The welfare focus in Union Budget 2022

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The Union Budget for 2022-23 dovetails a massive welfare focus encompassing several schemes of the central government.

Under the Har Ghar, Nal Se Jal, 3.8 crore households are to be covered in 2022-23.

Under the PM Awas Yojana, 80 lakh houses are to be completed in 2022-23. The PM-DevINE scheme seeks to fund infrastructure and social development based on felt needs of the North East India.

The Aspirational Blocks Programme is for development of lagging blocks of aspirational districts while the Vibrant Villages Programme is targeting development of villages on the Northern Border left out from the development gains.

Digital Banking by Post Offices scheme covers 100 per cent of post offices to come on the core banking system. Digital Payments scheme envisages that Scheduled Commercial Banks to set up 75 Digital Banking Units in 75 districts.

The current coverage of Har Ghar, Nal Se Jal is 8.7 crore. Of this 5.5 crore households were provided tap water in last 2 years itself. Allocation of Rs 60,000 crore has been made with an aim to cover 3.8 crore households in 2022-23.

In 2022-23 80 lakh houses will be completed for the identified eligible beneficiaries of PM Awas Yojana, both rural and urban. Rs 48,000 crore is allocated for this purpose.

The Central Government will work with the state governments for reduction of time required for all land and construction related approvals, for promoting affordable housing for middle class and Economically Weaker Sections in urban areas.

A new scheme, Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East, PM-DevINE, will be implemented through the North-Eastern Council. It will fund infrastructure, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti, and social development projects based on felt needs of the North-East. This will enable livelihood activities for youth and women, filling the gaps in various sectors. It will not be a substitute for existing central or state schemes. While the central ministries may also pose their candidate projects, priority will be given to those posed by the states. An initial allocation of Rs 1,500 crore will be made.

The government’s vision is to improve the quality of life of citizens in the most backward districts of the country through Aspirational Districts Programme. Ninety five per cent of those 112 districts have made significant progress in key sectors such as health, nutrition, financial inclusion and basic infrastructure. They have surpassed the state average values. However, in those districts, some blocks continue to lag. In 2022-23, the programme will focus on such blocks in those districts.

Border villages with sparse population, limited connectivity and infrastructure often get left out from the development gains. Such villages on the northern border will be covered under the new Vibrant Villages Programme. The activities will include construction of village infrastructure, housing, tourist centres, road connectivity, provisioning of decentralized renewable energy, direct to home access for Doordarshan and educational channels, and support for livelihood generation. Additional funding for these activities will be provided. Existing schemes will be converged. We will define their outcomes and monitor them on a constant basis.

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