Bulk of additional budget spending for people-centric schemes: Sitharaman
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman said that the majority of the additional resources in the first batch of the Supplementary Demands for Grants would be spent on people-centric schemes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In her reply to the debate on the Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2020-21 and the Demands for Excess Grants for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha, she said it is probably for the first time that the government has sought such a huge amount in the first batch of the Supplementary Demands for Grants.
Late on Friday evening, the Lok Sabha approved the supplementary demands for additional spending of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, including a cash outgo of Rs 1.66 lakh crore.
The Centre has sought Rs 40,000 crore for providing grants for the creation of capital assets under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and for the transfer of funds to the National Employment Guarantee Fund.
It has sought an additional expenditure of Rs 30,956.98 crore for providing Grants-in-Aid General for Direct Benefit Transfer to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’s women bank account holders.
Further, to meet the expenditure towards recapitalisation of the Public Sector Banks through the issue of government securities, it has sought an approval for the expenditure of Rs 20,000 crore.
Approval for expenditure of Rs 4,000 crore has been sought for meeting an additional expenditure towards Grants-in-Aid General to National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) for the Guarantee Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility to eligible MSME borrowers.
The first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for financial year 2020-21, among other things, included a sum of Rs 46,602.43 crore required for providing additional allocations under the Post-Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant (Rs 44,340 crore) and Grants-in-Aid General for States Disaster Response Fund (Rs 2,262.43 crore) as per the accepted recommendations for the 15th Finance Commission.
The government expenses have increased of late and are likely to increase further due to the coronavirus pandemic and the eventual economic slowdown.