The vegetables became expensive by 19.74 per cent in January compared to 4.78 per cent decline witnessed in December while pulses became dearer by 12.34 percent compared to inflation of 5.88 percent in the previous month.
         Food prices continued to remain high, as prices of vegetables and pulses, among others, soared during the month, the data released by the commerce and industry ministry on Monday.
       MGNREGA, launched by the congress led UPA government in 2006, has been in the midst of controversy this year, with the NDA government being accused of trying to  “dilute” it an squeeze its funds, leading to speculations of a possible budget cut. 
     However, given the scheme is demand driven and legally entitles a registered house hold to seek 100 days of work, the government is obliged to provide work as per demand, irrespective of budget allocation.
     The scheme’s budgetary allocation has increased from around Rs. 11000 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 40000 crore in 2009-10, and has since remained consistent at around Rs. 33000 crore. the current allocation for the scheme is Rs. 34000 crore.
     Activists say an increase in the budgetary allocation is essential. Ministry officials explain that even if the budget is not slashed, the current allocation will not be adequate, given the increase in wages.
The scheme’s expenditure against fund has been 84 percent so far 2014-15.
     The scheme’s implementation this year is under serious reviews, with over 70 per cent of wages delayed and less than 3 per cent house holds being able to complete the promised 100 days of employment till now.
      Meanwhile, the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) aims to provide universal education to all children between ages 5-14. the scheme accounts for around 65 per cent of the total elementary education budget with a current budgetary allocation of around, Rs. 26000 crore in 2013-14.
      The union government is planning to set up a company to acquire land in CLMV(Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries and create an ecosystem for investment by Indian enterprises in these countries.
        "The finance ministry is likely to set aside a grant of up to Rs 100 crore in Union Budget 2015-16", a government official told.
      "The  company will essentially be a project development special purpose vehicle(SPV). The SPV will invest money to buy land and develop it into an SEZ if Myanmar is inviting proposals to set up special economic zones(SEZ)", the official said .
          He added, "It will then allocate plots to Indian producers and there by receive costs. the idea is to facilitate manufacturing so that Indian firms create their own value chains.The SPV will be in the nature of PPP(Public Private Partnership)initiative".
         " A few large, private sector companies have evinced interest in contributing to the paid up capital of the SPV", he added.

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