Finance Minister makes additional demands in Rajya Sabha; requests approval for additional spending of Rs 3.73 lakh crore

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday postponed the second set of grant amendments for examination in the Rajya Sabha, authorizing the government to spend an additional 3.73 lakh crore during the current fiscal year.
Lok Sabha already approved the demand and the Appropriation (No. 5) Bill 2021 on Monday.
The House of Lords is expected to clarify the bill on Wednesday.
The 2021-22 budget had projected total government spending at Rs 34.83 lakh crore. However, given the two addendum requests for grants submitted by the government so far, this is expected to be exaggerated.
The additional expenses include bringing in over Rs.62,000 billion into the company, which holds Air India’s residual assets and liabilities; Rs 58,430 crore as an additional fertilizer subsidy; Rs 53,123 crore for payment of outstanding export incentives; and Rs 22,039 crore to the Department of Rural Development for transfer to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Fund.
In addition, the Department of Food and Public Distribution would receive an additional Rs 49,805 crore to cover expenses for various food storage and storage programs.
About 2,400 billion rupees would be made available to the Ministry of Commerce to cover expenses for subsidies under the “Interest Adjustment Plan” and for investments under the Export Credit Guarantee Company (ECGC) program.
Over Rs 5,000 crore and in excess of Rs 4,000 crore are earmarked for additional expenses by the Department of Defense and Home Affairs, respectively.
Sushil Kumar Modi (BJP) took part in the discussion on the Appropriation (No.5) Bill 2021 and stated that not only India but also all major economies such as the US, UK, Russia and the EU in the post-pandemic period are affected by inflation.
Modi said the situation in India is much better compared to other regions: “When inflation is rising around the world, we cannot distance ourselves … we are part of the global supply chain.”
He also noted that following the center’s excise duty cut, various BJP-ruled states lowered sales tax to lower the prices of petroleum products, but states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Jharkhand have taken similar steps.
He also attacked the previous government on Air India’s current situation, noting that the Modi government was doing everything in its power to get the company back on its feet.
Various parties, including AIADMK, TDP and YSRCP, supported the bill, while major opposition parties such as Congress and TMC left the House of Representatives and asked for a vote after moving a motion to refer the electoral reform law to a Rajya Sabha special committee.
Arun Singh (BJP) said the government took timely action to provide immediate relief to the poor in the face of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. From the free ration to strengthening the health infrastructure, the Narendra Modi government has taken a number of initiatives for the good of the common man that have won people’s trust, he said.
“Today the world is looking at India. India is seen as an attractive destination for investment. A record flow of FDI is coming to India … because the Modi government is transparent and makes decisions transparently, ”said Singh.
Syed Zafar Islam (BJP) said extraordinary times require extraordinary decisions, noting that the government took extraordinary measures to help the poor during the pandemic.
From serving marginalized social classes to initiatives to improve infrastructure and modernizing Indian railways to policies promoting small and large businesses, the success of government decisions has had a visibly positive impact on the Indian economy, he said.
All the key parameters and benchmarks underline that the Indian economy is quickly back on track, added Islam.
Vinay P. Sahasrabuddhe (BJP) participated in the discussion and condemned the behavior of opposition members in the House of Representatives during the session.
He highlighted various government achievements, including lowering mortgage rates, lowering mobile data prices, reducing the cost of medical devices such as stents and improving India’s rankings on the Business Ease of Business Index.
Shiv Pratap Shukla (BJP) also condemned the throwing of the rules by Derek O’Brien (TMC) and accused the opposition member of having crossed the line.
He also highlighted the steps taken by the government to empower women and support the poor during the pandemic, such as the distribution of free rations, but lamented that in opposition-ruled states like West Bengal the matter was being politicized rather than the poor to benefit from the steps of the center.
While praising the government for the organization of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Sonal Mansingh (BJP) asked Sitharaman to allocate funds from the special arrangement to the “to run great programs of international quality” initiative and sought better coordination organize between ministries in the event.
She also drew attention to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on artists, especially young artists who have no other alternative livelihood.
Ashok Bajpai (BJP) said the new education policy will help the youth who will lead the country to progress and development in the future, while stressing that India has been working to become self-employed in defense by promoting domestic procurement.