From October 14, the finance ministry will kick-start the exercise to prepare the 2020-21 annual budget, which will have to tackle, among other things, critical issues related to slowdown in growth and low-income collection.
It’s going to be Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman’s second budget. “The pre-Budget/RE (Revised Estimate) meetings will begin on the October 14, 2019. All financial advisers should ensure that the necessary details related to these meetings contained in the RE module of the UBIS (Union Budget Information System),” according to the Budget Circular (2020-21) of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance.
“The Budget Estimates for 2020-21 will be provisionally finalised after the expenditure secretary completes discussions with other secretaries and financial advisers. Pre-Budget meetings will begin from October 14 and continue till the first week of November”, it said.
“Some of the new inclusions in the circular relate to instructions regarding filling up of scheduled caste sub plan and tribal sub plan, gender, child budget statements, etc.,” it said.
The 2020-21 Budget is scheduled to be announced on February 1. At the end of February, Prime Minister NarendraModi-led government ended a tradition of colonial-era budget presentation.
Then, on February 1, 2017, Finance Minister ArunJaitley first announced the annual accounts. Since the start of the financial year starting in April, ministries are now allocating their budgeted funds with the preparation of the budget. It offers more leeway for government departments to invest as well as allowing businesses space to adjust to company and tax policies.
Previously, when the budget was introduced at the end of February, the Parliament’s three-stage review process was used to finish sometime in mid-May, weeks before monsoon rains began. It meant that departments will start spending on works after the monsoon season had ended only from August-end or September.