New Delhi: Ram Vilas Paswan congratulated Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely on 1st February, 2017 for presenting a historic Budget for the year 2017-18. He said that Government’s yesterday budget is significant on two counts – In the first place Shri Jaitley presented the Rail Budget alongwith the General Budget breaking the colonial tradition of a separate Rail Budget since 1924.
The second significant move is that by presenting the budget on 1st February, the Government Departments will get complete 12 months times to implement Government schemes and would get sufficient time before the onset of monsoon. This year’s Budget has once again reflected Government’s commitment towards socio-economic and political reforms.
Shri Paswan thanked the Finance Minister for deliberating upon the initiatives taken by the Government for taming price rise in his Budgetary Speech. As a result, the Government has been able to control inflation and the CPI based inflation has been reduced to 3.4% in December, 2016 from a level of 6% in July, 2016.
Government has moved from discretionary and favouritism based to a system and transparency based persistently for over 2 ½ years, the results of which are showing.
Paswan elaborated the PDS Reforms being undertaken across the country in the implementation of the NFSA. The Minister was hopeful that by March-end this year majority of the States will have cashless arrangements for distribution of foodgrains. By June-end, all the 5.27 lakh FPS shops will be computerized; beneficiaries will be identified based on Aadhar.
Most importantly, all these shops will have cashless system in place. This will ensure direct and transparent benefit to 81 crore beneficiaries. Central Government is assisting States in computerisation of FPS shops. The allocation of margin money for FPS operators has been increased to Rs. 4500 crores in the Financial Year 2017-18, which was Rs. 2500 crore in the present year.
Paswan personally thanked the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for successfully reigning in the price of Essential Commodities. He lauded the initiative of creation of Buffer Stock for pulses and increasing its size to 20 lakh MT. The Budget Estimate of Rs. 900 crore has been revised to Rs. 3400 crore to achieve the same. This move has also benefited lakhs of farmers in the country.
The total budgetary allocation for Consumer Affairs Department is Rs. 3727 crore out of which the allocation for PSF alone is Rs. 3500 crore.
NFSA has been implemented in the entire country in the current Financial Year. Accordingly, the allocation for food subsidy for the Financial Year 2017-18 has been increased to Rs.145138.60 crore which was Rs.130334.61 crore in the Fiancial Year 2016-17.
Centre has been persuading the States for adopting the Decentralized Procurement scheme as a result of which 17 states have adopted the DCP system. FCI has started Online Procurement and many states have also implemented it. This has created a positive impact on farmers who are now receiving payments directly in their accounts, transparently. The budgetary provision for DCP States has been increased to Rs. 38000 crore in the Financial Year 2017-18 which was Rs. 30672.96 crore in the present year.