The Government has allocated over Rs 990 crore towards India’s G20 presidency, even as the Ministry of External Affairs’ Budget for FY 2023-24 was increased marginally.
The Budget Estimate (BE) 2023-24 allocation of MEA is Rs 18,050.00 crore, which is Rs 800 crore or 4.64% higher than the Budget allocated FY 2022-23 – Rs 17,250.00 crore. This is also 6.34% more than Revised Estimates for 2022-23 – Rs 16,972.79 crore.
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The increase in overall Budget allocation of MEA is aligned with its foreign policy objectives and expansive development partnership foot-print of the country, officials said.
Allocation of over Rs 990 crore towards India’s G20 Presidency is indicative of the significance India attaches to this premier forum for global economic cooperation, the officials said.
India took over the Presidency of G20 in December 2022, culminating with the G20 Summit scheduled to take place in September 2023, which is expected to be one of the highest-profile international gatherings to be hosted by this country.
The outlay for Capital Expenditure (Capex) has been stepped up from Rs 1416.23 crore in FY 2022-23 to Rs 1520.21 crore in FY 2023-24, an increase of 7%.
The development partnership portfolio comprising the ministry’s Aid-Heads, continues to be a priority of this FY’s budgetary allocation, aggregated at 32.40% of total Budget allocation.
In line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, largest share of aid portfolio is towards aid to Bhutan (Rs 2400 crore), constituting 41.04 pc of the MEA’s development assistance.
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Enhanced allocation of Rs 400 crore under aid to Maldives has been made to meet the requirement of funds mainly towards ongoing projects such as the UTF development project, Greater Male Connectivity project and High Impact Community Development Projects among others.
In continuation with special relationship with the people of Afghanistan, budgetary allocations under aid to Afghanistan has been retained at Rs 200 crore.
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Specific budgetary allocation of Rs 1002.78 crore has been made to cater to the fund requirements in fulfilling commitments towards issuance of e-passports and implementation of Passport Seva Project V2.0, ushering technological upgradation of passport services to citizens.
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