Budget 2013-2014: speech of P. Chidambaram, Minister of Finance.

Kerala Cabinet granted Rs. 25 crore additionally to the State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) on Wednesday to tide over its financial problems.

With this the total grants to the KSRTC during this financial year rose to Rs. 100 crore, in addition to the original Budget provisions. The Cabinet authorised Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to appoint a one man commission to study the problems related to backwardness of Nadar community.

GUWAHATI: As a special case, the Government of India has sanctioned Rs 161 crore for constructing roads in Assam with 250 and above inhabitants under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

“In other parts of the country, roads are built under PMGSY in areas with a population of 500 and above. But this norm has been relaxed for Assam. Also, the Centre has sanctioned the construction of 689 km roads in areas with a population of 500 and above. This new project will cost Rs 820 crore and it will include 347 RCC bridges,” said State Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Ajanta Neog while talking to mediapersons in Guwahati on Wednesday.

Twelve years after launching its flagship rural roads scheme, the Ministry of Rural Development is set to introduce the second version of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, which will focus on refurbishing the existing rural roads, by moving a proposal in the Cabinet on Thursday.

PMGSY, a Centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2000, seeks to provide all-weather road connectivity to rural areas for habitations with a population of 500 persons and above in plains and 250 and above in hilly/ desert areas. The sole focus of the scheme has been to provide new connectivity to unconnected areas. PMGSY II will focus on upgradation of existing rural roads not built under PMGSY and making capital investments to bring such roads to PMGSY standards.

The expenditure squeeze being enforced for 2012-13 and the likely freezing of the Budget size for 2013-14 could impact many welfare schemes run by the ministry of rural development (MRD) the most, although the UPA's showpiece Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) might be spared.

With economic prospects deteriorating more than initially expected by the government, the finance ministry is cutting down the budgetary allocation for this fiscal to popular schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Indira Awaas Yojana and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) by 20-25%, sources said. These cut would be seen in the revised estimate in the Budget.

In a bid to improve road connectivity in remote villages located in Naxal-affected areas and bordering districts, the Cabinet on Thursday approved a special provision of R38,500 crore under Pradan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to be allocated during the 12th plan period (20012-17).

Besides, the Union Cabinet also approved tweaking of PMGSY guidelines, where habitations with a population of 100 and above in the 82 Naxal-affected tribal districts would get roads under PMGSY. At present, the PMGSY covers habitations with a population of 250 persons and above in Naxal-hit tribal districts. More than 13,000 villages are expected to be covered under this special PMGSY allocation.

New Delhi: The World Bank has lined up an over $4.83-billion loan to India for ramping up road and rail infrastructure over the next five years as part of country assistance programme to help boost economic development, officials said on Thursday.

The bank is also looking at funding possibilities in ports and inland waterways projects, being planned by the government during the 12th Plan period. However, the funding from the bank could come with riders on safety and maintenance.

Overall scheme likely to see Rs 10,000-cr cut in the coming Budget proposals

The Cabinet today approved a Rs 38,500-crore allocation over five years for some projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The overall scheme is expected to see a Rs 10,000-crore cut in the coming Budget proposals. The scheme had an annual allocation of Rs 24,000 crore till this year. There would be about Rs 7,000 crore annually for the schemes approved today. The Cabinet is also to consider next week a new version of the PMGSY, which might take the total annual spending to Rs 14,000 crore.

The government has proposed an annual Plan of Rs 4,100 crore for 2013-14, which is an increase of 11 per cent from the current fiscal year Plan.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh stated this while addressing a meeting convened to ascertain the priorities of legislators for the finalisation of the Plan here today. He said Rs 22,800 crore had been approved for the state for the 12th Five-Year Plan. He said the amount was 65 per cent higher than the previous Plan amount and the increase was a record and the highest in the country.

The Union minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh on Monday approved the construction of two roads in Arunachal Pradesh - Bameng to Lada (55 kms) and Miao to Vijaynagar (157 kms) - in principl