The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 29 February 2016 presented the Annual Financial Statement or the Union Budget for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. In his budget speech the minister listed nine pillars on which the Government will focus on in order to transform India into a developed nation.
The nine pillars are - Agriculture and farmers' welfare, rural sector, social sector including healthcare, education, skills and job creation, infrastructure and investment, financial sector reforms, governance and ease of doing business, fiscal discipline, tax reforms to reduce compliance burden.
The following are the new initiatives proposed in the Budget 2016-17 to achieve the goal of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance and to enable people to realize their full potential.
• A bill to amend the Companies Act, 2013 will be introduced in the 2016-17 budget session. The proposed bill would also improve the enabling environment for start-ups by mandating the registration of companies in one day.
• The Director General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) will establish a technology driven platform to facilitate transparency and efficiency in procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government.
• The Price Stabilisation Fund will be provided with a corpus of 900 crore rupees to support market interventions in procurement of pulses.
• Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme will be launched to link States and Districts in an annual programme that connects people through exchanges in areas of language, trade, culture, travel and tourism. The programme marks the celebration of 70th Anniversary of independence.
• Following three initiatives were announced to avoid leakage in disbursement of government subsidies.
1) A bill for targeted delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services by using the Aadhaar framework will be introduced in the budget session of 2016-17. A social security platform will be developed using Aadhaar to accurately target beneficiaries. This will be a transformative piece of legislation which will benefit the poor and the vulnerable.
2) Direct Benefit Transfer for delivering fertilizer subsidies will be used on pilot basis in a few districts across the country. It seeks to improve the quality of service delivery to farmers.
3) Out of the 5.35 lakh Fair Price Shops in the country, automation facilities will be provided in 3 lakh Fair Price Shops by March 2017.
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