Budget 2019: Modi government’s success in direct transfer of benefits doesn’t reflect in subsidy numbers given in budget

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Published: February 1, 2019 10:12:03 PM

The Union government's subsidy bill for next fiscal has been estimated at around Rs 3 lakh crore which is nearly 90% of the central government's total capital expenditure for the same period.

According to information available on DBT portal, the government has saved Rs 1.09 lakh crore in its subsidy bill by using Aadhaar linked bank accounts.

Union Budget 2019-20: The Union government’s subsidy bill will go up by over 10 per cent to nearly Rs 3 lakh crore in next fiscal. This trend of increase in the subsidy bill is against the government’s claim that it has saved almost Rs 1.1 lakh crore in subsidy bill by using Aadhaar linked bank accounts for direct benefit of transfers.

According to the revised estimates presented by finance minister Piyush Goyal today, the government’s subsidy bill has been estimated to be Rs 2.66 lakh crore for the current fiscal which is expected to go up to over Rs 2.96 lakh crore next year, an increase of nearly 12%.

Prime Minister Modi has often highlighted in his speeches that direct transfer of benefits to Aadhaar linked bank accounts has largely succeeded in weeding out bogus and ineligible beneficiaries resulting in the cumulative saving of over Rs 90,000 crore.

In fact, as per the latest data available on the government’s official portal for Direct Transfer of Benefits, the cumulative saving figure has gone up beyond Rs 1.09 lakh crore which is more than 41% of the government’s total budgeted subsidy bill for this fiscal.

The Union government provides subsidies on three major heads: Food subsidy (Rs 1.84 lakh crore), Fertiliser subsidy (Rs 75,000 crore) and subsidy on cooking gas and kerosene (Rs 37,478 crore).

According to the official portal of DBT scheme, the government has eliminated 4.09 crore bogus LPG connections and over 2.82 crore bogus rations cards for distribution of food under public distribution system. According to the information available on the DBT portal, the government has saved a cumulative amount of over Rs 56,000 crore and Rs 36,000 crore respectively in implementaton of these two schemes, while cumulative saving so far has been pegged at Rs 1.09 lakh crore.

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