New Delhi: Even before presenting the General Budget on Friday, the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that, ‘the thought of unlimited subsidy bill is giving me sleepless nights.’ 

The government has pegged its outgo on food, fuel and fertiliser subsidies in the 2012-13 fiscal at over Rs 1.79 lakh crore, nearly 14 per cent lower than the revised estimates for the current fiscal.

The government's food subsidy given to run the Public Distribution System (PDS) is estimated to go up marginally to Rs 75,000 crore next fiscal from Rs 72,823 crore in 2011-12.

Food subsidy is provided to meet the difference between the economic cost of foodgrains and their sales realisation at the Central Issue Price fixed under the public distribution system (PDS) and other welfare schemes.

The oil subsidy, which is given to state-run oil marketing firms, such as Indian Oil Corp, BPCL and HPCL, for selling diesel, domestic LPG to households and kerosene through the PDS system, below cost, is estimated lower at Rs 43,580 crore in FY'13, compared to Rs 68,481 crore in this fiscal.

The allocation for subsidies in this budget is mere two percent of the GDP. Subsidy on petroleum products has been reduced by Rs 24,900 crore.

(JPN/ Bureau)