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The minister says that this budget is going to suit the needs of the people, promote inclusive growth and strengthen the resolve for water prosperity.

India: The Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has described the budget (2021-2022) as being in tune with the needs of the people and promoting inclusive growth. Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for this budget that strengthened ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, he said, “This budget is as per the need of the people and strengthens the resolve of water prosperity, Mr. Shekhawat congratulated Union Finance Minister for the budget and said that it is the foresight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to find the solution to basic problems of the last person in the last row.”

The Union Minister also thanked the Prime Minister for announcing the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) on the lines of Jal Jeevan Mission (Rural). He said that “Jal Jeevan Mission is the result of PM’s vision. The budget has also been increased to provide tap water connection to the houses of the villages, the poor and the farmer. The movement of ‘Har Ghar Jal’ will gain momentum. Many thanks, respected Prime Minister.”

The Union Minister expressed happiness that in next five years, 2.86 crore households in 4378 urban bodies will have tap connections and the scheme will cost Rs 2.87 lakh crore.” He said that the government has taken this important step to provide pure drinking water in villages as well as cities.

Mr. Shekhawat said that in this time of severe epidemic like Corona, when the economy of the whole world is collapsing, this budget has been brought to strengthen the economy of the country. He added that several important steps like increasing spending in important sectors like health, agriculture and infrastructure, as well as insurance sector, and some other steps like disinvestment, tax exemption to senior citizens and incentives for startups and development of all states of the country show the vision of the government.

Talking about the schemes related to his ministry, Mr. Shekhawat said that the work to provide tap water connections to 19.04 crore rural households under the Jal Jeevan Mission (Rural) by 2024 was going on at a rapid pace. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Rs 3.6 lakh crore scheme from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2019, and till February 1, 2021, 6.56 crore households had already been provided tap connections across the country. He added that 100% of rural households in the states of Goa and Telangana now have access to potable tap water.

It is important to mention that the government had allocated Rs 30,478 crore to the newly formed Ministry of Jal Shakti in the last budget of which Rs. 21,500 crore were provisioned for drinking water and sanitation. The Jal Jeevan Mission was allocated Rs. 11,500 crore separately.

In this budget, the government has set aside Rs 50,000 crore for drinking water and Rs 10000 crore for sanitation. In this way, the budget allocation for Jal Jeevan Mission has increased by 450 percent this year. The total budget of the ministry has also increased by about 180 percent, which shows the priority and seriousness of the Modi government on the issue of water.

The Union Minister also expressed happiness over the importance given to liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities under the Swachh Bharat 2.0 campaign in the budget. He said that the scheme would cost Rs 1,41,678 crore during 2021-26. Under the 15th Finance Commission recommendations, 60 percent of the total budget allocated to Panchayati Raj Institutions has been kept for water and sanitation in the form of a ‘Tide Up Grant’, which will be about Rs 36,000 crore in the next fiscal.

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