New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered her first budget today (July 5), giving a glimpse of the five-year roadmap of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, voted back to power with a resounding majority in the 2019 elections. Ms. Sitharaman, the second woman in the history of independent India to present the Union Budget, opened her speech by emphasizing on the vision of the government in the second term. According to her, the government aims at ensuring a pollution free India, with an allocation of 460 crore for pollution control schemes, – a green India with a blue sky in addition to clean rivers and efficient water management. She also spoke about the improvement in the hygiene and sanitation condition of the people,
In the last five years, our government has worked towards changing the lives of common men and women by constructing 9.6 crores toilets at home.
Here are the top highlights of the Budget 2019:
- Ms. Sitharaman in the speech said that more than 5.6 lakh villages and 95 per cent of the cities are open defecation free (ODF) and the country is on track to become ODF by October 2019. She further said that there is a need to consolidate the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and take it to the next level.
- In its next stage the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will undertake sustainable solid waste management and in her budget speech proposed to build waste to energy plants in every village.
- The Finance Minister also highlighted that more than 45,000 public and community toilets across 1700 cities have been mapped on Google maps, enabling citizens to find the nearest toilet. Moreover, she said that almost 1 crore citizens have downloaded Swachhata App, a complaints and grievances redressal platform.
- Ms. Sitharaman also said that water supply in an integrated and holistic manner will help ensure ‘Har Ghar Jal’ (Water in every house). The FM assured that the Jal Shakti Mantralaya will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal for all rural houses by 2024. Under Jal Jeevan Mission work will also be undertaken for rainwater harvesting and waste discharge management. “Provision of safe drinking water for every citizen is the priority of the government,” she said.
- The minister also mentioned the steps taken to eradicate manual scavenging, she said, “Machines and robots have been deployed to do scavenging which also saved the manual scavengers their dignity.”
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.
Handwashing Day 2019: While almost all households in India (as high as 97% according to National Family Health Survey 4 – 2015-16) have washbasins, only richer and more educated households in urban areas use soap to wash hands