01/03/2016 12:34 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

'Living Example Of Congress Failure' Gets Highest Ever Allocation In Jaitley's Budget

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, center, leaves for annual budget presentation at parliament in New Delhi, India, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. It was Jaitley’s second full budget since Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a huge majority in national election in 2014, on the back of promises to turn around the economy and boost job creation. There have been few sweeping reforms in the past two years that the government has been promising. (AP Photo /Tsering Topgyal)

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told in Parliament that his government will never discontinue the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), a flagship scheme by the UPA government, which was introduced in 2006 amidst severe opposition.

Why? Well, according to the present government it is a "living example of Congress' failures."

"I will ensure MNREGA is never discontinued. It is proof of your failings. After so many years of being in power, all you were able to deliver is for a poor man to dig ditches a few days a month," Modi had said.

Today, the Finance Minister decided to give the MNREGA a big push by allocating the highest amount ever. The scheme, once the bugbear of NDA, has now come centrestage with allocations of Rs38,500 crore.

In the previous budget, Jaitley had given a marginal hike to the scheme’s allocation from Rs34,000 crore to Rs 34,699 crore, while promising to enhance the allocation by another Rs5,000 crore if there is tax buoyancy.

The scheme, which promises hundred days of employment every year to each rural household, has been in the midst of controversy since the NDA took over, with activists and opposition parties accusing the government of trying to dilute the scheme and squeeze its funds.

In 2014-15, the scheme’s allocation was slashed in the revised estimates to around Rs31,000 crore from Rs34,000 crore, reports Indian Express.

The allocation had been depleting over the past couple of years. In 2009-10, the scheme had an allocation of Rs39,100 crore, which remained high till 2012-13, when it was slashed to Rs33,000 crore and has since remained around the same.

Contact HuffPost India

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