The Indian Budget 1996-97 The Indian Economy Overview


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  1. This government is committed to safeguard the interests of women and children by expanding the social safety nets. The annual plan allocation for the Department of Women & Child Development is being stepped up from Rs.730 crore to Rs.847 crore. The allocation for the Integrated Child Development Scheme is being increased from Rs.588 crore to Rs.682 crore.

  2. The plan allocation for the Ministry of Labour has been increased from Rs.136 crore to Rs.188 crore. Enhanced provisions have been made for schemes relating to improvement in the working conditions and for training of workers.

  3. In the Railway Budget presented a few days ago, government have announced an outlay of Rs.8,130 crore in the Railway plan for the current year with a budgetary support of Rs.1,269 crore. Based on the ability of the Railways to meet their stipulated targets on internal resource generation, I will consider increase in the budgetary support during the course of the year for this crucial sector.

  4. The plan allocation for the Ministry of Surface Transport has been increased by Rs.240 crore to Rs.1,322 crore, mainly to provide enhanced support for national highways. Schemes are on the anvil to make Kochi and Tuticorin important trans- shipment ports for container traffic.

  5. There are persistent demands from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep for more flexible norms for determining the cost for funding and implementing projects. Having regard to their special needs, I have agreed to these demands. We will also ensure that the Island Development Authority is activated to accelerate development in these strategic islands.

  6. I am happy to inform Hon'ble Members that the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) is being continued in the current year. Adequate funds are being made available for this scheme.

  7. The total non-plan expenditure in 1996-97 is placed at Rs.150,013 crore compared to Rs.123,651 crore in BE 1995-96 and Rs.134,320 crore in RE 1995-96. Of the increment, Rs.8,000 crore is on account of increase in interest payments, the provision for which is now placed at Rs.60,000 crore. The provision for Defence expenditure has been increased from Rs.26,879 crore in RE 1995-96 to Rs.27,798 crore. I assure Hon'ble Members that, if required, more funds will be made available in order to equip and keep our armed forces in fighting fit condition.

  8. I have already referred to the major new initiatives for giving an impetus to agriculture and irrigation. The increase on account of higher subsidies for phosphatic and potassic fertilisers will be Rs.1,724 crore over last year's provision of Rs.500 crore. The enhanced subsidies are expected to lead to a balanced use of various fertilizers for better soil health and productivity.

  9. The provision for food subsidy has also been increased from Rs.5,500 crore to Rs.5,884 crore.

  10. A provision of Rs.449 crore has been made for writing off the outstanding interest and conversion of loans into equity in the subsidiaries of Bharat Yantra Nigam Ltd., Bharat Bhari Udyog Ltd. and Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd. under BIFR approved revival plans. In addition, a provision of Rs.1,270 crore has been made for non-plan loans to public sector enterprises mainly for payment of salaries and wages to the employees.

  11. I now turn to the revenue receipts. Gross tax revenues at the existing rates of taxation are estimated at Rs.129,453 crore. After providing Rs.34,451 crore as the share of taxes of the States, the Centre's net tax revenue will be Rs.95,002 crore. Non-tax revenues, an important component of our receipts, have also shown healthy buoyancy. The receipts under this head, which were estimated at Rs.29,103 crore in RE 1995-96, are expected to be Rs.33,035 crore this year. I am confident that we can do better under some heads. I have taken credit for Rs.2,500 crore as license fee from private operators of cellular and basic telecom services.

  12. The net revenue receipts for the Centre, including non-tax receipts, are expected to increase from Rs.110,191 crore in RE 1995-96 to Rs.128,037 crore in 1996-97.

  13. In the area of capital receipts, traditional market borrowings are placed at Rs.3,700 crore. Other medium and long-term loans are estimated at Rs.21,798 crore. Net external assistance will be Rs.2,461 crore. I am also taking credit for receipts from disinvestment of equity in public sector enterprises of Rs.5,000 crore. Total receipts at the existing rates of taxation are estimated at Rs.195,774 crore while total expenditure is Rs.204,698 crore. I shall come to the Budget deficit and the fiscal deficit in Part B of my speech.
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