Higher Allocation for Swachh Bharat or Digital India? Government Seeks Opinion

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has come up with a fresh set of voting options to seek public opinion on prioritising funding allocation for social sector schemes in the budget for 2016-17.

The netizens would have the option to give their preference on Twitter whether ‘Swachh Bharat’, ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’ or ‘Digital India’ should have higher allocation in the Budget, which is to be unveiled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 29.

“Your views matter!! Which scheme needs more focus in Budget2016? We invite your suggestions. Please vote Swachh Bharat/Make in India/Skill India/Digital India,” the Finance Ministry said in a tweet.
In another tweet, the ministry sought public vote on whether the ‘Jan Dhan’, ‘Mudra’, ‘Jan Suraksha’ or gold schemes should get more focus in the budget.

People can exercise their voting option on the official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Finance. The voting would remain open for the next four days.

It also invited people for the sector – agriculture/manufacturing & infra/services/Start-ups – should get priority in budget.

The ministry also wanted to know public opinion on which group the budget should focus more on – farmers, the middle class, women or the underprivileged.

The voting option has got off to a good start with over 1,600 votes pouring in from Twitterati in the initial phase.

While a majority (57 per cent) of voters wanted the government to focus on farmers, about 26 per cent wanted focus to be on the middle class.

Further, 36 per cent wanted the government to focus on the Mudra scheme, and 29 per cent wanted priority on Jan Suraksha schemes, followed by 26 per cent on the Jan Dhan financial inclusion scheme.

As far as sectors are concerned, 55 per cent said priority should be on agriculture, 29 per cent said it should be on manufacturing and 8 per cent each voted for the start-ups and services sector.

Besides, 40 per cent wanted priority to be on the Make in India initiative, 29 per cent wanted it to be on Skill India and 21 per cent on Swachh Bharat.

In December, the Finance Ministry had invited suggestions and views from public for rail Union budget 2016-17. They can be posted on the ‘mygov’ portal.

Mr Jaitley has already held extensive pre-budget consultations with various stakeholders, including economists, industry chambers, trade unions, social sector as well as banks and financial institutions.