New Delhi, Dec 13 – The Lok Sabha on Tuesday approved the first batch of supplementary demands for grants for financial year 2023-24 providing for additional spending of Rs 1.29 lakh crore.
The additional expenditure covers subsidy on fuel, fertilizer and LPG among others.
Responding to the discussion on supplementary demands for grants, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government had cut unnecessary expenses while providing adequate funds for productive assets ensuring that the Indian economy remains the fastest growing in the world.
She said that the government has kept fiscal prudence at top priority but at the same time ensured adequate funds for welfare measures.
“The gross additional expenditure (under the first batch of supplementary demands for grants for 2023-2024) is about Rs 1.29 lakh crores and of this the net cash outgo is estimated to be Rs 58,378 crores. So, from the net cash outgo, Rs 53,858 crores shall go under the revenue section and Rs 4,520 crore under the capital section,” Sitharaman said.
“So, the Rs 1.29 lakh crore which is our demand for grant it is going out in four different heads. The first is Rs 58,378 crore additional cash outgo. Rs 70,968.15 crore is technical supplementary and this is matched by the surrender of savings in different sections with the demand or enhanced receipts, recoveries and so on. And about Rs 2.49 crores token supplementary to enable re-appropriation of funds towards items of greater priority,” she further said.
The Minister noted that in the last 2-3 years the government had come with supplementary demands for grants only on two occasions, suggesting that its assessment about the Budget numbers have been precise.
“If needed we will come again with a second supplementary but will not come for the third supplementary this year,” she stated.
As per research and rating firm ICRA, the net cash outgo in the first supplementary demand for grants is moderate, and could be matched by savings in other departments.
“This does not suggest a risk of the fiscal deficit target being overshot,” ICRA Chief economist Aditi Nayar said.
The higher spending in the current year is unlikely to result in widening of the fiscal deficit with the government’s revenue receipts remaining robust during the year so far.
India’s fiscal deficit in April-October period of FY24 stood at Rs 8.04 lakh crore or 45% of the estimate for the whole year. The government has reiterated that it will achieve the fiscal deficit target for the current year which is projected at 5.9% of the GDP.