Amid a walkout by principal Opposition DMK and its ally Congress demanding Statehood, the Puducherry Assembly on Friday gave sanction to the government to spend ₹989.26 crore as additional expenditure incurred for 2022-23.
The House in August last year, had passed a Budget outlay of ₹10,696 crore for the current fiscal. With the approval for the additional expenditure incurred for the financial year, the outlay for 2022-23 has been revised to around ₹11,500 crore.
(The additional spending could have scaled up the outlay to around ₹11,685 crore but pegged at ₹11, 500 as certain departments have surrendered around ₹150 crore from the amount sanctioned in August)
Shortly after obituary references were made after the house reassembled at 9.30 a.m., Chief Minister N. Rangasamy moved the statement showing the Estimate of Supplementary Expenditure for 2022-23.
The Ministers then moved statements regarding additional expenditure incurred by the departments under their portfolio. The house then gave sanction for the Revised Estimate (RE) of ₹11,500 crore.
The maximum additional expenditure incurred was for education, retirement benefits, electricity, debt repayment, PWD, District Administration, health and cooperation.
Government sources said the administration had so far utilised 72% of the Budget estimate of ₹ 1,500 crore. On the capital expenditure part, the source said, of the ₹1,900 crore set aside for the sector, a sum of ₹1,548 crore had been spent. This included debt repayment, he added.
After passing the RE, the house was adjourned sine die. The Assembly would be reconvened sometime during the second or third week of March to present a full Budget for 2023-24.
The Planning Board had already recommended to the Centre an outlay of ₹11,600 crore for the next financial year. The Centre had set aside around ₹3,117 crore under the head of Ministry of Home Affairs to transfer to the Union Territory as Central assistance for the next fiscal. The amount was earmarked in the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, the source added.
It will be after a gap of 12 years that the government will be presenting a full Budget before the beginning of a financial year. The MHA had last year insisted upon the Budget being presented instead of relying on vote on accounts. The Ministry wanted the administration to prepare the Budget estimates based on the allocation made by the Centre and the projected revenue receipts., he added
“Besides the directions from the Ministry, the government also felt the need to present a full Budget as vote on accounts delay the implementation of programmes, especially those on capital expenditure side,” said a government source.