The Centre on Tuesday sought the Parliament’s approval for an additional spending of Rs 1.87 lac crore to meet its expenditure commitments made under various Covid relief measures and to provide higher allocation for the health sector.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first batch of supplementary demands for grants in the Lok Sabha that, among other things, also includes a sum of Rs 1,58,999.99 crore required for providing loans to state governments, through issue of debt under a special window under back-to-back loans to states in lieu of GST compensation shortfall.
The supplementary demand for grants is an additional grant required to meet the required expenditure of the government over and above the amount for which Parliamentary nod was taken earlier.
The need for additional expenditure has arisen in wake of the government extending the term of a few Covid relief measures as the country was hit by a second wave of the pandemic post announcement of Budget 2021-22.
The government has sought gross additional expenditure of Rs 1,87,202.41 crore, but net cash outgo is expected to the tune of only Rs 23,674.81 crore as additional expenditure is matched by savings of the Ministries/Departments or by enhanced receipts/recoveries aggregating to Rs 1,63,526.88 crore.
Besides, token provision of Rs 72 lac has been sought, Rs 1 lac for each item of expenditure, for enabling re-appropriation of savings in cases involving New Service or New Instrument of Service.
Apart from higher expenditure needed towards supporting the healthcare system during the Covid times, a major portion of additional cash spending, about Rs 1,750 crore will go towards compounded interest support to lending institutions in respect of borrowers under compounded interest support scheme for loan moratorium.
Parliamentary approval has also been sought for additional spending of Rs 10,727.50 crore for meeting expenditure towards Grants-in-aid General under National Rural Health Mission-India Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package Phase-II.
Also, additional sum of Rs 2,641.67 crore is required for meeting expenditure towards Maintenance of Value (MoV) – an IMF Obligation — through issue of securities.
The government has stepped up expenditure in wake of the pandemic that almost brought down the economy to a grinding halt during the time of lockdown during March-May period last year. Though the impact of second wave has been limited, but already, some early signs pf stress seems to appearing. The government last month has already announced a Rs 6.28 lac crore stimulus package.