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LS approves Rs 11,698 cr additional expenditure

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Lok Sabha today approved the first batch of supplementary demands for grants envisaging a gross additional outgo of Rs 11,697.92 crore for the current fiscal.

The Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2018-19 and demands for excess grants for 2015-16, along with the appropriation bills, were passed by a voice vote, as opposition members, including those of the and CPI(M), staged a walkout saying the government had not replied to their concerns over a scam in the fighter jet deal.

Responding to the five-hour debate, said "this government follows the kind of budget making where there is least deviation between the planned and actual estimates".

Citing an example, he said the first supplementary demands for grants showed that "this is the lowest ever in the last 15 years. It is just 0.2 per cent of the total budget compared to 14 per cent in 2008-09."

The government has brought down the fiscal deficit "that we got as a legacy" from 4.4 per cent to 3.3 per cent, he said, adding "this is an honest government which spends every penny honestly."

He said 400 schemes have been brought under direct benefit transfer under which Rs four lakh crore have been disbursed to the beneficiaries directly.

On the state of the economy, Goyal said is the fastest growing nation where inflation and fiscal deficit are low. "Yet we are growing at a fast pace".

As per the first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants, the net cash outgo totals Rs 5,951.22 crore and gross additional expenditure aggregates to Rs 5,745.68 crore.

Among other things, the government has sought a token provision of Rs 1.02 crore for enabling re-appropriation of savings in cases of new service or new instrument of service.

The government is seeking Parliament's nod to spend Rs 1,791.62 crore for the Agriculture Ministry, Rs 1,500 crore of the and Rs 1,057.84 crore for the Defence Ministry.

The government is also seeking Rs 1,708 crore for the The money would be given towards grants for creation of capital assets under various schemes.

Under the head 'technical supplementary demands for grants', the government has sought Rs 980 crore for infusion of equity in under the turnaround plan.

As per the document tabled in Parliament, the government has sought approval to spend Rs 463.31 crore for the Food and Public Distribution Ministry. Among others the amount would be used for creation of a buffer stock of sugar.

Initiating the debate, K C Venugopal (Cong) raised the issue of mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) in the country and said the situation was very bad.

"Leave growth, where are the jobs...Gadkariji's statement about jobs clarifies the situation on the ground," he said, adding that the government has given up on reforms.

He further said that the growth in the agriculture sector was stagnant, whereas in the industrial sector, it has come down drastically.

Regarding demonetisation, Venugopal asked the to inform the House how much cash has come back into the banks. "Neither was fake currency curbed, nor has terrorism ended due to demonetisation," he said referring to the government's justification for carrying out demonetisation.

BJP's referred to several schemes of the government, while speaking on those like Jan Dhan, Ujjwala, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana and other welfare schemes.

He also congratulated and Minister for "unleashing a new era of development" in the country.

Saugata Roy (AITC) took a dig at Minister Piyush Goyal, who holds charge of finance, coal and railway ministries, saying he is the most burdened minister in the history of independent

Roy pointed out that last month, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection was less by Rs 40,000 crore.

Inflation has touched 5.8 per cent, he said, adding that non-performing assets (NPAs) have risen to 11.8 per cent of total advanced.

While investment rate has steeply declined, credit growth has slowed down to a 20-year low at present moment, the Trinamool said.

Expressing concern over pilots of not getting salaries on time, he asked "what is government's turnaround plan of Airindia."

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) said public sector banks (PSBs) are bleeding. "Indian banks are hit by serious governance issues. Ordinary citizens are losing faith in the institutions," he said, as he observed that the rupee has weakened which was not helping our exporters.

On GST Council's decision to exempt sanitary napkins from tax, Mahtab said "it was expected that the prices of sanitary napkin will come down. Is it so? The answer is no." Instead, he predicted that the domestic manufacturers of sanitary napkins will have to increase price.

"Earlier, domestic sanitary manufacuturers used to get input tax credit. After the government reduced the GST on sanitary napkin, the domestic manufacturers will not get input tax credit and they will have to pass it to consumers," he said.

Noting that all is not well with the state of economy,he expressed concern over the arrest of CMDs of some banks by state governments. Moreover, one-third of these banks remain headless.

(TDP) demanded that a Joint Parliamentary Committee should be constituted to look into the recommendation of 14th on the issue of confering special category status to

(CPI-M) said the government has totally mismanaged the economy. There has been a loss of 53 lakh jobs in the first three years of Modi government, Rajesh said, adding that people were yet to see the promised 'good days'.

(RJD) wanted to know how people like and managed to flee the country after looting the banks.

(BJP) said urged the government to extend support to aloevera and Guar Gum farmers, while (also BJP) sought increase in the buffer stock of sugar.

ET (IUML) alleged that the financial management of the government is very poor and they are emhasising more on political management. He said the government was taking a "regressive line" on the UPA regime's programmes.

Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) said that in the demand for grants, has asked for allocation, but if the government is planning to privatise it, then allocating funds to the company would burden the tax payers.

N K Premchandran (RSP) said the government should inform about the impact of passage of budget before March 31. Citing data related to and inflation, he said the situation of economy was not good. "The rural economy is in shambles ... the economy is in serious trouble and is yet to come out of the impact of demonetisation."

Others who participated in the debate include Heena Gavit (BJP) and (SAD), P D Rai (SDF), Rajesh Ranjan (expelled RJD MP) and (RLSP).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 07 2018. 19:45 IST