Even as the government sought to rein in its fiscal deficit target at 3.3% for the financial year ending March 2020, many crucial ministries and departments saw their allocations being cut to size by the ministry of finance.
An analysis by CFO-India of the annual financial statement presented along with the budget reveals that as many as 25 different heads in the expenditure statement saw their funding reduced anywhere between 99% to 1%.
Among these, civil aviation stands out as one of the worst hit by the funds squeeze. In FY2019, the ministry spent about Rs 5723 crore, according to the revised estimates. However, the current budget allocation has been cut to Rs 4440 crore which translates into a 22.41% dip.
The highest cut was seen in a subhead named other social services which deals with ancillary expenditure occurred to provide welfare delivery. This segment saw a cut of almost 99%.
In a surprising move, the finance ministry cut the budget of inland water transport by 12.5% this year even as the finance minister emphasized the importance of rejuvenating waterways in the country and targetted a cargo growth of four times in the next four years.
Other key areas where fund allocation has reduced include animal husbandry, rural development programmes, rural employment, dairy development, external affairs and ordnance factories for defence services.