Sharp drop in India’s subsidy on petroleum balances overall bill


Government subsidies on food and fertilizer increased in the past four years, but those on petroleum fell sharply, ensuring that the overall subsidy bill did not show a sharp rise in the period, India’s junior finance minister said.

Jayant Sinha told parliament in a written response to a question that the subsidy bill of the central government has remained in the range of Rs. 2.50 lakh crore to Rs. 2.58 lakh crore during the period 2014-15 to 2016-17, according to budget estimates.

The subsidy on petroleum fell from Rs 96,880 crore to a mere Rs 30,000 crore between 2012-13 and 2015-15, the minister said.

He said the government’s fiscal deficit — the difference between total expenditure and non-debt receipts — has been in the range of Rs. 5.11 lakh crore to Rs. 5.35 lakh crore in this period. As proportion of GDP, both subsidy bill and fiscal deficit declined during this period.

Details of Subsidies (Rs. in crore)

Subsidy 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 RE
Food 85000 92000 117671 139419
Fertilizer 65613 67339 71076 72438
Petroleum 96880 85378 60269 30000
Other 9586 9915 9242 15944
Total 257079 254632 258258 257801
RE=Revised Estimates





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