The government has earmarked Rs. 270.05 crore for the tour expenses of Union ministers in the General Budget 2013-14 which is slightly more than the last fiscal's allocation of Rs. 269.94 crore.
The General Budget 2013-14 also hiked the allocation for the Prime Minister's Office to Rs. 32.22 crore from the last year's Rs. 31.72 crore.
The provision of Rs. 270.05 crore under the head 'Tour Expenses' is for expenditure on travel by cabinet ministers, ministers of state and ex-prime ministers. This also includes provision for maintenance of aircraft used for VVIPs travel.
In 2012-13, Rs. 269.94 crore was allocated for the tour expenses of Union ministers.
Interestingly, the budgetary allocation for tour expenses of Union ministers was drastically reduced in the last two budgets in comparison to the previous years apparently due to tough fiscal situation. Rs. 678.53 crore was spent under 'Tour Expenses of Union Ministers in 2011-12.
Fund worth Rs. 5.80 crore has been earmarked for salaries of cabinet ministers and ministers of state for the new fiscal in comparison to Rs. 5.29 crore in 2012-13.
The Budget also earmarked Rs. 11 crore for 'Sumptuary and other Allowances' which includes provision for sumptuary and other allowances of cabinet ministers and ministers of state.
There was a cut in the budgetary allocation to the cabinet secretariat – from Rs. 51.76 crore in 2012-13 to Rs. 50.40 crore in 2013-14.
The Special Protection Group, which protects VVIPs like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also saw its allocation drop from Rs. 401.13 crore in 2012-13 to Rs. 386.27 crore in the new fiscal.