NEW DELHI: The ongoing military confrontation with China along the line of actual control has prompted the government to ease spending restrictions on defence while keeping tabs on expenditure on non-essential services.
The expenditure control guidelines for the third quarter of the financial year issued by
the finance ministry
on September 28 has also provided relaxation for the fertiliser ministry as well ahead of the sowing season.
The lifting of the expenditure curbs on defence comes in wake of the heavy troop mobilisation all along the 3,488-km LAC, especially in eastern Ladakh, which is set to continue through the winter, as well as emergency arms procurements in the pipeline and additional funding for
the Border Roads Organisation
As reported by TOI earlier, the emergency procurements range from different missiles and precision-guided munitions to drones and assault rifles from countries like the US, France,
and Israel to bolster its operational military readiness against China.
the expenditure department
had issued instructions to re-prioritise spending with a few ministries and departments such as health, pharma, food and public distribution and Ayush getting funds in line with their budget allocation as they were part of category A.
Others such as fertiliser, road transport, petroleum, commerce and coal were to face spending cuts in view of Covid-19 which saw revenue dry up and severely hit government finances, prompting the Centre to step up borrowings.
For B category departments and ministries, the monthly expenditure was to be capped at 8% of the allocation for 2020-21 for the first month, and at 6% for the last two months of the first quarter. For the C category, the departments needed to restrict the overall expenditure within 15% of BE of 2020-21.
In June, it said that the spending plan would continue during the September quarter. The latest guidelines have only put defence and fertiliser in the A category, indicating that the spending will be in line with their budgetary allocation for the current financial year.