Parliament approved a net additional spending of Rs 58,378 crore in the current fiscal year, allocating a significant portion to MGNREGA and fertilizer subsidies. The gross additional spending exceeds Rs 1.29 lakh crore, with savings and receipts offsetting Rs 70,968 crore. The Rajya Sabha returned the two appropriation bills to the Lok Sabha after a brief discussion.
The Treasury benches dominated the discussion. The House saw a notable absence of participating opposition members, given the suspension of many. Meanwhile, Lok Sabha swiftly passed supplementary demands for grants in a brief discussion last week.
Highlights of Rs 58,378.21 Crore Additional Spending
Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, emphasised the primary aspects of the initial batch of demands for grants during the Rajya Sabha discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants. As per the demands, the government’s net additional spending in the current fiscal is projected to be Rs 58,378.21 crore.
The supplementary demands encompass Rs 13,351 crore for fertiliser subsidies and approximately Rs 7,000 crore for expenses incurred by the Department of Food and Public Distribution. Additionally, an extra outflow of Rs 9,200 crore is allocated for spending by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Rs 14,524 crore by the Ministry of Rural Development for MGNREGA.
Furthermore, the overall supplementary demand for spending by the Ministry of External Affairs offset against a reduction in expenditure.
The government has allocated Rs 20,000 crore in total supplementary demands for spending by the Ministry of External Affairs, intending to offset this against a reduction in expenditure exceeding Rs 9,000 crore. For the entire 2023-24 financial year, the government has formally budgeted the fiscal deficit at Rs 17.86 lakh crore, equivalent to 5.9 per cent of the GDP. Notably, the fiscal deficit during the April-October period reached 45.6 per cent of the full-year Budget Estimate from the last fiscal.