News Of The Month
Budget 2017: Giant strides required to usher in social security

With Government of India promising to increase avenues for the less privileged in the coming budget, there are a lot of expectations for the social development sector. With cuts in the social schemes and welfare programmes the government in the last two budgets has been trying to control the leakages and duplications which were done under programmes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, LPG subsidy and the Public Distribution System. The flow of funds in these schemes was not reaching the beneficiaries as there were ghost accounts accounts of beneficiaries who were long dead, multiple accounts, procedural leakages etc. The current government vowed to put a lid on such leakages and this was done in the way of cuts in funds.

The government vowed to give more authority to the states by reducing the flow of funds on the centrally sponsored schemes and encouraging the states to chip in this amount from the additional funds they were getting after the fourteenth commission. The idea was that each state was better equipped to allocate funds than the government at the center according to their needs.

Budget 2017 to aim growth, inclusive development for Social sector

In the coming budget, it’s important that the government uses the increased revenue to channelise and strengthen the social sector schemes with better monitoring and implementation of the schemes in a synchronised manner. With the common man looking up to this government with more expectations post increased digitisation of the economy, the fruits should be borne by all including the rural India. A big push for the agricultural and rural schemes is need of the hour with investment in building new innovative irrigation solutions for that farmer who has been struggling in the drought season. Water conservation methods should be encouraged and features like crop insurance can also be introduced.

In the health and education sector, government needs to invest more in an effective and last mile delivery systems and mode, so that the funds benefit those who desire these most and have been waiting for these from a long time. Government’s announcement of increased entitlements of maternity benefits recently around the new year is an indication that even the government is under pressure to cheer up the marginalized section which was worst affected by the challenges and hardships of demonetisation.

Similarly digitisation being a catch phrase with this government the education sector is also on the edge of their seat and hoping for funds for boosting online and digital education with the focus now being clearly defined in areas of skill development.

Giant strides are required to bring in social security to Indians and everyone is watching this time when this same very government presents its third budget on February 1st 2017.

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