The government in its Budget has largely maintained its social sector spending at the same level. The allocation to the Ministry of Rural Development that runs flagship schemes like MGNREGS has gone up marginally by 5 per cent from Rs 76,376 crore to Rs 80,194 crore for 2013-14.
While the Budget has kept the MGNREGA allocation the same at Rs 33,000 crore,it has hiked the funds for the rural housing scheme,Indira Awas Yojana,to Rs 15,184 crore from Rs 11,075 crore. However,the allocation to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has been cut by more than 9 per cent from Rs 24,000 crore to Rs 21,700 crore.
A major reason for the nominal increase is the lacklustre performance of its schemes and its inability to absorb funds. The ministry was able to spend only Rs 55,000 crore of its Rs 76,376 crore.