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Union Budget 2019-20: Bhutan gains, Chabahar loses in Budget pie

Nepal and Mauritius maintain the high priority in funds allotted, while Afghanistan has come down a bit

July 05, 2019 10:25 pm | Updated July 06, 2019 11:45 am IST - NEW DELHI

The government has allocated ₹45 crore for India’s building activities in the port of Chabahar Iran. This is a reduction from the previous year’s allocation of ₹150 crore.

However, the outlay for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has substantially hiked the allocation for Bhutan, one of India’s closest neighbours nestled in the Himalayas, and bolstered passport and emigration services.

India is at the forefront of the construction of Chabahar port which is a major regional initiative from India. India’s works at the port received a waiver from the anti-Iran sanctions of the U.S.

However, a major share of the total budget allocation of ₹17,884.78 crore is for Bhutan which got ₹2,801.79 crore, gaining substantially from the previous allocation of ₹2,510 crore.

Both Nepal and Mauritius have maintained a high priority in allocation and have received ₹1,050 crore and ₹1,100 crore respectively.

In terms of regional allocation, Latin America, home of Brazil and Argentina among other countries, received the lowest of the MEA’s expenditure allocation with a meagre ₹15 crore. Afghanistan’s allocation has also come down from ₹470 crore to ₹400 crore.

Passport work

MEA’s passport and emigration-related work will receive ₹1,620.95 crore which is a major increment from the previous allocation of ₹1,059.06 crore.

The section on ‘Notes on Demands for Grants 2019-2020’ does not reflect any allocation for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Expenditure for pilgrimages abroad received an allocation of ₹13 crore.

India has however cut its contribution to the United Nations to ₹275 crore from ₹307 crore.

It will increase allocation for the BIMSTEC regional grouping of the Bay of Bengal community to ₹8 crore, which is equivalent to the SAARC allocation.

South Asian University will receive ₹317.50 crore and Nalanda University will get ₹220 crore.

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