Union Budget 2020: Finance Ministry To Start Pre-Budgetary Exercise From Oct. 14
Union Budget 2020 will be the second such annual exercise of the Modi 2.0 government and Finance MInister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Union Budget 2020: Finance Ministry To Start Pre-Budgetary Exercise From Oct. 14

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The Union Ministry of Finance will kick-start the exercise to prepare for Union Budget 2020-21 from Oct. 14 which, among other things, will have to address critical issues pertaining to the economic slowdown in India and subdued revenue collections.

Budget 2020 will be the second such annual exercise of the Modi 2.0 government and Finance MInister Nirmala Sitharaman.

"The pre-Budget/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 a Budget Circular (2020-21) of the budget division of the finance ministry's Department of Economic Affairs.

The Budget Estimates for 2020-21 will be provisionally finalised after the expenditure secretary completes discussions with other secretaries and financial advisers. The pre-budget meetings will begin from Oct. 14 and continue till the first week of November.

"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 Union Budget for 2020-21 is likely to be presented on Feb. 1.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has scrapped a colonial-era tradition of presenting the budget at the end of February. Then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had for the first time presented the annual accounts on Feb. 1, 2017.

With the preponement of the budget, ministries are now allocated their budgeted funds from the start of the financial year beginning April. This gives government departments more leeway to spend as well as allow companies time to adapt to business and taxation plans.

Previously, when the budget was presented at the end of February, the three-stage parliament approval process used to get completed some time in mid-May, weeks ahead of onset of monsoon rains.

This meant government departments would start spending on projects only from August-end or September, after the monsoon ended.

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