The Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today asserted that there is a steep hike in the budget of the Ministry and allocation to all its flagship schemes has gone up considerably. Briefing the media here, the Minister said that the budget of the Ministry in 2012-13 was Rs 50,161 crore (0.50% of GDP) but in 2016-17, the budget has increased to Rs 95,096 crore, which is 0.63 percent of GDP. Referring to the main flagship scheme of MGNREGA, he said the budget for the rural job scheme has gone up considerably from about Rs 37,000 crore in 2011-12 to about 58,000 Crore in 2016-17. He said, after the restructuring of the MGNREGA under the present government, 235 crore of man days were generated this fiscal, which is the highest in the last 5 years. Moreover, about 2 crore assets were created under the scheme, which is in the public domain. In reply to a question, the Minister said, 85 percent of the payments are being made within 15 days and 96 percent payment to the wage workers are made through DBT.
Shri Tomar also informed that the coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has increased from 64 percent to 81 percent in the last three years and he expressed the hope that the scheme will be completed with 100 percent rural road connectivity by 2019. He also informed that the Ministry would complete 51 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana by the March, 2018.Shri Tomar said that Rural Development Ministry in partnership with State/UT Governments and all respective Ministries of Government of India is organizing a Gram Samridhi Evam Swachhta Pakhwada in each and every Gram Panchayat of the country from 1st to 15th of October, 2017.He said, the initiative is to further take forward transparency through a concerted public information campaign. The Minister said that besides, promoting cleanliness in the village, it aims to generate community interaction on economic activities and development. It also provides for a field based validation of the progress so far and systems for strengthening social audit through women’s Self Help Groups.During this fortnight long programme, Gram Sabhas will be organized on Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October, 2017 in all Gram Panchayats of the country with active participation of all adults specially women and youth. Concerted efforts have been made to ensure specific activities for community action and for public information.