NEW DELHI, Dec 9 (Reuters) – India sought parliamentary approval on Friday for net additional spending of 3.26 trillion rupees ($40 billion) for the current financial year, spurred by a jump in expenditures on fertiliser and food subsidies amid the Ukraine war.
The government sought approval for gross additional spending of 4.36 trillion rupees, it told parliament, after earlier pegging total expenditure for the year at 39.45 trillion rupees ($480.5 billion) in budget estimates.
India, which imports up to 40% of the 50 million tonnes of fertiliser it needs annually, has been hit hard by a jump in prices this year after supplies were disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is a major fertiliser producer.
India was seeking to spend an additional 1.09 trillion rupees on fertiliser subsidies, according to the document submitted in the parliament. This will take the total spending for such subsidies to 2.14 trillion rupees in 2022/23.
The federal government provides financial support for domestic fertiliser sales at rates below the market to insulate farmers from high prices and contain inflation.
Approval also was sought to spend an additional 601.1 billion rupees on food subsidies, the document showed.
The total amount to be spent on food subsidies would rise to 2.67 trillion rupees in 2022/23, compared to a budget estimate of 2.07 trillion rupees.
The government also wants to spend an additional 164 billion rupees for a rural employment guarantee scheme in 2022/23. This would take the total spending on the job guarantee scheme to 894 billion rupees.
To increase its spending on a rural affordable housing scheme, the Indian government sought an additional 284.22 billion rupees.
($1=82.1000 Indian rupees)
Reporting by Nikunj Ohri and Nigam Prusty, writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Kim Coghill
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