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