BJP manifesto: The yawning gap between promises and budget
In a recent public rally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that his government brought 25 crore people out of poverty. | Photo: PTI

BJP manifesto: The yawning gap between promises and budget

The total additional budget required for the initiatives announced in the BJP manifesto will be anywhere between ₹41,371.5 cr and ₹58,493 cr

The BJP, in its manifesto released on Sunday (April 14), came out with a slew of promises, which will entail fresh budgetary allocation. Interestingly, the manifesto lists the promises as ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’, ignoring the fact that it is the party’s document and not that of an individual.

Considering both minimum and maximum estimates, the total additional budget required for the initiatives announced in the manifesto will be anywhere between ₹41,371.5 crore and ₹58,493 crore.

The total budget of the Union government for the fiscal year 2023-24 is ₹45,03,097 crore. This represents a 7.5 per cent increase over the revised estimate from the previous fiscal year 2022-23.

To fulfil its poll promises, the total budget will balloon to around ₹45,44,468.5 crore, and with the maximum additional requirement, it would increase to about ₹45,61,590 crore.

Expanded Smart City initiative

• Current budget for similar initiatives: The Smart Cities Mission had an allocation of ₹16,000 crore in 2023-24, an increase of 4.6 per cent from the previous year. It was reduced to Rs 10,000 crore in the interim budget presented on February 1.

• Estimated additional requirement: Given the planned increase in green spaces, water bodies, and natural spaces, a proportional increase similar to the previous budget changes might be around 5-10 per cent, potentially requiring an additional ₹800 crore to ₹1,600 crore.

Mudra Scheme expansion

• Current budget: Details specific to the Mudra Scheme under existing budget documents aren't specified, but related programmes like the Guarantee Emergency Credit Line to MSME borrowers substantially increased by 34.3 per cent, reaching ₹14,100 crore.

• Estimated additional requirement: If the loan limit under the Mudra Scheme is raised from the current maximum of ₹10 lakh to ₹20 lakh, it could potentially require doubling the allocation, assuming demand and approval rates remain consistent. This could mean an additional budget requirement of around ₹14,100 crore, assuming it scales similarly to the Emergency Credit Line increase.

Benefits for farmers

• Current budget for PM KISAN Samman Nidhi Yojana: The allocation remained constant at ₹60,000 crore.

• PM Fasal Bima Yojana: Allocated ₹13,625 crore, an increase of 10.1 per cent from the revised estimate.

• Estimated additional requirement: Enhancements in technology for crop insurance and other farmer benefits could reasonably require an additional 10-20 per cent in the budget, translating to approximately ₹1,362.5 crore to ₹2,725 crore additionally for PM Fasal Bima Yojana alone.

Source: PRS

Poverty alleviation scheme

• In its 2019 manifesto, the BJP claimed it is committed to bringing the percentage of families living below the poverty line down to a single digit in the next five years. In a recent public rally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that his government brought 25 crore people out of poverty.

The manifesto lists the following schemes as part of the poverty alleviation programme:

1. Free ration for next 5 years (PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana)

• Current budget: In 2023-24, the food subsidy was estimated at ₹1,97,350 crore, a significant portion of which supported initiatives like the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

• The scheme received yet another extension in November 2023. Through a cabinet decision on November 28, 2023, the government extended the scheme for another 5 years from January 1, 2024. In these five years, Rs 11.80 lakh crore will be spent to provide free food grains to more than 80 crore beneficiaries nationwide.

2. Modi Ki Guarantee for Garib Parivar (PM Awas Yojana expansion)

• Current budget: PM Awas Yojana had an allocation of ₹79,590 crore in 2023-24 and has so far covered over 4 crore people.

• Estimated additional requirement: Expanding the scheme to more households could require a proportional increase in the budget, potentially an additional 10 per cent to 20 per cent (around Rs 7,959 crore), depending on the target increase in beneficiary numbers.

3. Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (water supply scheme)

• Current budget: The Jal Jeevan Mission, aimed at providing water to households, had an allocation of ₹70,000 crore.

• Estimated additional requirement: Extensive technology use and the scheme's expansion could increase the budget requirement by 20 to 30 per cent, especially with initiatives to reduce water wastage. (Approx Rs 1,75,00 crore more).

4. Slum redevelopment

• Current budget: The central budgetary allocation for slum redevelopment, specifically under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban (PMAY-U) for 2023-24, has been set at Rs 25,103 crores. This allocation represents a decrease from the previous year's budget estimate of Rs 28,000 crores. The reduction in budget reflects the government's view that the housing for all by 2022 target has been met, leading to a scaling back in this area. Moreover, budgetary changes also include significant cuts to other urban development schemes. The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY-NULM) saw its budget sharply reduced to a nominal Rs 0.01 crore from a revised estimate of Rs 550 crore in the previous year. In contrast, allocations for Swachh Bharat Mission Urban (SBM-U) significantly increased from Rs 2,000 crore in the previous fiscal year to Rs 5,000 crore for 2023-24.

• Estimated additional requirement: The BJP manifesto has not come out with a clear roadmap, but has said the scheme will be extended.

Source: PRS

5. Clean cooking fuel under PM Ujjwala Yojana

• Current budget: The budgetary allocation for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has changed over time. Initially, a total budgetary allocation of ₹8000 crore (US$1.0 billion) was made to implement the scheme over three years. The scheme was implemented using the money saved in LPG subsidy through the “Give-it-Up” campaign. The government provided ₹1600 for each LPG connection to the eligible BPL households, and the connections were given in the name of the women head of the households. However, the allocation for the scheme was reduced to ₹0.01 crore in the 2023-24 budget as the Centre has given gas connections under Ujjwala to almost all the targetted beneficiaries. The scheme was replaced by the Ujjwala Yojana 2.0 in 2021, which aims to provide fuel to 1 crore families who were left out of the initial scheme.

• Estimated additional requirement: The manifesto says 10 crore people have benefitted under the scheme and will be expanded further but does not specify how many more benefit from it.

6. Zero electricity bill (PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana)

• Current budget: Specific budget allocations are not provided, but implementing zero electricity bills through solar installations would require substantial upfront investments in solar infrastructure. Currently, ₹30,000 for systems up to 1 kW, ₹60,000 for 2 kW systems, and ₹78,000 for 3 kW systems or higher. For each additional kW up to 3 kW, the subsidy is ₹18,000. For all systems that exceed 3 kW, the total subsidy is capped at ₹78,000.

• Estimated additional requirement: The scheme does not specify how many more will be covered under Muft Bijli Yojana.

Health insurance for 70 plus (Extension of Ayushman Bharat Yojana)

• Current budget: The budgetary allocation for Ayushman Bharat Yojana in the financial year 2024 is ₹7,500 crore as compared to the previous year's allocation of ₹7,200 crore. This allocation is part of the government's efforts to achieve universal health coverage and provide health insurance coverage of ₹5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to over 12 crore poor and vulnerable families. The scheme is implemented in 33 states and Union Territories, covering approximately 550 million beneficiaries, constituting the bottom 40 per cent of the Indian population.

• Estimated additional requirement: According to the Knoema data platform, the number of Indians aged 70 years and above is 5.30 crore. Hence, to extend the scheme to 5 crore more people over 70, Rs 3,150 crore more may be required.

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