Promoting social and equitable development is a primary goal of a rapidly developing economy like India. While the government has made inclusive social progress a priority over the years, the same was reflected again in this budget- a renewed commitment towards taking India's aspirational districts program to the next level. One of the flagship initiatives of the central government, the aspirational district program was implemented in some of the most backward and under-developed districts of the country to develop basic necessary infrastructure and address the lack of opportunities for the residents in those areas to better integrate these districts with the social and economic activities of the nation at large.
Over the years, the initiative has been widely praised and commended nationally and globally for successfully improving the quality of life of residents in the most backward districts of the country within a rather short span of time. Throwing light on the impact of this program, the finance minister, while tabling the union budget 2022-23, mentioned that 95 per cent of the identified 112 districts under this program have made significant progress in key areas like health, nutrition, financial inclusion and basic infrastructure. In doing so, they have, in many cases, surpassed the state average values too. While this progress is remarkable, however, there are some districts which continue to lag behind in core socio-economic indicators. The minister stressed that in 2022-23, the aspirational districts program will focus on such blocks in the identified districts and work towards bringing them on par with other districts of the state through targeted interventions.