NATIONAL

Central Govt. expenditure pattern reviewed

NEW DELHI NOV. 7. The Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh, today undertook a review of the expenditure pattern of the Central Government where it was estimated that an additional expenditure of Rs.15,000 to Rs.18,000 crores could crop up this fiscal, mainly because of drought and extra subsidy on food and petroleum products.

However, part of the extra expenditure is expected to be balanced through savings on Plan expenditure and on Defence outlay, which normally report unspent money almost every year. Varying estimates were provided at a high-level meeting today of financial advisers of various Ministries as part of the Budget exercise.

For instance, it was pointed out that the expenditure on drought relief could be higher than the Rs. 1,600 crores provided for national calamity relief and an additional Rs. 3,500 crores would be required for subsidies on kerosene and LPG because of high international oil prices.

Food subsidy was also expected to go up because of the Rs. 20 per quintal hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of rice but the exact quantum was not worked out as yet.

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