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Rural development outlay hiked 6.4 per cent

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The union budget for the coming fiscal has made an outlay of Rs.66,137 crore for rural development, an increase of 6.4 from 2009-10.

‘For the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, development of rural infrastructure remains a high priority area. For the year 2010-11, I propose to provide Rs.66,100 crore for rural development,’ Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, presenting the budget in parliament Friday.

While the plan outlay for rural development in 2010-11 is Rs.66,100 crore, the non-plan outlay is Rs 37.86 crore.

The minister said that allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been stepped up to Rs.40,100 crore in 2010-11 and an amount of Rs.48,000 crore has been allocated for rural infrastructure programmes under Bharat Nirman.

The unit cost under Indira Awas Yojana increased to Rs.45,000 in the plain areas, Rs.48,500 in the hilly areas, and the allocation for the scheme has been increased to Rs.10,000 crore.

He said the allocation to Backward Region Grant Fund has been enhanced by 26 per cent from Rs.5,800 crore in 2009-10 to Rs.7,300 crore in 2010-11.

The minister said additional central assistance of Rs.1,200 crore has been provided for drought mitigation in the Bundelkhand region.

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