Union Budget 2022-23 comes at a time of rising inflation while we continue to grapple with the pandemic. Total government expenditure has increased by only Rs 1.75 lakh crore, from Rs 37.70 lakh crore in 2021-22 (Revised Estimate) to Rs 39.45 lakh crore in 2022-23. The budget has focused on capital expenditure rather than safety nets for the needy. Rs 7.5 lakh crores has been allocated to capital expenditure, with a 35% increase from last year’s allocation of Rs. 5.5 lakh crores. On the other hand, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act programme for example, is pegged at Rs 73,000 crore, lower than Rs 98,000 crore in 2021-22 (Revised Estimate) and Rs 1,11,000 crore in 2020-21.
In this episode of The Suno India Show, our reporter Suryatapa Mukherjee spoke to Avani Kapur, a fellow at the Centre for Policy Research where she leads the Accountability Initiative. She explains how the budget has accommodated social welfare in terms of health, education, jobs and food security.
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