Thursday, March 23, 2023


Ministries keep asking for more - above allocation - to complete projects

February 04, 2023 05:14 PM
New Delhi, Feb 4 (AGENCY):  Ministries and departments in the Union government end up seeking excess funds every year during the Budget, which results in major variations in expenditure.

This requirement of extra funds by ministries is sought in the form of demands for grants, which are approved by the Parliament.

This happens due to higher provisioning which needs to be done by departments while trying to meet their ever-growing requirements, which emerge as a result of ambitious announcements made in Union Budgets by successive governments at the Centre.

So, in other words, excess funds are needed by almost all departments throughout a financial year from what originally is provided to them in the Union Budget.

An analysis of the department-wise expenditure incurred during 2022-23 by some key ministries according the budget documents shows that while the revised estimate (RE) of all key heads for 2022-23 was Rs 41,87,232 crore, the budget estimate (BE) for 2023-24 is Rs 45,03,097 crore, a variation of Rs 3,15,865 crore.

This variation is a common occurrence in annual expenses undertaken by various ministries.

According to the expenditure analysis provided in the Union Budget 2023-24 documents, department-wise variations have been provided and reasons have been explained in detail.

Let us look at excess variations in expenses of some important heads. These variations are mainly due to requirement of additional funds during the course of the financial year.

The RE towards interest payment and debt servicing in 2022-23 stood at Rs 9,40,651 crore, while the (BE) for 2023-24 is Rs 10,79,971 crore, showing a variation of Rs 1,39,320 crore.

The excess funds had to be sought due to higher requirements for payment of interest on market loans, discount on treasury bills, central government securities issued by National Small Savings Fund, and state provident funds.

Similarly, the RE for 2022-23 for capital outlay on railways was Rs 1,59,100 crore, while the BE for 2023-24 was Rs 2,40,000 crore. The excessive expenditure here is Rs 80,900 crore - and the reason behind this was higher provision for construction of new lines, doubling, rolling stock, and investment in railways PSUs.

Excessive spend on capital outlay on petroleum can also be seen.

The RE for this head in 2022-23 was Rs 40 crore. However the BE for 2023-24 saw a stupendous jump to Rs to 35,508 crore, an excess spending of Rs 35,468 crore.

The reason behind the rise in expenses in petroleum outlay was higher provision for investment in oil marketing companies.

Defence services RE for 2022-23 was Rs 4,09,500 crore, while the BE for 2023-24 went up to Rs 4,32,720 crore. Here the variation was Rs 23,220 crore, with the higher spending owing to higher requirement for revenue expenditure of army, and navy and capital expenditure of the army and air force.

For water supply and sanitation, the RE was Rs 50,617 crore for 2022-23, while the BE for 2023-24 stood at Rs 64,156 crore - higher by Rs 13,539 crore.

Here the reason behind requirement for excess funds was higher allocations towards government's ambitious Jal Jeevan Mission and National Rural Drinking Water Mission.

The RE for welfare of SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities for 2022-23 was Rs 6,107 crore while the BE for Rs 2023-24 was Rs 9,336 crore. The excess variation here was Rs 3,229 crore due to higher provision for Eklavya model residential schools.



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