Budget gives thrust to social sector programmes

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) The Budget 2008-09 maintains thrust on social sector programmes by substantially enhancing the allocations under the flagship programmes of the UPA government while projecting an 8.7 per cent growth rate in the current fiscal.

Presenting the last budget of the UPA government in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced a hefty hike of 38 per cent in the Gross Budgetary Support to the Plan.

Most of these funds are intended for the major flagship programmes and schemes.

The Finance Minister vowed that inflation would be kept under check and the government would work to bring about self-sufficiency in foodgrain production.

Promising to launch new initiatives to step up growth to 4 per cent per annum in the agriculture sector, the minister said total foodgrain production would be to the order of 219.32 million tonnes and rice production 94.08 million tonnes.

He said institutional credit to farmers would be substantially stepped up to get them out of the clutches of money-lenders.


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