The Indian Budget 1996-97 The Indian Economy Overview


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Science & Technology

  1. Science and technology is the key to economic progress and prosperity. Indian scientists and technologists have accomplished a great deal, especially in the areas of agriculture, space, atomic energy and defence. There is now need for a massive renewal of our science and technology infrastructure.

  2. I propose to extend a matching one-time grant for the modernisation of the laboratories and institutes of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). I will match every commercial rupee that the CSIR and ICAR earn incrementally in the next two years with another rupee from the Budget.

  3. I also propose to strengthen the Fund for Technology Development and Application which was created in 1994- 95 to help indigenously developed technologies reach the stage of commercial application. The interim Budget had provided Rs.10 crore. As a demonstration of this government's commitment to science and technology, I am immediately making available Rs.30 crore. The Department of Science & Technology will announce the constitution of the Technology Development Board shortly.

    Public Distribution System

  4. The Common Minimum Programme states that the Public Distribution System will be strengthened to meet the twin objectives of price stability and making available essential articles to the poor. It is, therefore, proposed to restructure the PDS. A beginning will be made where the need is most acutely felt. The restructured PDS will serve households below the poverty line. Details of the restructured PDS are being worked out and will be announced in due course.

    Pay Commission

  5. The Fifth Pay Commission is expected to submit its report by the end of September 1996. Funds have been provided in this Budget as well as the Railway Budget to meet the anticipated expenditure. Meanwhile, I am happy that the question of granting another instalment of interim relief has been sorted out satisfactorily.

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