Indian workers carry a bag containing the copies of the federal budget for the year 2016-17, that will be distributed to lawmakers at the parliament house in New Delhi, India Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
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India pledged to spend $5.2 billion dollars to double the income of struggling farmers and also boost a rural employment scheme as it unveiled its annual budget Monday under pressure to balance much-needed spending with fiscal prudence.India is now the world's fastest-growing major economy, but years of drought and a failure to create jobs for a burgeoning young population has left millions of rural Indians struggling and led to deadly protests in recent weeks.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India's estimated 120 million farmers were the "backbone of the country's food security" as he pledged to spend 359 billion rupees ($5.2 billion) on the country's vast agriculture sector.That includes a major hike in spending on a rural employment scheme introduced under the last government and a pledge to ensure all the country's villages have electricity within two years.Jaitley said the government would increase spending on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which guarantees 100 days of employment on public works each year for any household that requests it.
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