The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the first set of supplementary demands for grant of Rs 11,697.92 crore for the current fiscal amid protests from the Opposition on the government’s silence on and refusal to institute an inquiry into the Rafale deal.
The supplementary demands for grants for 2018-19, and demands for excess grants for 2015-16, along with the appropriation Bills, were passed by a voice vote.
Opposition members, including those from the Congress and the CPI(M), staged a walkout saying the government had not replied to their concerns over a “scam” in the Rafale deal.
During a debate on the Bills, the Congress sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe. Congress’s K C Venugopal said the House should know about the cost of the Rafale deal and alleged that there was “a major scam”.
TMC’s Saugata Roy called the deal the “biggest scandal in history” and alleged that the government had lost Rs 2,500 crore, and this benefit allegedly went to Reliance.
Without touching upon the Rafale issue, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal denied allegations made by the Opposition on the economy being slow and inflation high. He said India is the fastest growing nation where inflation and fiscal deficit are low — “yet we are growing at a fast pace.”
As per the first batch of supplementary demands for grants, the net cash outgo totals Rs 5,951.22 crore and gross additional expenditure aggregates Rs 5,745.68 crore. The government is seeking Parliament’s nod to spend Rs 1,791.62 crore for the Agriculture Ministry, Rs 1,500 crore of the Textiles Ministry and Rs 1,057.84 crore for the Defence Ministry. The government is also seeking Rs 1,708 crore for the Petroleum Ministry. The money would be given towards grants for creation of capital assets under various schemes.