The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 1 February 2017 presented the Union Budget 2017 in the Lok Sabha. In the independent India, this will be the 87th budget and the third of the Modi Sarkar.
The Budget 2017 is the first budget after introduction of three key changes to the budget process i.e., merging of the Railway Budget with the General Budget, doing away with the classification of plan and non plan expenditure and advancing the budget presentation date by one month.
The Finance Minister announced following proposals in the rural development sector:
• Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), roads has accelerated to reach 133 km roads per day in 2016-17, as against an average of 73 km during the period 2011-2014.
• The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured that the Union Government is committed to complete the current target under PMGSY by 2019. He added that a sum of Rs 19000 crore has been provided in 2017-18 for the scheme.
• One crore houses would be completed by 2019 for the houseless and those living in kutcha houses. The Union Government has raised up the allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin from Rs 15000 crores in BE 2016-17 to Rs 23000 crores in 2017-18.
• He hoped that 100 per cent village electrification would be achieved by 1 May 2018.
• An increased allocation of Rs 4814 crores has been proposed under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana in 2017-18.
• The Finance Minister proposed to increase the allocations for Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs 4500 crore in 2017-18. This has been done to promote skill development and livelihood opportunities for people in rural areas.
• The allocation for Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and Credit Support Schemes has been increased more than 3 times.
• Sanitation coverage in rural India has gone up from 42 per cent in October 2014 to about 60 per cent and such villages are now being given priority for piped water supply.
• For imparting new skills to the people in the rural areas, mason training will be provided to 5 lakh persons by 2022, with an immediate target of training at least 20000 persons by 2017-18.