True or Not? Fact Checking Piyush Goyal’s Budget 2019 Speech
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday, 1 February, presented the Interim Budget 2019 ahead of the general polls scheduled later this year.
As part of his Budget speech, Goyal went on to make several statements regarding the various schemes introduced by the Modi government between 2014-18.
Here’s a fact check of the claims Goyal made.
PM Awas Yojana (PMAY)
“During 2014-18, 1.53 crore houses have been constructed under PM Awas Yojana,” claimed Goyal, while presenting the budget.
. Under PMAY-Urban, 13,59,137 houses have been completed as on 7 January, 2019.
Under PMAY-Gramin, 1,13,19,949 houses have been completed so far, listed the Ministry of Rural Development. These figures include the houses sanctioned and built under the erstwhile Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana (IAY) as well.
A sum of the houses constructed under both the schemes stands at 1,26,79,086 – almost 1.26 crore houses, and not 1.53 crore houses as claimed by Goyal.
"6 crore LPG connections have been given so far, by next year it'll be 8 crore," said Goyal.
. According to a Lok Sabha answer presented on 31 December 2018, as of 26 December, “OMCs have released more than 5.89 crore LPG connections under PMUY consumers."
Going by these figures, the government is likely to have achieved 6 crore connections by now, as claimed by the minister.
However, since the scheme only covers the initial connection, subsequent refills have to be done by the families, most of whom cannot afford it.
Thus, whether or not the scheme is successful, is a different question altogether.
“More than 98% rural sanitation coverage has been achieved; close to 5.45 lakh villages have been declared open-defecation free,” claimed Finance Minister Piyush Goyal during the interim budget on 1 February 2019.
, according to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, 98.82% of individual households have now been equipped with toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission –Gramin.
Further, according to the Ministry’s data on ‘Status of declared and verified ODF Villages’, 5,49,594 villages have been declared open-defecation free, but the number of verified ODF villages differs.
The process of ODF is not a one-time process. At least two verifications are required once the declaration is made.
The number of verified ODF (1st level) villages totals to 4,61,929 out of the 5,49,594 ODF-declared villages, which indicates that 16 percent of the declared villages are yet to be verified.
The verified ODF (2nd level) villages are only 79,088, which indicates only 14 percent of the declared ODF are sustainable.
The first verification may be carried out within three months of the declaration to verify their status. The second one ensures the sustainability of the ODF and takes place six months after the first verification.
Goyal claimed that before 2014, close to 2.5 crore households had not been electrified and under the Saubhagya Yojana, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2017, almost all the houses have been electrified.
. While the Saubhagya website shows that electrification in India is at 99.88%, there are some discrepancies in the data.
The number of electrified households as on 10 October 2017 in the Saubhagya website is 18.81 crore, while the data for same date in the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) report is 14.31 crore.
Also, according to the CEA report, the target for Saubhagya was pegged at 3.7 crore in October 2017. However, the Saubhagya dashboard pegs the target on the same date to be 2.48 crore, indicating that targets may have been slashed by up to 1.2 crore.
According to the CEA report, the total number of households that were yet to be electrified stood at 3.3 crore as on March 2018.
Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, while talking about highway construction progress, claimed that there has been 27 km highway construction per day in 2017-18.
, the construction has been 27 km per day in year 2018.
According to a report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), the total length of highways constructed in the year 2017-18 was 9,829 km – which is roughly 26.9 km i.e. 27 km per day.
(Correction: The figures under PMAY-Gramin mentioned earlier were erroneous. We had not taken into calculation the houses that were sanctioned and built under the Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana for the year 2017-18. This has since been rectified. The story was updated at 6.30 pm on 1 February to reflect this change.)
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