While the Finance Ministry has put up for Parliament’s approval an additional gross expenditure plan worth almost ₹4.36 lakh crore, the net cash outgo is pegged at ₹3.26 lakh crore, with higher receipts and savings from existing outlays adding up to ₹1.1 lakh crore.
The major spending heads include ₹1.09 lakh crore for fertilizer and urea subsidies, more than ₹80,000 crore for the Department of Food and Public Distribution, three-fourth of which is earmarked for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, and ₹22,000 crore to be paid to oil marketing companies for losses on LPG cylinder sales. For the national rural employment guarantee scheme, an additional outlay of ₹16,400 crore has been sought.
“With tax revenues expected to be higher than the Budget number, we estimate the Centre’s fiscal deficit to exceed the budget target (6.4% of GDP) by around ₹80,000 crore to ₹1 lakh crore,” said CARE Ratings chief economist Rajani Sinha.
“With savings likely under other heads, we do not see the supplementary demands resulting in a meaningful breach of the fiscal deficit target,” reckoned ICRA chief economist Aditi Nayar.