No matter how new it is, but if you are old yourself, then you often remember old songs in an attempt to make sense of the matter. The budget speech was of the new century, new decade and new year, but after listening to the promises made in it, I remembered a song of the half-century old film Upkar – “Kasme, Vaade, Pyaar, Wafa Sab Baate Hai Baat Kya Kya” .. !
As far as the promise is concerned, the budget speech this time was not only twenty-nine from the previous budget speech, such as the announcement of PM Swasth Bharat Yojana, which aims to rejuvenate health services from head to toe. One such announcement was called Mission Nutrition 2.0. The objective was that this mission will be carried out to improve the standards of nutrition in 112 districts running on a very poor basis compared to the rest on the nutrition front. Water life mission (urban) was announced, the intention is to improve the condition of water supply in urban areas. The intention was to strengthen the Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas.
It was said that emphasis should be laid on construction of highways and roads keeping in mind the election states like West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu. The intention was to open one hundred new military schools and 750 Eklavya schools in tribal-dominated areas and to create a new central university in Ladakh. To strengthen the infrastructure of government mandis for marketing agricultural produce, an announcement was made to create a one lakh crore Agricultural Infrastructure Fund. In short, if you are looking at the budget from the basic needs of the common man and from the angle of social development, then the promises have been made so bright in the budget speech that only “wow” comes out of your mouth.
The fate of past promises
But the significance of the promise is from its fulfillment. So, the real question is whether the promises made for social development will be fulfilled in the budget speech or will they remain as one thing said among the people, as in the song of the film Upkar? Well, to find the answer to this question, look at the previous promises, see how the government has performed on the goals of social development programs and spending the allocated amount. A recent assessment by Bloomberg, a financial gathering fact-finding firm, shows that in the last two financial years the government spent less on some important programs of social development and lagged behind achieving the target.
For example, the Prime Minister can take the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, started in the year 2000, to build roads in villages and connect remote areas with main roads and big markets. It was started as an idea to reduce poverty. Bloomberg estimates show that spending on the plan has decreased in the last three fiscal years. It is the same scheme launched in 2011 and named as BharatNet Program in 2015.
The objective of this scheme is to provide high speed broadband service to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by the year 2022. Bloomberg’s assessment shows that the program spent much less in the last three fiscal years than the budget estimate, while the plan to address the dream of creating a Digital India and the non-equalization between people in terms of internet access. Succeeding is like a necessary condition.
The actual expenditure on the Swachh Bharat Scheme has also been lower than the budget estimate in the last two financial years, while the rapid progress of this scheme is said to be very important in order to meet the standards of health and nutrition. The SmartCity mission of modernizing cities, which started in 2015, also spent less than the budget estimate in the last financial year, while cities with world-class facilities are said to be important in terms of ease of doing business and attracting foreign investment.
Actually, if we look at the calculation of income and expenses, it would be known that the government was not in a position to make big promises. Some big words in the market are considered serious only when the pocket is full. You cannot afford generosity to spend rupees in Athanni’s income, whereas the government did the same.
Consider the data up to December 2020 of the Controller General of Accounts working under the Ministry of Finance. These figures give a clear picture of the government’s accumulated expenditure. The government received Rs 11.2 lakh crore from tax and interest etc. till December. This is 50 percent less than the estimate made in the budget of the current financial year. It can be said that there are few months left for this financial year and some more money will come. Of course, there will be some inflows, but now it cannot be said that the influx will be enough to make up for the 50 per cent shortfall.
Earnings decreased but the government increased the cost considering the needs of the COVID-era. The data of the Controller General of Accounts states that the government’s expenditure was Rs 22.8 lakh crore till December of the current financial year. This is 75 percent of the budget estimate. On the expenditure front, if the calculation is visible according to the budget estimate (you can assume that 25% will be spent in the remaining months) then it is possible to meet the difference between income and expenditure from domestic and foreign banks, financial institutions Borrowed
The government borrowed Rs 11.2 lakh crore from the domestic market, which is 141 percent more than the budget estimate, and a loan of 42,000 crore from foreign financial institutions, which is 909 percent more than the budget estimate. This burden of borrowings and debt would have seemed right if the emphasis was on social development in terms of expenditure. After all, in Corona-era the real question was to save the life and livelihood of the people. But the facts of the Controller General of Accounts suggest that the ministries directly involved in social development work spent far less than their budget estimates in the corona-era clutches.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs topped the Ministries which incurred the lowest expenditure as compared to Budget Estimate. It spent just 29 percent of its budget estimate. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which was very important in terms of employment, was able to spend only 39 percent of its budget estimate by December (2020).
India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development, which was among the most laggard countries in terms of nutritional standards, was unable to spend even half of its budget estimate till December. Talking of the Ministry of Education (59 percent) and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (52 percent) or the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (56 percent), none of them had even spent 60 percent of their budget estimate. In this episode, the Health Ministry will look very good in terms of spending (88 percent of the budget estimate), but keeping an eye on the needs of the Corona-period, its cost will be very low according to the increased needs.
By the way, it was being told to the government forums that in the Corona-era, the government is spending its hands with social development, but the figures of the Controller General of Accounts are presenting a different picture.
Increase this item and decrease that item
Now you can be happy that this time the government has increased the budget allocation (137 percent) in terms of health facilities and a considerable amount (38 thousand crores) in lieu of the necessary vaccinations to protect the COVID. ) Have shown the courage to spend, but the length of the smile that blossoms on this joy will surely be reduced by a few inches by remembering that the budget allocation on agriculture and allied areas has decreased in this budget while agriculture in this country 60 percent of people livelihood is a great hope.
At a time when there is a huge farmer-agitation hovering over the borders of the capital with fears of declining income, it has been reported in the news that the government has connected agriculture and allied for 2021-22 The allocation of areas has been reduced from Rs 1,42,711 crore in the previous budget to Rs 1,31,474 crore. The subsidy on short-term loan interest for crops has also come down compared to the previous budget. In order to increase the income of the farmers, government agencies purchase oilseeds and pulses under the price support scheme. In this item also, the budget has been reduced from 2000 crores of the previous budget to 1500 crores for the financial year 2021-22. The budget speech was done, but it was not mentioned what happened to the government’s promise to double farmers’ income by 2022?
If you look at it in terms of social development, this time the budget will be reduced by spending at one place and increasing expenses at other places, and the budget document will tell you that you can save your livelihood in COVID period or life – now it is yours!