Centre considers major revamp on budget procedures, dates
In an effort to begin the capital expenditure and revenue mobilisation process from the beginning of the financial year itself, the NDA led centre government is set to give its assent to a proposal suggesting the advance of the date of presentation of the Union Budget by a month. The plan was formulated by the department of economic affairs. Later, it had been forwarded to the department of finance for the approval. Anyway, it will need the assent of the parliament, even if the finance ministry and cabinet approve the new proposal. Earlier, in 2001, the then BJP-led Vajpayee government had made some revolutionary changes in the union budget procedure. The then government, for the first time, had even changed the time of presenting the budget to 11 am from 5 pm. It was first such major reform after the independence. The new proposal will remove the need for a vote on account. Traditionally, the parliament approves the appropriation bill in the second half of the budget session, pressuring the government to present a vote on account in the parliament for the initial months of the fiscal to meet the regular expenditure. With this new proposal, we can do away with such unnecessary procedural constraints, and we can straight away start our financial process from the first day of the fiscal itself. Meanwhile, a committee constituted by the union government is considering the feasibility of a new financial year. It is scheduled to present its report on coming December. Earlier, this year, a committee of secretaries had suggested changing financial year from April-March to January-December.
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