In a bid to maintain fiscal deficit within the targeted limit, the Union finance ministry has asked ministries and departments to restrict their expenses with the revised estimates.

The communication comes ahead of the Union Budget 2022-23, likely to be unveiled on February 1. In an office memorandum seeking proposals for the third and final batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants, the economic affairs department under the finance ministry has asked the ministries and departments to submit their proposals by February 10. “While processing proposals for supplementary grants, the grant-controlling authority must invariably identify savings available within the grant so that the infructuous or inflated supplementary demands. are weeded out and the eventuality of surrender after obtaining supplementary grant is avoided,” it said.

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The proposal for Supplementary Demands for Grants may 1 projected after a thorough and objective assessment of additional requirements of funds, it said. “All the ministries and departments have been requested to contain the expenditure within the approved Revised Estimate ceilings,” it said. The government estimates a fiscal deficit of 6.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the current financial year ending on March 31. Fiscal deficit is an indication of the government’s borrowing to meet the shortfall between expenditure and receipts from taxes and other sources. The memorandum further said the demand proposal should be made after a thorough review of savings within the Grant.

“In cases where re-appropriation can be made without the requirement of Supplementary as per the extant provisions, no Supplementary proposal, including for a token amount, should be proposed. Such requirements may be met by re-appropriation of savings after obtaining approval of competent authority,” it said. The cases that will be eligible to be incorporated under such demands include those where advances from the Contingency Fund of India have been granted. Besides, payments against court decree will be included as well in cases where the finance ministry has specifically advised moving of supplementary demand in the budget session, it said. The two-phase Budget session begins on January 31 and continues till April 8.

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