In addition, the budget has outlined a plan to provide rural broadbandconnectivity to all 250,000 village
in three years.
“There has been a great push for rural consumption and related issues inthis budget,” said Anirban Roy, founder and executive director of Seed
Financial Services, a business correspondent, which is a bank-appointed firmto provide financial services in unbanked areas.
“The finance minister’s putting out the Swabhiman campaign (which brings
banking services to rural areas) and other such measures will give a huge
boost to rural demand,” Roy said.
The budget’s thrust on villages “will not only spur rural dem
and but alsocreate the right ecosystem to sustain the growth... The Indian growth story
which started in the urban areas is now shifting to rural India,” he added.
The budget has increased the central Plan outlay for agriculture and alliedactivities by 2.6% to Rs14,744 crore.It has increased allocations for the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, anagriculture development programme, from Rs6,755 crore to Rs7,860 crore;and enhanced the additional subvention to farmers who repay their croploans on time from 2% to 3%.
“The budget is proactive for the rural sector and will allow the flow of growth
there to continue. For instance, enhancement in allocation to Bharat Nirmanwill promote infrastructure development which will impact wages and
demand,” said Keerti M
isra, partner at MART, a rural marketing consultancy.The budget has increased monthly remuneration for workersin
(government-sponsored daycare centres mostly in villages)from Rs1,500 to Rs3,000 and for
helpers from Rs750 to Rs1,500.About 2.2 million
workers and helpers are expected to benefitfrom this.But for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MGNREGS), which assures 100 days of work in a year to one member of each rural household, the budget has slightly reduced allocation to Rs40,000crore from Rs40,100 crore.
Mukherjee, however, stressed that MGNREGS’ new indexed wage systemwould result in a “significant enhancement” in payment for workers across