Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on 28 February 2013 tabled the Union budget in the Lok Sabha for the financial year 2013-14. In the Union Budget 2013-14, the Union Finance Minister focused on three main sections of the society- women, the youth and the poor. Various new plans and schemes were introduced for these three strata of the society as well as for various sectors. These plans and schemes are as follows:
New Plans and Schemes rolled out in the Union Budget 2013-14:
• Nirbhaya Fund: The Finance Minister announced the setting up of a fund called the Nirbhaya Fund - with the Government contributing 1000 crore Rupees for safety and security of the women in India. The Finance Minister announced that various initiatives were underway as well as a lot more were undertaken by Government and NGOs for empowering women and providing them safety and security.
• 1000 crore Rupees scheme for training youth: A 1000 crore Rupees scheme for training youth for boosting up their employability and productivity was rolled out in the budget. The National Skill Development Corporation would be required to set up curriculum and standards for training different skills. The trained youth who will pass the test by the end of the training would get monetary reward of 10000 Rupees on an average. This initiative would motivate 10 lakh youth.
• Proposal to set up India’s first Women’s Bank as a public sector bank with 1000 crore Rupees as initial capital.
• Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme to be rolled out throughout the country during the term of UPA Government. This scheme will help the poor. Under the scheme, a bank account will be opened for each beneficiary; and the bank account will be seeded with Aadhaar in due course.
• 10000 crore Rupees earmarked for National Food Security towards the incremental cost.
• Drinking water and sanitation will receive 15260 crore Rupees. 1400 crore Rupees is being provided for setting up water purification plants to cover arsenic and fluoride affected rural areas.
• Proposal to launch Inflation Indexed Bonds or Inflation Indexed National Security Certificates to protect savings from inflation.
• Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme launched for recovering service tax dues.
• 9000 crore Rupees earmarked as the first installment of balance of CST compensations to different States/UTs.
• The Interest Subvention Scheme: This scheme for short-term crop loans is proposed to be continued for loans by public sector banks, RRBs and Cooperative banks, and expanded to private scheduled commercial banks. Under the scheme, a farmer who repays the loan on time is able to get credit at 4 cent per year.
• National Livestock Mission: 307 crore Rupees have been provided for setting up of the National Livestock Mission. This will attract investment and enhance livestock productivity. A sub-mission of this Mission seeks to increase the availability of feed and fodder.
• Assistance of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank will be sought to build roads in the North Eastern States and connect them to Myanmar.
• The body of Rural Infrastructure Development Funds (RIDF) is proposed to be raised to 20000 crore Rupees.
• Plans for seven new cities were finalized for industrial corridors and work on two new smart industrial cities at Dholera (Gujarat) and Shendra Bidkin (Maharashtra) will start during 2013-14.
• Two new ports will be established in Sagar (West Bengal) and in Andhra Pradesh.
• A power transmission system will be constructed from Srinagar to Leh and for this 226 crore Rupees were provided in 2013-14.
• Apparel Parks are proposed to be set up within the Integrated Textile Parks, to house apparel manufacturing units.
• Standing Council of Experts: Standing Council of Experts is proposed to be constituted in the Ministry of Finance to analyse the international competitiveness of the Indian financial sector.
• A number of proposals relating to capital market have been finalized in consultation with SEBI. These include simplification of procedure and uniforms norms for foreign portfolio investors, clarity relating to FDI investment, allowing FIIs to participate in new areas, etc.
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