Annual budget for Maharashtra to be decided in December 2019?

Updated: Dec 28, 2017, 10:08 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Maharashtra may have its annual budget for 2019-20 tabled next December, says Parliamentary Affairs minister

Parliamentary Affairs minister Girish Bapat
Parliamentary Affairs minister Girish Bapat

The Maharashtra government is thinking of tabling its annual budget by December end from next year, instead of February-March. This means the budget session could be pre-poned by three months, and we will have a revised fiscal year between January and December.

Parliamentary affairs minister Girish Bapat said on Wednesday that the state cabinet had this on its mind for a long time, but its execution would depend on the Centre. "Let the union government revise the period of financial year to January-December from the existing April-March," he said. The budget session for 2018-19 will start in the last week of February.

The NITI Aayog has suggested the Centre make the fiscal year concurrent with the calendar year. States can adopt the new system only when the Centre does it first, because of the identical nature of functioning. Madhya Pradesh said it would revise its financial year as per the NITI suggestion, but has decided to present its annual budget in February 2018.

Nagpur to host monsoon session?
In the recently concluded winter session in Nagpur, speculations were rife that the second capital would host the monsoon session instead of a short-lived winter jamboree. CM Devendra Fadnavis had said that the idea was being explored to have more days of work in Nagpur, but no firm decision has been taken yet.

And if the dots are joined, there is a strong possibility of the winter session being converted into the budget session from next year. The period of budget session is much longer. Unlike winter and the monsoon session, which take two or three weeks at the most, the budget session is held over six weeks because of the time needed to discuss and approve department-wise spending.

The annual budget is all about planning for revenue earning and spending. The success depends on meeting targets. However, the government machinery does not really achieve goals as projected in the budget books. Surprisingly, the money allotted is not entirely spent and there is a rush to get last minute approvals just ahead of budget day.

Bapat said the problem could be fixed to a great extent if the bureaucrats/officers concerned are given time to meet targets. "In case of revenue collection, we may direct the officers to have a certain amount of collection within a specific time. We may have similar deadlines drawn for spending as well. The task may have a rider that failure, if any, would reflect on the officer's confidential report which decides his/her promotion. The system should work," said Bapat.

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