Four bills replacing Ordinances were passed in Rajya Sabha. Two of these are related to the Homeopathy Central Council and the Indian Medicine Central Council.

Two others reducing the salaries and allowances of MPs and Ministers for one year by 30% were also discussed and passed. During the discussion, several Members echoed the demands of Lok Sabha MPs for the restoration of the MPLADS stating that they were crucial for constituency-level development. In his reply, the Minister said that the MPLADS was outside the scope of the Bill. However, he reassured the House that the suspension of MPLADS was only temporary. 

In Lok Sabha, the introduction of the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 was met with opposition. Some Members took issue with the creation of a separate PM CARES Fund when the PM National Relief Fund already existed. They also questioned the reasons for the Fund’s exemption from CAG audits. 

After multiple adjournments, the sitting resumed at 6PM and the Supplementary Demands for Grants for this year and the Demand for Excess Grants for 2016-17 were discussed. 

This year’s budget (passed in February 2020) had estimated an expenditure of Rs 30,42,230 crore for the financial year. The supplementary DFGs propose an incremental cash outgo of Rs 1,66,984 crore, an increase of 5.5% over the budgeted expenditure. 

Table: Cash outgo proposed across key Ministries in the first Supplementary Demands 2020-21 (in Rs crore). These amount to 98% of the proposed expenditure. 

 

Ministry

2020-21 Budget Estimates

2020-21 First Supplementary Demand for Grants

Supplementary Demands as a percentage of 2020-21 Budget Estimates

Rural Development

1,22,398

73,771

60%

Finance 

4,60,734*

51,884

11%

Consumer affairs, Food, and Public Distribution

1,24,535

16,000

13%

Health and Family Welfare 

67,112

14,232

21%

Labour and Employment

12,065

4,860

40%

Petroleum and Natural Gas

42,901

3,184

7%

Note: *This excludes the expenditure of the Ministry of Finance under the demand ‘Interest Payments’ (i.e. Rs 7.08 lakh crore).

Sources: First Supplementary Demands for Grants 2020-21, Ministry of Finance; Union Budget Documents; PRS.

 

For 2016-17, the excess expenditure amounts to Rs 3,241 crore. Key items of excess expenditure include (i) Rs 2,200 crore for defence pensions, and (ii) Rs 936 crore for salaries and certain other allowances under the Department of Posts. This excess expenditure was scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee which recommended regularising this expenditure.

Discussion in the House was ongoing at the time of uploading this note.

Numbers to Note

35,074 cases

In response to an unstarred question, the Minister of State for Finance stated that  35,074 cases are going through the dispute resolution process under the Vivad se Vishwas scheme as of 8th September 2020. In the same answer, he provided that there are 88,396 direct tax appeals pending before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals, 31,822 appeals before High Courts, and 5,477 appeals before the Supreme Court.

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