FM to meet key ministries on frontloading public expenditure

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 27, 2019 13:08 hrs
Nirmala Sitharaman (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will on Friday review the total capital expenditure of key ministries in 2019-20 and their CAPEX plans for the future.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold a meeting with the Secretaries and financial advisors of the ministries, including Agriculture, Road Transport and Highways, Housing and Urban Affairs, Jal Shakti, Rural Developement, Health, Skill Development, Textiles and Consumer Affairs, Tribal Affairs, and Women and Child Development, to understand their capex positions and whether they need further allocations.

With the Finance Ministry last week announcing a series of corporate tax cuts, which may cost the exchequer Rs 1.45 trillion a year, questions are being raised on the expenditure plans of the government and whether they need to be curbed to control any surge in fiscal deficit in view of low and slow tax collections.

Sitharaman ruled out any expenditure cuts as of now, and said her Ministry was asking for a quick release of funds to boost demand and consumption.

Though bond yields went up after the announcement of tax cuts, the Finance Minister said she was yet to take a decision on revising the borrowing limit for the second half of 2019-20.

The Finance Ministry will announce borrowing decisions for H2 on September 30. The budgeted target is Rs 2.67 lakh crore.

A hosts of Central government schemes aimed at raising farmers' income need expenditures. Some of these include the Rs 87,000-crore PM Kisan Scheme, the Rs 10,000-crore pension scheme for 5 crore farmers, MNREGA, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojna, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, the National Health Mission and so on.

Though most of these schemes are budgeted in expenditures in the General Budget, the execution on these expenditures is reviewed periodically by the Finance Ministry.

The government has budgeted for Rs 7.1 trillion as gross borrowing in this fiscal year. Of this, Rs 4.4 trillion, or about 62 per cent of the total, is being borrowed in the first half.