No impact on rural development due to slowdown: minister (Lead)

January 5th, 2009 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The global economic meltdown will not have any impact on rural development projects or budgetary allocations for the ministry of rural development, Minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said here Monday.”We are expecting more budgetary allocation for our department in the coming fiscal. There will be no adverse impact of the recession on ongoing projects and other expenditures across the country,” he said on the sidelines of the curtain-raiser for the 16th session of the Afro-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO), slated to begin here Tuesday.

He added that the ministry’s budgetary allocation for the coming fiscal will increase manifold, and this has been the “norm” under the current government.

“The budgetary spending for our ministry just for the current fiscal has been Rs.76,000 crore (Rs.760 billion), which is equivalent to the amount allocated for rural development in the 10th Five-Year Plan period. The budgetary spending in the rural development will increase,” he said.

The minister also said over 35 million families were availing of the benefits of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, a nationwide programme that the government says provides at least 100 days of work in rural areas.

He said that the government has no plans of increasing the minimum working days criteria to more than 100 days as “significant workforce is employed in farms during the peak harvesting season and also in other government development initiatives”.

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