Budget 2018: Subsidies on food, fertiliser and petroleum have been pegged higher by 15 per cent to Rs 2.64 lakh crore for the 2018-19 fiscal. The subsidy bill on food, petroleum and fertilisers is estimated at Rs 2,64,335.65 crore for the financial year 2018 -19, according to the Budget 2018-19 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament today. The subsidy bill is seen at Rs 2,29,715.67 crore for the current financial year 2017-18, as per the revised Budget 2018 estimates.
The government has earmarked Rs 1,69,323 crore for food subsidy in the next fiscal as against Rs 1,40,281.69 crore in the revised estimate of this fiscal. Food subsidy bill is pegged higher for the next fiscal on account of rising procurement cost and the government’s decision to keep selling prices unchanged in the National Food Security Act, under which highly subsidised foodgrains is provided to over 80 crore people.
Fertiliser subsidy has been hiked to Rs 70,079.85 crore for 2018-19 fiscal as against the revised estimate of Rs 64,973.5 crore in the current financial year. For fertiliser subsidy, the government has allocated Rs 44,989.5 crore in the next fiscal for urea sector as against Rs 42,721.7 crore this fiscal.
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The Union Budget allocation for phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers under the nutrient based subsidy scheme has been increased to Rs 25,090.35 crore next fiscal from Rs 22,251.8 crore in the current financial year. Petroleum subsidy has been increased to Rs 24,932.8 crore for 2018-19 from estimated Rs 24,460.48 crore in this fiscal.
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Of Rs 24,933 crore for the next fiscal, the allocation for LPG subsidy is 20,377.80 and Rs 4,555 crore for kerosene. As per the revised estimate for 2017-18, LPG and kerosene subsidies are seen at Rs 15,656.33 crore and Rs 8,804.15 crore, respectively.