Rs 20,000 cr allocated for Irrigation Benefit Prog

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New Delhi, Feb 29: The government will invest Rs 20,000 crore in the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), the Rainfed Area Development Programme and in the management and augmentation of water resources.

Presenting the Union Budget 2008-09, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, ''under AIBP, 24 major and medium irrigation projects and 753 minor irrigation schemes will be completed in this financial year.'' In 2008-09, the estimated outlay for the above scheme is Rs 20,000 crores with a grant component of Rs 5,550 crores, he added. Mr Chidambaram said the Rainfed Area Development Programme has been finalised with an allocation of Rs 348 crores.

Priority will be given to those areas that have not been the beneficiaries of watershed development scheme, he added.

The Minister also announced allocation of Rs 500 crores for the centrally-sponsored scheme on micro-irrigation and added that the scheme will cover 4,00,000 hectares under drip and sprinkler irrigation.


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