New Delhi: The government has pegged the annual play outlay for 2008-09 at Rs3.76 lakh crore, with social sector getting a maximum allocation of Rs95,919 crore.
The central plan outlay has been raised from Rs2.92 lakh crore in revised estimates (RE) for the current fiscal to Rs3.76 lakh crore in 2008-09, an increase of 29%.
The allocation for social services has been stepped up from Rs75,162 crore (RE 2007-08) to Rs 95,919 crore, showing a growth of 28%.
Among other important sectors, the outlay for energy sector has been raised from Rs72,230 crore to Rs93,815 crore, while for the transport sector it has been increased from Rs84,177 crore from Rs68,930 crore.
For rural development, the outlay has been raised to Rs23,831 crore from Rs21,147 crore, while for the industry and minerals segment it would be Rs28,836 crore, up from Rs17,953 crore.
The budgetary support for the central plan outlay has been fixed at Rs1.80 lakh crore, up from Rs1.49 crore in the revised estimates.
The internal and external budgetary resources (IEBR) target for 2008-09 has been significantly stepped to Rs2 lakh crore from Rs1.44 lakh crore, putting much greater onus on public sector enterprises to fund the central plan.
The central plan outlay for current fiscal, will fall short of the budget estimates by around Rs28,000 crore.
According to the budget documents, the central plan outlay in RE has been estimated at Rs2.92 lakh crore, much below the budget estimate of Rs3.20 lakh crore.
Chidambaram also announced target of agricultural credit for the next fiscal at Rs2,80,000 crore. He said the growth of farm credit has been impressive and is poised to reach Rs2,40,000 crore during 2007-08.
The short-term crop loans will continue to be disbursed at 7% interest rate and Rs1,600 crore has been earmarked for interest subvention in 2008-09.
The outlay for irrigation has been raised from Rs11,000 crore in the current fiscal to Rs20,000 crore in 2008-09.
“Under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme, 24 major and medium irrigation projects and 753 minor irrigations schemes will be completed in this financial year, creating additional irrigation potential of 5 lakh hectare,” he said.
Chidamabaram proposed to allocate Rs500 crore on micro irrigation like drip and sprinkler systems with a target to cover 4 lakh hectare areas.
The minister also announced a new Irrigation and Water Resources Finance Corporation to fund major and medium irrigation projects. The corporation will be established with an initial capital of Rs 100 crore contributed by the centre.
Buoyed by the increase of 2,76,000 hectare area under horticulture crops, the government has allocated Rs 1,100 crore to the National Horticulture Mission. Special thrust is being given to the revival of crops like coconut, cashew and pepper under NHM.
Chidambaram announced an allocation of Rs75 crore to Agriculture Ministry for setting up mobile soil testing labs in each of identified 250 districts before March 2009.
Besides, he said 500 soil testing laboratories would come up in public and private sectors during the 11th five year plan period where government would give an assistance of Rs30 lakh to each laboratory.