Spotlight on aam aadmi, again
The UPA’s last budget is expected to have overwhelming schemes for the agriculture and social sectors and would be about Rs 2,40,000 crore. With this, the government expects to keep fiscal deficit within 3 per cent limit as prescribed by Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.
The social sector ministries like HRD, Women and Child Development and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is expected to get a hike ranging from 10 to 23 per cent but allocation of departments like that of Atomic Energy may be reduced by 2-3 per cent.
While the rural sector is likely to be the emphasis of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s last budget this time, the agenda would clearly be the 2009 polls, budget experts said. Government flagship programmes like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, Bharat Nirman, Rural Health Mission and Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission would get additional funds for the next financial year, officials said.
Government sources said the Finance minister may announce a scholarship scheme for students, especially for those from the weaker sections, an agriculture loan waiver scheme, additional financial incentives for BPL families and women and children.
Some relief for income tax payers can also be expected. The government is also expected to allocate money for implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations likely to be submitted to the government in the first week of April.
Already, the Planning Commission has allocated funds for implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations in the state governments’ annual plan.
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- An HT analysis of the profile of snatchers arrested in Delhi between 2018 and 2020 shows that more than 90% of those arrested were caught for the first time, and did not have any criminal record until then. Police registered them as “first-time offenders”.
- A pavement establishment rich in character.
- Additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat questioned the police’s case as to how the offence of attempt to murder can be made out against accused Imran and Babu, when the victim himself is absent from the police investigation and has never been seen by the police.
- Under section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the investigating agency has to take prior sanction from the state government to prosecute any individual for sedition.
- In a statement issued later, the Delhi government said the funds have been allocated for scholarships to SC/ST/OBC communities, Ladli Scheme, aid and equipment for children with special needs and for augmentation of library infrastructure in Delhi government schools.
- The elections are being seen as a test for Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, as they are a precursor to the 2022 Delhi civic body polls.