New Delhi, Aug 4 The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Supplementary Demand for Grants by voice vote approving additional government spending of Rs 1.03 lakh crore during the current fiscal even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that in line with the budget commitment, a committee has been set up to review working of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.
The panel is expected to submit its report in next two-three months, he said, adding it will be put in the public domain once received.
"As stated in the budget, the FRBM panel has been already set up and it is working and examining matters and interacting with experts. At present the committee is also meeting all former Finance Ministers so that their experience is also enlisted," Jaitley said in his reply to five-hour-long debate on supplementary demand for grants (general) for 2016-17.
These grants would also include a cash outgo of Rs 20,948.26 crore based on the Supplementary Demand for Grants moved by Finance Minister.
Jaitley's announcement came in response to a specific query from Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose on FRBM review panel, which is headed by former Revenue Secretary N.K. Singh and comprises former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, RBI Deputy Governor Urjit Patel and NIPFP Director Rathin Roy.
The committee was initially assigned to submit its report to the government by October 31, 2016.
Dwelling at various issues concerning the economy, Jaitley said the government will be able to maintain all the projections as mentioned in the budget.
On fiscal deficit issue, he said: "At the moment there is no serious challenge to deficit."
Jaitley however said the states and central government need to stick to their fiscal expenditure.
On issues raised by various members including B. Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal), Abhishek Banerjee (Trinamool), N.K. Premchandran (Revolutionary Socialist Party) and Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress), he said that the 14th Pay Commission has been most accommodating to the states, but wondered why the states were still complaining.
"However, I am yet to find a state which says we want to revert to the 13th Pay Commission."
Jaitley also said that the debt crisis faced by West Bengal was a legacy of the erstwhile 34-year-old Left regime in the state.