90 percent domestic honey being exported: Jaitley

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the country’s domestic honey production has risen from 76,150 tonnes in 2014-2015 to 86,500 tonnes in 2015-2016 and 90 percent of it is being exported to various countries.

Jaitley said this while presenting the Union Budget for 2016-2017 in the Lok Sabha.

3,000 new drug stores, dialysis centres to come up: Jaitley

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The government will set up 3,000 new generic medicine stores across the country to tackle the shortage of drugs in rural areas, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.

“For the better availability of generic medicines in the country, especially in the rural areas, the government has decided to open 3,000 new gereric medicines stores,” said Jaitley, presenting the budget for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha.

He also announced the launch of a National Dialysis Programme to address the high costs involved in the renal dialysis processes.

Under the programme every district hospital will have the facilities of renal dialysis, so that people do not have to travel to the expensive hospitals of metro cities, he said.

At least 2,000 new dialysis centres will be started in the country under the programme.

Health Insurance up to Rs.1 lakh per family: Jaitley

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday announced that the government will provide health insurance of up to Rs.1 lakh per family.

“The government will provide health insurance of up to Rs.1 lakh per family,” said Jaitley, presenting the budget for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha.

Higher education financing agency to be set-up: Jaitley

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday announced the setting up of a higher education financing agency, with a fund of Rs.1,000 crore.

Presenting the 2016-2017 Budget in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley also said that an enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching institutions.

100 percent foreign equity in retail of domestic food products: Jaitley

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) In a major reforms push, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said 100 percent foreign equity will be allowed in the retail of domestically-processed food to give a push to the country’s farm sector.

In his budget proposals for the next fiscal year, presented in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said the approvals for such projects will be accorded by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

This was the main demand of Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

“It will benefit the consumer by reducing inflation, will reduce wastage, increase availability of fresh and processed variety of food at a stable price, and improve farming technology,” Badal had said this month, while writing to the Prime Minister’s Office to consider her request.

“I have requested the prime minister that 100 percent FDI in multi-brand retail of those food products produced and processed in India should be allowed so that big companies can create infrastructure especially for agriculture and bring the latest technology for the farm sector.”

India currently allows — only on paper — up to 51 percent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retailing. But no proposal has been approved as the current government has not yet firmed up its stand on the subject and continues to hold consultations.

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