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Government spend nearly Rs 91 lakh crore on development since 2014

The government said it has spent nearly Rs 91 lakh crore on development since 2014, refuting the charge of low welfare spending despite the high taxes levied on fuels.

“RBI data shows total developmental expenditure incurred by Modi Govt in 2014-22 was Rs 90.9 lakh cr, far higher than is being alleged by some sections of the Opposition,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted.

“In contrast, only Rs 49.2 lakh crore was spent on this during 2004-14,” Sitharaman said on the microblogging site

The Rs 90.9 lakh crore expenditure includes Rs 24.85 lakh crore spent on food, fuel and fertiliser subsidies and Rs 26.3 lakh crore on capital creation.

Government sources said Rs 25 lakh crore for food, fertilizer and fuel subsidies, and Rs 10 lakh crore on social services such as health, education and affordable housing among others.

“Over the 10 years of UPA, only Rs 13.9 lakh crore was spent on subsidies,” Sitharaman said without naming anyone.

FM said the government was also clearing the oil bonds issued by the UPA.

“The developmental expenditure incurred by the Modi Govt of Rs 90.9 lakh cr so far is over and above the Rs 93,685.68 crore already spent between 2014-22 on repaying the UPA-era oil bonds,” Sitharaman tweeted.

“Further, an additional Rs 1.48 lakh crore will be paid by 2026,” she said on the microblogging site.

Her comments came after former finance minister P Chidambaram’s comments in an the Indian Express last week.

Chidambaram wrote that the government collected ‘humongous amounts’ by taxing the poor and the middle class and used the money to provide ‘additional welfare’ to them.

Officials contested, Chidambaram’s calculation that the total outgo on free food grain, cash allowances to women, PM-KISAN and other cash transfers is “no more than Rs 2,25,000 crore — which is less than the annual fuel taxes collected by the Centre alone.”

“These numbers posed by the former finance minister fall way short of the mark,” said one source adding that collections from the fuel tax have been put to good use as developmental expenditure.

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