Ani Agarwal Dialogue 2013

March 04, 2013

  • 42,800 persons in the country have a taxable income of Rs 1 crore or more.  An additional surcharge of 10 per cent announced for the super-rich 

  • Government to roll out Direct Benefit Transfer under welfare schemes throughout the country by 2014

  • Rs 1,000 crore set aside for skill development of youth

  • Chidambaram announces Rs 1,000 crore fund for initiatives to empower women and make them secure. It will be called Nirbhaya Fund

  • Centrally sponsored schemes to be reduced from 177 to 70

  • Rajeev Gandhi Panchayat Scheme to build capacity of local governments; to get Rs 2,600 crore

  • Ministry of Science and Technology gets Rs 6,275 crore. This is a substantial increase

  • Backward Region Grant Fund to include Bihar, Bundelkhand and KBK region of Odisha as special components 

  • Wind energy will get generation based incentives. Rs 800 crore allocated for wind energy

  • Clean and green energy: renewable energy will be cheaper as government will give incentives

  • Municipalities to get support for garbage disposal through PPP 

  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to be extended to unorganised sector, including mine workers, sanitation workers 

  • Social security package for unorganised sector, including sanitation workers

  • Insurance sector: business correspondents to sell micro-insurance; SHGs will be involved in insurance sector

  • Exclusive bank for women to support women and self help groups (SHGs). The new public sector bank will start with iitial capital of Rs 1,000 crore

  • Rs 37,300 crore allocated to for Health for All

  • Rs 2,500 crore allocated for environment management and textile sector

  • CSR to cover innovative technology development in academic institutions

  • First batch of six new AIIMS commenced in 2012

  • PPP policy on coal policy framework and coal production announced

  • Steel industry to get boost from home loan incentives 

  • World Bank and ADB to assist in building roads in the Northeast to link to Myanmar

  • Foodgrain godowns at Panchayat level to get support 

  • Rs 3,415 crore allocated for agricultural research, the highest ever

  • Agriculture credit disbursement target increased to Rs 7 lakh crore

  • Agriculture budget increased by 22 per cent of revised estimate 

  • Anticipating passing of National Food Security Bill, Rs 10,000 crore set aside to meet incremental cost on food subsidies

  • Maternal and child nutrition scheme to be implemented in 100 districts in 2013-14

  • Budget has sub-plans for Scheduled Castes and Tribes

  • 46 per cent increase in budget for rural development. MGNREGS allocated Rs 33,000 crore

  • Finance Minister calls for growth that is inclusive and sustainable 

  • Getting to the 8 per cent growth rate is the challenge, says Chidambaram

  • Finance Minister P Chidambaram reaches Parliament. Budget speech to begin at 11 am

This is the first budget of the 12th Five Year Plan, and the last one of the present government which will seek re-election in May 2014. Though Budget 2013-14 is expected to be a populist budget given that this will be an election year, the country's fiscal health restricts the government's spending capacity. So expect the following when Finance Minister P Chidambaram presents the Union Budget in a few hours:

  • Pruning of the vast centrally sponsored schemes

  • Expansion of direct benefit/cash transfer

  • Major increase in capital expenditure in agriculture

  • New programmes for tribal areas

  • Focus on horticulture/vegetables

  • Not much increase in budgetary support to rural development programme; focus on efficient management

  • MGNREGA support to be conditional to last year's expenditure; money in non-lapsable fund may be an argument

  • Rolling out of a universal health coverage programme in a limited way

  • Rural Livelihood Mission to get prominence

  • Right to Food Bill may get substantial budget provision