Cash-strapped Finance Ministry holds back approved schemes till FY-2021
The Finance Ministry has put on hold initiation of approved or assessed new schemes till March 31, 2021 as the department is struggling to cope with the falling revenues due to the Coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown. However, this ruling will not be applicable to the schemes that are a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Schemes.
The Finance Ministry’s Department of Expenditure (DoE) through a memorandum has asked the ministries and government departments not to propose any schemes or sub-schemes for another nine months.
The memorandum read, “In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is unprecedented demand on the public financial resources and a need to use resources prudently in accordance with emerging and changing priorities.”Meanwhile, even Maharashtra, which has been gravely affected by the pandemic, has also decided that no development projects will be launched and there would be a recruitment freeze as well.
As per the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) office, April’s total revenue receipts were recorded to be Rs 27,548 crore (1.2 %) of the budget estimate, while the total expenditure was over Rs 3.07 lakh crore which is 10% of the budget estimate. And, over one-third of the estimated fiscal deficit was spent in the first month of the fiscal year. As a result, the Centre is suffering from acute cash-crunch.