Union Budget 2011-12 presented by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha today relies on scaled-up resource flows to critical sectors combined with institutional reforms to set the pace for double-digit economic growth.
The annual budget for 2011-12 proposes a 23.3 per cent increase in the allocation for infrastructure to Rs2,14,000 crore while it raised the planned allocation for the social sector by 17 per cent to Rs1,60,887 crore, which amounts to 36.4 per cent of the total plan allocation.
Allocation for the ambitious Bharat Nirman programme has been increased by Rs10,000 crore.
The Budget lays emphasis on social sector programmes, including education and healthcare to bring the fruits of development to the common man.
Mukherjee has budgeted for a 24 per cent hike in plan allocation for education and a 20 per cent increase in the allocation for health care.
He also extended the social safety net by lowering the eligibility criteria for old age pension scheme from 65 years to 60 years.
On the farm front, the Budget has proposed an increased credit flow of Rs4,75,000 crore to give a big boost to agricultural production.
The fiscal deficit of the government has been pegged at 4.6 per cent of GDP while the overall market borrowing of the government has been fixed at Rs3,43,000 crore.