"Now (with) an expenditure size of Rs 15.9 lakh crore (for 2013-14), I don't think Rs 75,000 crore (cut) will impact so much on growth as some people feared," he said at a post-budget press conference here.

The estimate of overall expenditure was revised to Rs 15,90,434 crore in the interim budget from an earlier projection of Rs 16,65,297 crore, a cut of Rs 74,863 crore.

Interim Budget 2014-15

The Central Statistics Office has estimated economic growth for the current financial year at 4.9 percent compared with 4.5 percent in 2012-13.

The government has cut Rs 79,790 crore from the budgeted Plan expenditure of Rs 5,55,322 crore for this financial year against the backdrop of a burgeoning fiscal deficit.

The Interim Budget 2014-15, presented by Chidambaram in Parliament, revised the estimate of Plan expenditure to Rs 4,75,532 crore for 2013-14.

On the other hand, the estimate of non-Plan expenditure was revised to Rs 11,14,902 crore in this financial year from the budgeted Rs 11,09,975 crore, a rise of Rs 4,927 crore.

The Finance Minister said, "On the Plan side, the expenditure has been cut or there has been savings of Rs 80,000 crore. On the non-Plan side, there has been an extra expenditure of Rs 5,000 crore.”

"So the net expenditure reduction is Rs 75,000 crore. If you look at the total expenditure, Rs 15,90,434 lakh, Rs 75,000 crore represents about 5 percent,” he said.

For the next financial year starting April 1, the government has kept the Budget estimate of Plan expenditure unchanged at Rs 5,55,322 crore.

Last year, Chidambaram had cut the Plan expenditure to Rs 4,29,187 crore in the revised estimate from the budgeted Rs 5,21,025 crore for 2012-13.

However, the actual Plan expenditure for 2012-13 was even lower than the revised estimate, at Rs 4,13,625 crore, resulting in a reduction of Rs 1,07,400 crore.

Plan expenditure is government spending on social-sector schemes such as Bharat Nirman, the rural employment guarantee scheme and National Rural Health Mission. It includes the Centre's assistance to plans of various states and Union Territories.

Chidambaram pegged the fiscal deficit for the current financial year at 4.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and at 4.1 percent for 2014-15. The government had targeted it at 4.8 percent for 2013-14 in the last year's Budget.

"I am confident that there will be no cause for complaint. If there are any shortcomings, they can be addressed when the regular budget is presented. There is enough flexibility in the expenditure budget to make necessary changes in the allocations within the overall resource envelope," Chidambaram said in the Budget speech.

The non-Plan expenditure for 2014-15 is budgeted at Rs 12,07,892 crore, which is 8.82 percent higher than the Budget estimate of Rs 11,09,975 crore for the current fiscal.



The non-Plan expenditure, or recurring spending on items such as salaries and interest payouts, for the current financial year is slightly higher at Rs 11,14,902 crore.

"Non-plan expenditure in 2014-15 is estimated at Rs 12,07,892 crore. Of this, the expenditure on subsidies for food, fertiliser and fuel will be Rs 2,46,397 crore. This is slightly more than the revised estimate of Rs 2,45,452 crore in 2013-14," Chidambaram said.

He added: "For fuel subsidy, I have provided Rs 65,000 crore. Rs 115,000 crore has been allocated for food subsidy keeping in mind our government's firm and irrevocable commitment to implement the National Food Security Act throughout the country."

The total budgeted expenditure of Rs 17,63,214 crore for 2014-15 is 10.86 percent higher than the revised estimate of Rs 15,90,434 crore for the current fiscal.

(Agencies)

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