Taking ahead its campaign of providing LPG subsidy to the lower-middle class and below poverty line families, the union budget has set aside Rs.2,000 crore for LPG connections, which is likely to benefit the one crore homes, union finance minister Arun Jaitley said.Jaitley informed the Lok Sabha that a total of 75 lakh middle class homes have given up cooking gas subsidy. “We have decided to embark upon on a massive mission to provide LPG connection in the name of women members of poor households. I have set aside a sum of `2,000 crore in this year’s Budget to meet the initial cost of providing these LPG connections. This will benefit about 1 crore 50 lakh households below the poverty line in 2016-17.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a conscious move to focus on villages and rural households, a sum of Rs.2.87 lakh crore will be given as grant in aid to gram panchayats and municipalities as per the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission.According to Jaitley, this will be a jump of 228 per cent compared to the previous five year period, translating to an average assistance of over Rs.80 lakh per Gram Panchayat and over 21 crore for each urban local body.The budget also saw the finance minister increase the allocation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, a flagship scheme under the United Progressive Alliance, that was mocked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a failure in Lok Sabha. The Centre has hiked allocation for MGNREGA to Rs.38,5000 crore, which is the highest ever allocation for the scheme, union finance minister Arun Jaitley informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.In 2014-15, the MGNREGA allocation was Rs.34,000 crore which was reduced to Rs.31,000 crore during revision while in last fiscal, the allocation was Rs.34,699 crore with an additional provision of Rs.5000 crore as per requirement. In the past, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “I won’t do the mistake of closing down the MGNREGA, because it is a living symbol of UPAs failures. Even after 60 years since independence, you (UPA) had to send people to dig dithces, and I will keep talking about this symbol of failure.”

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Increased subsidy for LPG, boost for Panchayats and all-time high MGNREGA allocation