Govt Seeks Parliament Nod for Net Additional Spending of Rs 3.25 Lakh Crore This Fiscal

The government on Friday sought Parliament nod for net additional spending of over Rs 3.25 lakh crore in the current fiscal, which includes over Rs 1.09 lakh crore towards fertiliser subsidy payout. This additional spending is over and above the proposed amount in Budget 2022-23. As per the Budget, the government estimated a total expenditure of Rs 39.45 lakh crore for 2022-23, as compared to Rs 37.70 lakh crore for the previous fiscal.

Besides, approval for Rs 80,348.25 crore has been sought for meeting expenditure of the food and consumer affairs ministry mainly towards giving free foodgrains to the poor.

Approval has also been sought for expenditure of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas towards payments of LPG subsidies to oil marketing companies and LPG connections to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, among others totalling to Rs 29,944 crore.

As per the first batch of supplementary demands for grants tabled in Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, approval is being sought for gross additional expenditure of about Rs 4.36 lakh crore.

Of this, proposals involving net cash outgo aggregates to over Rs 3.25 lakh crore and gross additional expenditure, matched by savings of ministries/departments or by enhanced receipts, aggregates to over Rs 1.10 lakh crore.

The first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2022-23 includes 75 Grants and 6 Appropriations.

The additional expenditure also includes Rs 13,669 crore and Rs 12,000 crore for meeting spending requirements of Telecom and Railways Ministries, besides about Rs 10,000 crore for transfer to GST compensation fund for giving compensation to states and UTs.

Approval has been sought for Rs 46,000 crore additional expenditure by the Rural Development Ministry, which includes Rs 4,920 crore for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme (MGNREGA).

In addition, the government’s capital expenditure (capex) has been enhanced by about Rs 31,000 crore for the current financial year.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had raised capex by 35.4 per cent for the financial year 2022-23 to Rs 7.5 lakh crore, from Rs 5.5 lakh crore in the previous year.

For meeting additional expenditure under capital outlay on Indian Railways (commercial lines), the supplementary demands for grants has proposed Rs 12,000 crore.

It has also proposed additional expenditure for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways towards investment in National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) from Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (Rs 13,500 crore) and investment from Permanent Bridge Fee Fund (Rs 4090.62 crore).

In all Rs 19,198.73 crore capex has been proposed for the Road Transport Ministry.

ICRA Chief Economist Aditi Nayar said, “The total net cash outgo under the supplementary demand for grants, which is somewhat smaller than our expectations, is dominated by fertilizer subsidy, food subsidy, payments to the OMCs for domestic LPG operations, and funds towards NRGEGA. Additionally, capex has been augmented by around Rs 31,000 crore, which should help to ensure that the capex target is achieved. With savings likely under other heads, we do not see the supplementary demands resulting in a meaningful breach of the fiscal deficit target of 6.4 per cent of GDP.”

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