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LS takes up Budget allocation for Rural Development

By Super

New Delhi, Mar 17: Members of the Lok Sabha today (Mar 17, 2006) demanded that Panchayats be empowered for effective implementation of rural development schemes as the House took up for discussion and voting the Demands for Grants for the Rural Development Ministry under the Budget 2006-07.

Initiating the discussion, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said his Ministry was serious about addressing poverty and unemployment in villages to ensure the overall development of the country.

Though he had demanded Rs 46,000 crore, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had allocated Rs 31,400 crore for rural development schemes.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi made an appeal to the floor leaders of various parties to ensure that their respective members did not overshoot the time allotted to them, so that the voting on the demands could be completed before 1800 hrs.

Mr Lakshmi Narayan Pande (BJP) said the UPA government had slackened the pace of the Gramin Sadak Yojana initiated by the NDA government. States were not getting proper allocation for the drinking water scheme, he said.

Mr L Rajagopal (Cong) suggested that every village be covered under the various programmes of the Rural Development Ministry.

Mr Rupchand Pal (CPI-M) said he did not agree with Finance Minister P Chidambaram's contention that economic growth alone was sufficient for the removal of poverty. What was needed for equitable distribution of wealth to narrow down the widening gap between the affluent and the poor, he said.

He also sought the revival of the village and traditional industry and broad-basing of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by raising the minimum number of days from the present 100 days a year and increasing the number of people covered by it.


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