You are here: Home » » Story

Budget 2018-19: Water Resources Ministry gets Rs 2000 crore hike

New Delhi : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has increased the allocation for the Water Resources Ministry by nearly Rs 2000 crore to Rs 8860 crore in the Union Budget 2018-19.

Most of the funds are expected to be used for expansion in irrigation infrastructure to allow more farmers to move away from traditional methods of farming and bring in higher water use efficiency in the agriculture sector. The ongoing Ganga rejuvenation programmes are also expected to benefit from the higher budgetary allocation to the Ministry.

For the next financial year ending March 2019, the Finance Minister has given Rs 8860 crore to the Union Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry as against Rs 6887 crore in 2017-18. The actual budgetary provision for the Ministry was Rs 4714.13 crore in 2016-17.

Jaitley, who tabled the Narendra Modi Government's last full budget ahead of 2019 general elections, also allocated Rs 22356.60 crore to the Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry for 2018-19, a 11.72 per cent per cent jump over the current year's Rs 20010.79 crore.

Under the Centrally sponsored schemes, the National Rural Drinking Water Mission has got a boost of 15.7 per cent for next fiscal. The scheme has been allocated an amount of Rs 7000 crore compared to Rs 6050 crore last year.

Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said the enhanced budgetary allocation would allow the Ministry to push forward several Ganga projects. Besides the flagship Namami Gange programme, the Ministry is implementing other key schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) and river inter-linking.

Gadkari said the Ministry plans to issue work orders for the remaining Namami Gange projects.

"Our budget has gone up by around Rs 2,000 crore... We will give work orders of all the remaining Namami Gange projects before March. We will definitely be able to complete 80 per cent of the work before 2019 and get to see a clean Ganga," he said.

So far, 187 projects have been sanctioned under the Namami Gange programme for infrastructure development, river surface cleaning, rural sanitation and other interventions at a cost of Rs 16713 crore. While 47 projects have been completed, the remaining are at various stages of execution, Gadkari said.

The Water Resources Minister said the groundwater irrigation scheme under 'PMKSY-Har Khet ko Pani' will be taken up in the country's 96 irrigation-deprived districts. A budgetary allocation of Rs 2600 crore has been earmarked for the purpose.

"These provisions will help achieve the Prime Minister's dream of doubling the income of farmers by 2022," Gadkari added.

The Union Government has continued its focus on agriculture and farmers welfare in Budget 2018-19, which Jaitley said will help consolidate the gains made so far and particularly focus on strengthening agriculture and rural economy.

The Budgetary allocation of Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry was Rs 51,576 crore for 2017-18, which has been increased to Rs 58,080 crore for 2018-19.

Why forests should take centre stage during the water decade

Only a tiny fraction of national biodiversity plans consider the impact of forests on water supply, and only a fraction of national water plans place ecosystems at their centre.

more...