The government has not slashed the allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) scheme, Finance Secretary TV Somanathan stated in media while rubbishing media reports.
Somanathan also said, “if we compare budget to the budget allocation of MGNREGA from Union Budget 2021-22 and Union Budget 2022-23 we have allocated Rs 73000 crore for MGNREGA. In supplementary allocation, we had pushed up to Rs 98,000 crore in revised estimates for the financial year 2021-22 due to pandemic and demand by states.”
“For 2022-23 we have allocated the same amount of Rs 73,000 crore as we assume that this time situation is not looking so bad as we have seen an April-May 2021. But yes if such a situation arises and there is a demand to increase the MGNREGA allocation, we can increase the allocation in the revised estimate,” he said.
MGNREGA is a demand-driven scheme, guaranteeing 100 days of unskilled work to any rural household that wants it.
Somanathan pointed out that capital expenditure in the Union Budget 2022-23 has been stepped up sharply by 35.4 per cent from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current year to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23, which is an increase of more than Rs 2 lakh crore.
“From this 2 lakh crore central government will give Rs 1 lakh crore to states for the development of public infrastructure on every district. This Budget will make our economy Aatmanirbhar,” he said.
Finance Secretary said that Union Budget 2022-23 is a growth-oriented budget. About 2,000 km of the rail network will be brought under the indigenous world-class technology Kavach.
He said Kavach is an indigenously developed anti-collision device to prevent accidents to achieve railways its goal of zero accidents. 400 new Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured in the next three years with Indian technology providing security and speed.
Somanathan said, “we had proposed import duty in certain items which were exempted earlier will help our MSMEs.”
“The more business we generate, the more opportunities will create. If we spend on rail network this will not only benefit manufacturers but also those MSMEs who provide raw materials to manufactures,” he said.