Budget vs actual spending: Here is how much each Ministry spends

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on November 01, 2019

Thirty one out of 53 Central Ministries/Departments have spent less during first six months of the current fiscal (2019-20) than corresponding period of last fiscal (2018-19). Among these, Steel Ministry has spent as low as 10 per cent of the budget estimate, while Oil Ministry has spent 82 per cent of the budget estimate but still in the less spender category.

Government’s book keeper, Controller General of Accounts (CGA) made data, related with expenditure, income and deficit of the Central Government for first six months i.e. April-September of current fiscal, public. Despite windfall gain from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), overall receipt was little over 40 per cent of the budget estimate while that for expenditure was 53.4 per cent. This mismatch resulted in fiscal deficit touching 92.6 per cent of the budget estimate or over Rs 6.15 lakh crore.


Talking specifically about spending, CGA records expenditure for 100 Central Government units which are clubbed into 53 Ministries and Departments. Total expenditure is more than half of the budget estimate and exactly at the same level which it was during first six months of the last fiscal. However, out of 53 Central Ministries/Departments, only 17 have shown higher spending while five are at the same level and remaining are on declining trend.

Key ministries, which directly or indirectly impact rural economy, includes Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying and Food Processing. All of them have spend less than what they did last year. This is despite distress in rural area. Take the example of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare. It has been allocated 1.39 lakh crore for current fiscal, while it has spent just Rs 54,680 crore or 39 per cent of the budget estimate. This Ministry runs key scheme such as Pradhanmantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and Soil Health Card beside others.

Other key Ministry related with rural economy, Rural Development spent Rs 71,523 crore out of budget allocation of Rs 1.20 lakh crore.  In terms of percentage, it is 60 per cent as against 64 per cent during corresponding period of the previous fiscal. This ministry is responsible for flagship programs such as Rural Employment Guarantee Program, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana beside others.

Performance of other ministries in this category such as Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying could not spend even half of their allocation, while that for Food Processing was more dismal at 33 per cent. It is difficult to fix one or two particular reason for lower expenditure, but one thing is clear, that plan for these two Ministries are still on the drawing board and hopefully there will be more expenditure during second half of the current fiscal.

Major Ministries

Among core industries, Steel Ministry has very modest allocation of just Rs 241 crore but even than it has spent only 10 per cent of this amount, which is lowest among all Ministries/Departments. Data shows that this amount is only for revenue expenditure which means salary etc. Other two with less than one fifth of expenditure out of total outlay, includes Ministry of Minority Affairs (17 per cent) and Ministry of Panchayati Raj (19 per cent).

Civil Aviation Ministry has also disappointed in terms of spending. It was allocated Rs 4500 crore but spent little over Rs 1100 crore or 25 per cent. Even Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has not spent even half of its allocation. It may be recalled that these two Ministries are responsible for key initiatives of Modi Government such as promoting air travel and connecting small towns and cities with metro, with the help of ‘Udaan’ and making North Eastern States more prosperous.

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has dual distinction – one positive and one negative. Positive in the sense that this Ministry is highest spender, while negative is that it has spent less in terms of percentage than last fiscal. This Ministry has a budget of nearly Rs 43,000 crore and spent over 82 per cent, but last fiscal during the same period it had spent 84 per cent of the budget allocation.

Now, barring oil, all less spenders will have to accelerate spending in the third quarter as there are some restrictions for the fourth quarter or January-March period. According to Rule 62 (3) of General Financial Rules, 2017, rush of expenditure, particularly in the closing months of financial year, shall be regarded as a breach of financial propriety and shall be avoided. As per extant guidelines, the last quarter expenditure must be limited to actual procurement of goods and services and reimbursement of expenditure already occurred. Ministry of Finance’s instructions restrict last quarter expenditure to 33 per cent ceiling and last months (March) expenditure to 15 per cent ceiling.

Published on November 01, 2019

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