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Union Budget aimed at creating an enabling atmosphere for all sections: Mukherjee

March 16, 2012 - India

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said the aim of the Union Budget 2012-13 is to create an enabling atmosphere for corporates, farmers, entrepreneurs and workers to take initiatives for robust growth.

Mukherjee, in his budget speech, said that the budget also aims to ensure that the benefits of growth reach all sections of the population.

Expressing concern over the shortage in housing sector, Mukherjee proposed various measures to address this issue for low income groups in major cities and towns including ECB for low cost housing projects and setting up of a Credit Guarantee Trust Fund.

Regarding the textile sector, Mukherjee announced the setting up of two more mega clusters, one to cover Prakasam and Guntur districts in Andhra Pradesh and other for Godda and neighboring districts in Jharkhand in addition to four mega handloom clusters already operationalized.

He also proposed the setting up of three Weavers Service Centres, one each in Mizoram, Nagaland and Jharkhand.

He proposed a Rs. 500 crore pilot scheme in Twelfth Plan for promotion and application of geo-textiles in the North East. A powerloom mega cluster will be set up in Ichalkaranji in Maharashtra.

Underlining the importance of timely access to affordable credit for farmers, Mukherjee proposed to raise the target for agricultural credit to Rs.5,75,000 crore, which represents an increase of Rs. 1,00,000 crore over the target for the current year.

He said that a short term RRB Credit Refinance Fund is being set up to enhance the capacity of Regional Rural Banks to disburse short term crop loans to the small and marginal farmers.

Regarding food security, Mukherjee said that the National Food Security Bill 2011 is before Parliamentary Standing Committee.

He said a multi-sectoral programme to address maternal and child malnutrition in selected 200 high burdened districts is being rolled out during 2012-13.

He further said that an allocation of Rs.15,850 crore has been made for ICDS scheme which is an increase of 58 per cent and Rs.11,937 crore for National Programme of Mid-Day Meals in schools for the year 2012-13. He added that an allocation of Rs.750 crore is proposed for Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, SABLA.


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