The government is expected to prioritise expenditure on sectors such as healthcare, food and transporting migrants over areas such as culture, steel or sports for the full financial year.
The plan is to keep the overall spending under check at a time when revenue flow has nearly stalled due to the lockdown, which has halted economic activity across the country.In early April, the expenditure department had put in place a new cash management system for the April-June period under which there was no spending limit for ministries such as health, Ayush, agriculture, aviation, food, railways and textiles, which were at the centre of the battle against Covid-19.In contrast, ministries such as coal, commerce and industry, urban affairs, education and skill development were among the 52 heads where spending in the first quarter was capped at 15% of the annual outlay.
There was also a third set where the quarterly expenditure ceiling was fixed at 20% of the allocation for 2020-21.
Food subsidy is expected to go up as the government is going to distribute foodgrains to ensure that the poor do not go hungry, while also procuring aggressively to fill up granaries. At the same time, it expects higher outflow for health for which an additional Rs 15,000 crore is being sanctioned.