The central government can increase the expenditure on the welfare programmes being run for rural areas by 50%, to 2 lakh crore rupees, for the financial year 2023-24. Before the Lok Sabha elections to be held during the months of April-May, 2024, the Centre is not only focusing on increasing employment, but is also paying attention towards expanding the scheme providing affordable housing. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will, on 1ST February, 2024, produce the last budget of the Modi government’s second tenure.
As per sources, a large amount of money was used because of the sluggishness in the rural economy in the wake of the pandemic. The government, for the current financial year, had allocated 1.36 lakh crore rupees to the ministry of rural development. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people receiving employment through MNREGA increased, despite which, the unemployment rate is at a high scale. According to CMIE, the rural unemployment rate during the current financial year remained to be above 7%. In November, the same is at 8.04%.
This year, the government had set a budget of 73 thousand crore rupees for MNREGA, which had to be increased later to 98 thousand crore rupees.