Budget on February 1 to help Kick-Start Projects earlier

The central government expects that its proposal to present the union budget on February 1 will kick start developmental projects from April 1 itself. The government has said that its decision to present the budget early would not get impacted by the recent demonetisation carried out by the government. The Budget for 2017-18 would be presented on February 1 itself instead of the usual practice of presenting it on the last working day of February. The finance ministry intends to complete the whole process by March 31. Already, inter-ministerial discussions for finalising the Revised Budget Estimates have been finished by the government to ensure the timely presentation of the budget.

The rationale behind the early presentation of the budget is to ensure completion of budget process before the start of the new financial year on April 1. It is expected that by presenting the budget early, all allocations to various departments of the government at different tiers that are financially dependent on the union government will be in a position to work out their activities with assured resources from April 1.  This will lead to a more planned and regulated expenditure profile for the new financial year. It will also help state governments to get more time to utilise the funds allotted to them as the funds are allocated in the beginning of the year itself. Presently, due to the late passage of Budget beyond the beginning of the new financial year, implementation of developmental projects by the state governments gets delayed by 2-3 months.