Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive ‘perform or perish’ seems to have made government functionaries more efficient. Almost 42% of the total planned expenditure for the country has been made in the first six months of the fiscal.
The government proposed to spend over Rs 5.5 lakh crore under planned expenditure in the financial year 2016-17, which is 15.3% higher than Rs 4.77 lakh crore, revised estimates for previous year.
Usually from April to September, the government doesn’t spend so much money. As ministries and departments are taking urbanisation programmes seriously, officials are queuing up for funds to finish projects on time.
“Till mid September, Rs 2.32 lakh crore has been spent, which is 42% of the total planned expenditure. Most of this money has been spent on infrastructure. The amount spent is Rs 46,000 crore more than what was spent last year,” finance and expenditure secretary Ashok Lavasa told HT.
Among the major spenders are roads and highways, railways, rural connectivity, urban development, etc.
“Urban development this year spent Rs 14,000 crore as against Rs 5,500 crore during the same period last year. The money is being spent on building smart cities and urbanisation,” he said.
He further said Rs 27,000 crore was allocated to roads and highways as against Rs 21,000 crore from mid April to September last year.
For some years, budgeted plan expenditure has been cut to keep revised estimates in the next year’s budget low.
“This year, our mandate is to spend more so that projects are not delayed,” said Lavasa.
Plan allocations are mostly made to sectors such as agriculture, irrigation, health, women and child development, minorities, and infrastructure.
“It is generally thought that plan expenditure is good and non-plan expenditure bad. This results in skewed allocations in the budget. We need to correct this and focus more on revenue and capital classification of government expenditure,” said finance minister Arun Jaitley.