Major subsidies outgo in April-May at 39% of budget estimate

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New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Major subsidies have touched 39 per cent of the budget estimate (BE) for 2019-20 at Rs 2,96,684 crore in April-May vis-a-vis 34 per cent of the BE in the same period previous fiscal.

Total subsidies up to May 2019 was Rs 1,15,059.00 crore of the BE of Rs 2,96,684 crore while the same was Rs 88,689.12 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

According to the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) figures, food subsidy has touched Rs 77,388.07 crore as on May 2019, which is 42 per cent of the BE, as against Rs 73,636.24 crore or 43 per cent of BE recorded in the year ago period.

Urea subsidy for April-May 2019 amounted to Rs 15,708.45 crore, which is 31 per cent of the BE of Rs 50,154 crore as against 10 per cent of BE or Rs 4,565.17 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Nutrient-based fertilisers subsidy in April-May 2019 touched Rs 7,740.48 crore, which is 31 per cent of the BE of Rs 24,832 crore, as against Rs 6,052 crore or 24 per cent of BE recorded in the year ago period.

Petroleum subsidy in April-May 2019 reached Rs 14,222 crore, which is 38 per cent of BE of Rs 37,478.00 crore, as against Rs 4,435.62 crore or 18 per cent of BE in the corresponding year of the previous year.

The food subsidy bill borne by the government has consistently risen since the 2014 budget. While food subsidy was at Rs 1.15 lakh crore in 2014, it swelled to Rs 1.69 lakh crore in the 2018 budget, marking an increase of about 47 per cent.

The government has nearly doubled its subsidy allocation for fertilisers between 2014 and 2018. While the subsidy allocation in 2014 budget was Rs 36,970 crore, it was Rs 70,090 crore in 2018 budget.

But unlike food, the fertiliser subsidies haven’t overshot the initial allocation. In fact, in most years, the revised estimates for fertiliser subsidies have come in lower than the original budget estimates.

The subsidies in the petroleum sector are given in two categories: LPG and kerosene, with the LPG subsidy exceeding that for kerosene. While LPG subsidy in 2018 budget was Rs 20,377 crore, the subsidy for kerosene was Rs 4,555 crore.

(The writer can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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