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Modi Govt's Budget Has Big Agri-Health-Rural Focus

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister  Arun Jaitley on Thursday presented  general Budget 2018-19 in Parliament.  

Budget guided by mission to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education,employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors  

Government says, a series of structural reforms will propel India among the fastest growing economies of the world. Country firmly on course to achieve over 8 % growth as manufacturing, services and exports back on good growth path.  

MSP for all unannounced kharif crops will be one and half times of their production cost like majority of rabi crops: Institutional Farm Credit raised to 11 lakh crore in 2018-19 from 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15.  22,000 rural haats to be developed and upgraded into Gramin Agricultural Markets toØ protect the interests of 86% small and marginal farmers.  

“Operation Greens” launched to address price fluctuations in potato, tomato and onion for benefit of farmers and consumers.  Two New Funds of Rs10,000 crore announced for Fisheries and Animal Husbandary sectors; Re-structured National Bamboo Mission gets Rs.1290 crore.  

Loans to Women Self Help Groups will increase to Rs.75,000 crore in 2019 from 42,500Ø crore last year.  

Higher targets for Ujjwala, Saubhagya and Swachh Mission to cater to lower and middle class in providing free LPG connections, electricity and toilets.  

Outlay on health, education and social protection will be 1.38 lakh crore. Tribal students to get Ekalavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2022. Welfare fund for SCs gets a boost.  

World?s largest Health Protection Scheme covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families launched with a family limit upto Rs.5 lakh for secondary and tertiary treatment.  Fiscal Deficit pegged at 3.5 %, projected at 3.3 % for 2018-19.

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