Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, who holds the Finance portfolio, on Wednesday presented the first supplementary budget estimates, amounting to 12,845.2 crore for 2020-21, with over 70% or 9,027.08 crore provided towards COVID-19-related expenditure.
This is an unusual year, since from the beginning of the financial year, we have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the State government has had to incur substantial additional expenditure on upgrading health infrastructure, providing health services, paying cash relief doles, providing additional quantities of essential commodities under the public distribution system and related administrative costs, he told the Assembly.
Hence, this years first supplementary estimates are higher than those in the previous years, Mr. Panneerselvam said.
As per the supplementary estimates, 3,359.12 crore has been provided for issuing commodities for free and for meeting expenditure incurred due to the additional offtake of commodities from ration shops due to the pandemic.
Relief for calamity
A sum of 4,218.2 crore has been provided under the head relief on account of natural calamities. Of this, 3,168.64 crore has been sanctioned from the State Disaster Response Fund to meet expenditure towards financial assistance to ration cardholders and members of various welfare boards to provide assistance during the pandemic.
The remaining 1,049.56 crore has been provided for COVID-19 control and prevention measures.
The supplementary estimates have also provided 1,109.42 crore to the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation and the Health and Family Welfare Department for procuring COVID-19 drugs, RT-PCR and related testing kits, and meeting additional expenditure towards feeding charges, oxygen supply and ambulance services in government medical college hospitals and other institutions.
The State government has allocated 987.85 crore as the second instalment of the General Basic Grant of the 14th Finance Commission to municipal corporations, municipalities and town panchayats, and it has been included in the supplementary estimates.
It has provided 170.28 crore as ways and means advances to Tangedco to pay power export dues to private sugar mills to settle fair and remunerative price arrears to farmers. The estimates also provide for additional equity share capital of 437 crore to the Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited to meet the regulatory norms.
A sum of 100 crore is included as State subsidy towards implementation of solar energy-producing farmers programme and 82.60 crore for the establishment of a veterinary college and research institutes in Veerapandi village, Theni, and Pannaikinaru village, Udumalpet taluk, in Tiruppur district.
A sum of 161.31 crore has been provided for the construction of buildings for Collectors Offices in Tirupathur, Ranipet, Kallakurichi, Chengalpattu and Tenkasi districts, besides other buildings.
An additional 100 crore has been provided towards capital subsidy under the New Entrepreneur-cum-Enterprise Development Scheme. Supplementary estimates also provided for schemes of the Agriculture Department, towards establishment of high-technology laboratories and installation of CCTV cameras in government high and higher secondary schools. The supplementary expenditure is in addition to the total expenditure of 3,00,390 crore, estimated in the budget for 2020-21.
The Assembly also passed a Bill amending the Tamil Nadu Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2003.
The amendment was made to give effect to the Centre allowing the State to borrow an additional 2% of the Gross State Domestic Product for financing its expenditure commitments in 2020-21 and for extending the time for attaining the fiscal deficit target.