Saturday 31 October 2020

Sitharaman presents first batch of supplementary demands, seeks additional Rs 2.35 lakh crore

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 14 September sought parliamentary approval for additional spending of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, which include cash outgo of Rs 1.66 lakh crore, primarily to meet expenses for combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the total cash outgo, Rs 40,000 crore is towards enhanced expenditure under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Sitharaman has sought Rs 33,771.48 crore for direct benefit transfer under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and National Social Assistance Programme.

The government has transferred, as part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Rs 33,771.48 crore to beneficiaries of both women Jan Dhan Account holders and Old Age Pension holders.

“For providing Grants-in-aid General for Direct Benefit Transfer to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna Women Accounts Holders (Rs 30,956.98 crore) and Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension (Rs 2,814.50 crore) under the scheme National Social Assistance Programme,” the first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2020-21 tabled in the Lok Sabha said.

The government has sought Rs 46,602.43 crore towards providing additional allocation under Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant to the states as per recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.

The first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2020-21 includes 54 grants and one appropriation.

“Approval of the Parliament is sought to authorise gross additional expenditure of Rs 2,35,852.87 crore. Of this, the proposals involving net cash outgo aggregate to Rs 1,66,983.91 crore and gross additional expenditure, matched by savings of the Ministries/Departments or by enhanced receipts/recoveries aggregates to Rs 68,868.33 crore,” the statement from the ministry said.

Sitharaman needs money for medical research too

To augment the health infrastructure to combat COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the government has sought Rs 14,231.96 crore including Rs 5,915.49 crore for meeting additional expenditure towards Grants-in-aid General for containment of pandemic and Rs 2,475 crore to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

For meeting expenditure towards Grants-in-aid General under the scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) related to the Ministry of Labour, the government has sought Rs 4,860 crore.

To meet the expenditure towards food subsidy and decentralised procurement scheme for the states under the National Food Security Act, Sitharaman sought Rs 10,000 crore from the parliament.

For meeting additional expenditure towards Grants-in-aid General to National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC) for the Guarantee Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility to eligible MSME borrowers, Sitharaman has sought Rs 4,000 crore.

On 20 May, the cabinet approved additional funding of up to Rs 3 lakh crore at a concessional rate of 9.25% through Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for MSME sector.

Under the scheme, the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) will provide 100% guarantee coverage for additional funding of up to Rs 3 trillion to eligible MSMEs and interested Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) borrowers in the form of a guaranteed emergency credit line (GECL) facility.

For this purpose, the finance ministry had set up a corpus of Rs 41,600 crore, spread over the current and next three financial years.

The scheme will apply to all loans sanctioned under GECL facility during the period from the date of announcement of the scheme to 31 October, or till the amount of Rs 3 lakh crore is sanctioned under GECL, whichever is earlier.

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