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FM asks Social Sector Groups to help in taking Positive Advantage of Demographic Dividend

Capital Market 

Holds his Second Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting with the Representatives of Social Sector Groups

The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that social sector groups can play an important role in taking positive advantage of demographic dividend. Jaitley said that we may have been implementing the various social sector programmes but there is need to upgrade them and their delivery mechanisms and also provide adequate interventions within the fiscal space available. He said that there is need to ensure that the benefits of these programmes reach the poor and marginalized and other weaker sections of the society. The Finance Minister was making the opening remarks while holding his second Pre-Budget Consultation with the representatives of the Social Sector related Groups.

Various suggestions were received during the meeting from the representatives of the different Social Sector Groups. Major suggestions include higher budgetary allocation in General Budget 2014-215 for 2.68 crore disabled people in the country, simplification of procedures for seeking grants and their timely release, helping in making NGOs especially welfare NGOs self-sustainable and financially viable by giving certain tax concessions and allowing creation of corpus fund among others. Other suggestions include higher allocation to promote use of renewable energy especially solar and wind energy, focus on making a roadmap for replacing kerosene and diesel by renewable energy wherever possible and creation of National Green Energy Fund among others.

Other suggestions include adoption and implementation of the National Competition Policy, enactment and implementation of the Public Procurement Act and the National Procurement Policy, enactment and implementation of an omnibus Financial Consumer Protection Act and fixing of Fiscal Management Practices by establishment of Parliamentary Budget Office, adoption of international best practices in budgetary planning and reduction of non-merit subsidies among others.

Other suggestions made during the aforesaid meeting include focus on financial inclusion by setting-up of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by Public Sector Banks, universalize the pension for all the poor, extension of Rashtriya Swasthaya Beema Yojana(RSBY) to all the districts in the country, setting-up of old age home in each district of the country for destitute and vulnerable old age people, inculcation of value education in our system , setting-up of National Nutrition Mission and creation of a Dalit Fund to encourage any innovative activity undertaken by a SC/ST person.

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First Published: Mon, June 09 2014. 11:20 IST