Union Budget 2016-17: Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme to be launched soon.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat scheme will be launched with an aim to connect states and districts in the country.

Presenting the union budget for 2016-17 Jaitley said the states and districts will be connected through varied cultures and tourism under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat scheme.

A few months back prime minister Narendra Modi said he wanted to give the Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat motto the contours of a scheme and hopes that the scheme is able to connect and unite each and every Indian.

''Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,'' the prime minister said in his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio. ''The unity of the country… these values and culture should continue. I want to give ''Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat the shape of a scheme.''

The government had sought suggestions on the My Gov platform regarding what should be the structure of this programme, the logo and how to increase public participation regarding this.

He said citizens should also suggest what the government, society and civil society should do as part of that scheme.

The Economic Survey 2015-16 highlighted that the Indian agricultural market is split into various agricultural markets according to locality. This leads to a situation where there is deficiency of food in some regions and surplus in other regions. This situation can be avoided by increasing connectivity and making India truly one.

Greater connectivity has more benefits. For example greater connectivity reduces the road transportation costs. Given that the high freight rates in India, the greater road connectivity will surely be a boon. Moreover, good roads will also lead to lower wastage of perishable commodities.

In the budget 2016-17, Rs. 55,000 crore has been allocated for roads and highway development.