Budget 2016: Govt's food subsidy outgo may jump up to Rs 1.5 lakh crore
Many believe despite the government's efforts to curtail subsidies, its food subsidy bill may exceed the Budget estimates of Rs 1.24 lakh crore by Rs 10,000-20,000 crore. Allocation for 2016-17 could be more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore, says HDFC Securities
The government has been trying hard to rein in expenditure with respect to subsidies since coming to power. The three main heads of subsidy outgo are undoubtedly food, fuel and fertilisers.
Many believe despite the government's efforts to curtail subsidies, its food subsidy bill may exceed the Budget estimate of Rs 1.24 lakh crore by Rs 10,000-20,000 crore. Allocation for 2016-17 could be more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore, a brokerage house report says.
The pan-India roll-out of the National Food Security Act could take the food subsidy to new highs. The Centre, however, has been successful in reining in the other two major explicit subsidies on petroleum products and fertilisers, the report adds.
Various media reports are also throwing up different numbers. According to one report, Modi government's plan outlay aimed at National Food Security Act (NFSA) will rise to Rs 1,30,000 crore, lower than HDFC Securities' estimates, but still higher than the government's current outgo at Rs Rs 1,24,419 crore. Meanwhile, another media house says the food ministry wants Rs 1.40 lakh crore for the next fiscal year, a rise of 13 percent from the previous year.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley has the unenvious task this Budget of having to balance fiscal deficit, growth and at the same time ensure that the various social stratas of the society don't feel neglected.