New Delhi: Worried over the impact of rising expenditure on the fiscal deficit, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said he is “losing sleep” over skyrocketing subsidy bill which could exceed budget estimates by over Rs 1 lakh crore in 2011-12.
“As finance minister when I think of enormity of the subsidies to be provided, I lose my sleep. There is no doubt,” he said at a conference on ‘Targeted Public Distribution System and Storage’ here.
He would be presenting the Budget for 2012-13 on 16 March in the backdrop of falling growth rate and widening gap between revenue and expenditure.
The fiscal deficit, estimated at 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to be around 5.6%, mainly on account of factors like subdued revenue collection, poor disinvestment receipts, high global commodity prices and increasing subsidy bill.
The lower economic growth of 6.9%, as against the original estimate of 9%, will further aggravate the fiscal deficit situation. The economy grew by 8.4% during 2010-11.
The government had earlier said that its subsidy bill is likely to increase by over Rs 1 lakh crore, over and above the original estimate of Rs 1.34 lakh crore, mainly on account of higher outlay towards fertilizer, food and oil.