Budget 2018: Govt may allocate more funds under MNREGA to support rural income

 BusinessToday.in   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 22, 2018  | 21:44 IST
Budget 2018: Govt may allocate more funds under MNREGA to support rural income

Two days after experts at Business Today's MindRush 2018 event agreed that the Centre government should provide more funds for creating jobs in rural India than urban India, a survey conducted by financial counselling service company Ernst and Young also concluded that there is a "broad agreement that the Budget priorities would favour agriculture and other job-creating sectors such as manufacturing and construction".

Majority of the respondents (52 per cent) - who were asked if a significant increase in allocation in the Union Budget to MNREGA would support rural incomes - agreed that India's rural economy had weakened considerably and the FY 19 Union Budget - to be announced on February 1 - would provide substantial support to the rural economy via increased allocation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005(MNERGA).

As many as 33 per cent of the respondents said it would be moderate, while 15 per cent of the respondents said only normal growth would be provided for. The consultancy company, through the survey, has also concluded that this year's Union Budget may also be complemented by policy support to investors.

During the MindRush 2018 event in Mumbai on Friday, Amul RS Sodhi had said: "Sixty-eight per cent people are living in villages. We need to provide better skills to rural India. Moreover, when it comes to agriculture, we have to also think about things such as horticulture where productivity is higher. Animal husbandry is another area to look at. The government should provide more budget for creating jobs in rural India than urban India."

In a survey released by international rights group Oxfam, it has been stated that the richest 1 per cent in India cornered 73 per cent of the wealth generated in the country last year, and that in India, it would take 941 years for a minimum wage worker in rural India to earn what the top paid executive at a leading Indian garment firm earns in a year, reported PTI. At a time when income inequality is so high in India, it becomes even more pertinent for the centre government to push for policies that target a majority of population, which lives in rural areas, say experts.


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