Budget 2021

Budget, Economic Survey documents to be revamped

| | Updated on: Oct 09, 2016
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No need to seek Cabinet approval again for final decision on Budget presentation: official

The Finance Ministry has set an outer limit of February 9 for presenting Union Budget 2017-18.

“The original proposal to the Cabinet was to hold the Budget on February 1, but there may be logistical issues given that Republic Day and Beating Retreat are just before that. We are hoping that it can be held by February 9,” said a senior government official. The official added that there will not be a need to seek Cabinet approval again. The Finance Ministry is understood to have indicated February 2 as the date to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.

Railway finances

Despite the merger of the Railway and the General Union Budgets, the Ministry of Railways will be given at least four to five pages in the Budget documents to highlight their financial statement. “That is the only special allowance to the Railways. Otherwise, the allocation to Railways will be just another head in the Demand for Grants,” the official said, adding that the fiscal impact from the merger on the Centre’s balance sheet will be minimal.

Dividend loss

The Centre will lose about ₹4,000 crore from the exercise as the payment of dividend by the Railways will stop from next fiscal.

Of the ₹10,000 crore or so that it pays as dividend, roughly 50-60 per cent is ploughed back into the Railways, said officials. The Finance Ministry is also working on revamping the Union Budget and Economic Survey documents.

“With the merger of the Plan and Non-Plan expenditure, the spending classification in the Budget documents, such as the Demand for Grants, will also change,” said an official.

Sources said the expenditure classification for each Ministry will include six subheads that would list out transfers on capital and revenue accounts, Centrally-sponsored schemes as well as allocations to States.

Published on January 16, 2018

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