New Delhi, Feb 29: Stating that the United Progressive Alliance Government's prime focus is to curb inflation rate, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday told Lok Sabha that he is confident that India would be able to maintain a Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) of 8 per cent.
While tabling the General Budget 2008-09, Chidambaram said that allocation to the education and health sector would be increased by 20 per cent each. He said that 6, 000 new high quality schools and three new Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will be opened during next fiscal. The Finance Minister said that agriculture sector average annual growth is pegged at 2.6 per cent.
To contain the spread of HIV and AIDS in the country, the minister said 993 crore rupees will be allocated to fight against the infection. The National Rural Health Mission is likely to get allocation of 12, 050 crore rupees. For polio eradication 1, 042 crore rupees will be allocated.
The flagship programme National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme will get 16, 000 crore rupees, while the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan 13, 100 crore rupees.
National Programme for elderly will be initiated and is expected to get 400 crore rupees.
Chidambaram also announced a health cover of Rs. 30, 000 to all workers belonging to the people living below poverty line (BPL).