New Delhi: The Finance Ministry on Friday started the process of preparing the budget for 2021-22. The process has begun at a time when the economic growth affected by the Kovid-19 crisis needs to be accelerated. The budget for the coming financial year is very important. It will need to look into all sectors of the economy including epidemic affected revenue collection, disinvestment, expenditure, export and food items prices. The process lasts for one month
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Indian economy is projected to decline by 10.3 per cent this year. The Reserve Bank of India estimates that the economy may decline by 9.5 per cent during the current fiscal. As per the programme of the Ministry of Finance, the process of about one month for finalizing the revised estimates (RE) of 2020-21 and the budget estimates of 2021-22 commenced on Friday. The meetings will run till 12th November.
As per the programme, the first meeting was attended by the Department of Financial Services including msmes (micro, small and medium enterprises), housing, steel and power sector officials. The Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance said in a notice, however, in view of the need to adhere to the Covid-19 situation and physical distance this year, a limit of 5 officers (for each meeting) can be fixed from ministries/departments to attend pre-budget meetings. It will not include officers below director/Deputy Secretary (DS).
Modi govt ends British-era tradition
This will be the second term of the Modi government and the third budget of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget for the next financial year is likely to be presented on February 2021. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government abolished the practice of presenting the budget at the end of February, which has been going on since the British era. In the first term of the Modi government, the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, for the first time, presented the budget on February 2017 and abolished the practice.
Instead of presenting the general budget at the end of February, now the presentation at the beginning of February and the passage before the commencement of the new financial year, the ministry departments get the budget allocation from the beginning of the new financial year and they can carry forward their work. Earlier, when the budget was presented at the end of February, the budget was fully approved by May. With the first quarter and subsequent monsoon, the actual functioning of ministries and departments started from the end of August or September.