New Delhi (Jagran News Network): Since the government believes rural economy will play a major role if economic development has to be taken to the next level, Finance Minister is giving a new face to basic rural infrastructure is his agenda. This year’s Union Budget could, therefore, contain vital announcements by Pranab Mukherjee in this direction.

Last year, Mukherjee had expressed his intention of giving a boost to development in rural sector. The minister wants to strengthen the rural infrastructure and also promote basic services like health and education. A special provision may be made in this year’s Budget to achieve this aim.

Apart from MNREGA, Rural Roads Scheme, Rural Electrification Scheme and Rural Jobs Scheme have helped in development of backward regions. But this year’s Budget could give a fresh direction to this movement.

The minister had allocated Rs 6,6137 cr to the Ministry of Rural Development in FY’ 10-11. While this amount will hopefully be increased this year, Mukherjee could provide extra help for rural health and education sectors. Building basic rural infrastructure will become the back bone of the minister’s development plan.

Provision to build secretariats for Gram Panchayats and station government employees and officers there will be announced in Budget. MNREGA has helped a lot in the purpose of rural development but most villages still lack in basic infrastructure.

Roads built under Prime Minister’s Rural Roads scheme have become an example of good work for state governments. While Rs 40,100 cr was allocated for the scheme last year, demand for the same this time around is being projected at Rs 68,000 cr.

A unique experimental program has been started to provide urban-level services in villages but unlocking the chest for its implementation will be a tough task. Partnership with the private sector could be a solution in this case. But the government will have to take the initiative and it may not counter much obstructions as nearly hundred companies have already expressed interest in the same.