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Much of the additional spending will go to people-centered schemes: Minister of Finance

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NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that most of the additional spending sought in the first batch of the supplemental grant claims would be spent on people-centered schemes to help them amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The minister also said that probably for the first time the government has requested such a large amount in the first batch of supplemental grant requests.
Later, Lok Sabha approved the supplemental additional spending demands of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, including a cash outflow of Rs 1.66 lakh crore, mainly to cover the expenses of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister said that the government has sought Rs 40,000 crore towards MNREGA, thus bringing the total spending to Rs 1 lakh crore, the highest so far. The budget for 2020-21 has earmarked around Rs 61,500 crore for MNREGA.
In addition to MNREGA, allocations for people-centered schemes such as Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana and other social welfare schemes are being increased, Sitharaman added.
Furthermore, he said that thanks to the Prime Minister’s digital initiatives, it is now possible to send money directly to the accounts of the poor.
According to the minister, the large increase in the number of other accounts opened in recent months was a reflection of people’s faith in the economy.
Regarding the GST compensation to the states, the minister said that the Center was not denying its responsibility and that the matter will be discussed in the GST Council.

Times of India

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