75. Total non-plan expenditure in 1998-99 is estimated to be Rs.1,96,105 crore compared to Rs.1,74,615 crore in revised estimates 1997-98.
76. The provision for interest payments has increased from Rs.65,700 crore in RE 1997-98 to Rs.75,000 crore.
77. The provision for Defence expenditure has been increased substantially from Rs.36,099 crore in RE 1997-98 to Rs.41,200 crore. I will consider further increase in the budgetary support during the course of the year, if necessary. There can be no compromise in our defence preparedness.
78. An amount of Rs.9,000 crore is being earmarked for Food subsidy in 1998-99 representing an increase of Rs.1,500 crore over RE 1997-98. The provision for sugar subsidy has been retained at Rs.400 crore. An increase in food subsidy has become necessary due to recent revision of minimum support price for wheat procurement and also to clear arrears pertaining to previous years.
79. Pursuant to the change in the selling price of urea, the provision for subsidy on indigenous nitrogenous fertilisers is being reduced from Rs.6,600 crore in RE 1997-98 to Rs.6,000 crore. The subsidy on decontrolled phosphatic and potassic fertilisers is being increased from Rs.2,600 crore in RE 1997-98 to Rs.3,000 crore.
80. Grants to States is being enhanced in 1998-99 from Rs.4,114 crore in RE 1997-98 to Rs.6,314 crore representing an increase of Rs.2,200 crore. Of this, the increase of Rs.950 crore is due to assistance to the States for improvement in the pay & allowances of the university and college teachers. The balance of the increase is mainly due to grants under Tenth Finance Commissions award.
81. The provision for pension is being increased by Rs.459 crore over RE 1997-98 to Rs.7,342 crore. This provision takes into account the effect of Governments decision to raise the age of superannuation from 58 years to 60 years. This will also have an impact on the Small Savings Collections. The provision for loans to States and Union Territories against net small savings collections is being kept at Rs.14,200 crore against the provision of Rs.15,732 crore in RE 1997-98.
82. A provision of Rs.1,482 crore has been made for non-plan loans to public sector enterprises mainly for payment of salaries and wages to the employees of sick and convalescent PSUs.
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