Finance minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee is planning to give a big boost to the grassroots economy and the sectors that are resource-starved, in his 2012-13 budget coming up next month, so as to arrest the slowdown in the Indian economy. Gross Budgetary Support for planned expenses is being hiked by 18% to Rs. 521,000 crores, which is Rs. 80,000 crores more than in the current financial year, as per the finance ministry.
Against the projected 4.6% deficit gap between the government's revenue and expenses, this gap is expected to increase beyond 5% of GDP. Resource-starved sectors like the Railways, Air India and the UPA's flagship programmes will get resources due to the hike in the Gross Budgetary Support. With this, it is hoped that the economy might again come back to a high growth track, after it slowed to below 7% in the current fiscal.
Of the total hike, the Railways and Air India are likely to get Rs. 5,000 crores each for capital expenditure. A sizeable amount will also go to universalize health insurance, which will be administered by the labour ministry. The exact amount that will be given for the insurance scheme is yet to be decided as calculations are still being done.
With the proposed National Food Security Act, the states will be given Rs. 5,000 crores for computerizing the public distribution network. Skill development is another area which will also get substantial funds.