crore for the fiscal, finance minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was initiated with the objective of providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household, whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled work.
“Although Congress made promises, they never made so much expenditure on the scheme,” Jaitley said, replying to a short discussion on the second batch of a supplementary demand for grants.
The supplementary demand for grants and related bills, which were passed by the Lok Sabha amid commotion, authorise the government to increase public expenditure by about Rs 60,000 crore though the additional cash outgo will only be Rs 36,000 crore.
He added that the planned expenditure during the current fiscal will go up to Rs 5.95 lakh crore from Rs 5.5 lakh crore mentioned in budget estimates.
The finance minister added that in the previous government’s regime the actual expenditure was always much less than that mentioned in the budget.
He said India was considered one of the five “fragile” economies of the world two-and-a-half years ago. “Today India has become a bright spot in global economy. It is set to become the fastest growing large economy of the world for the third year in a row,” he added.