Budget 2008-09 highlights

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) Rs 60,000 crore Agricultural Debt Relief Package; complete loan waiver for small and marginal farmers: 4 crore farmers to benefit.

Rs 2,80,000 crore target set for Farm credit in 2008-09, short term croploan to continue at 7 per cent interest.

Irrigation and water resources finance corporation to be set up, rainfed area development programme to be started Rs 3,966 crore for schemes for SCs and Sts, Rs 18,983 crore for schemes earmarking 20 per cent funds for SCs and STS Multi-Sectioral development plans for all 90 minority concentration districts All Women self help groups credit- linked to banks to be covered under Janashree Bima Yojana National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme to cover all 596 rural districts A Nationalo programme to be launched for the elderly Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana for Workers under BPL category in unorganized sector A statement on child related scheme introducted in the budget for the first time.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme to be extended to upper primary classes in all blocks Special mechnism for north-Eastern Border areas Government to establish 16 Central Universities 3 IITs, 2IIse Rs and Schools of Planning and Architecture to be established 6,000 High Quality Model Schools to be opened New Scholaship scheme for promoting innovations in science eaceh district ot have a Nehru Yuva Kendra Schools in water deficient hanbitations to have drinking water systems Subsidy on Houses under Indira Awaas Yojana increased from Rs25,000 to Rs 35,000 in plain areas and from Rs 27,500 to Rs 38.500 Hill/Duffucykt area Rs 1000 crore provided for Aam Adami Bima Yojana Allocation under Indira Gandhi old age pension Scheme increased from Rs 2392 crore to rs 3443 crore Rs 32,667 crore provided for Food subsidy under public distribution system Rs 750 crore allocated for upgrading 300 ITIs Six Mega Clusters planned for Handlooms, Powerlooms and Handicrafts Government to provide Rs 16,436 crore as equity support and Rs 3,003 crore as loans to central public sector enterprises Backward region grant fund retained at Rs 5,800 crore, Bihar, Oriss and Uttar Pradesh to get nearly 45 per cent of the amount Income Tax exemption limit hiked to Rs 1,5 lakh; 10 per cent tax for Income between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh, 20 per cent between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, income above Rs 5,00,001 to attract 30 per cent income tax Exemption limited for women tax payers increased to Rs 1,80,000 and for senior citizens to Rs 2.25,000 No charge in corporate income tax rates and surcharge.

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