The Finance Ministry has initiated the process to prepare the interim Budget for 2024-25 by inviting inputs on expenditure from different ministries and departments.
It will be an interim Budget as the elections for the Lok Sabha are due early next year. The full Budget for FY25 will be presented after the formation of the new government after the general elections.
"Pre-budget meetings chaired by Secretary (Expenditure) shall commence in the second week of October 2023...shall continue till around mid-November, 2023," according to the Budget Circular (2024-25) of the Budget Division under the Department of Economic Affairs of the Finance Ministry.
According to the circular dated September 1, financial advisers should ensure that the necessary details required should be submitted by October 5, 2023.
The Budget Estimates for 2024-25 will be provisionally finalised after completion of pre-Budget meetings, it said.
During the pre-budget meetings, the requirement of funds for all categories of expenditures, along with receipts of ministries or departments, is discussed.
Besides, non-tax revenues, including arrears of non-tax revenue and indicative budget figures, will be discussed on a net basis.
All ministries or departments should submit details of autonomous bodies or implementing agencies for which a dedicated corpus fund has been created, the circular said, adding the reasons for their continuance and requirement of grant-in-aid support, and why the same should not be wound up, should be explained.
This will be the sixth Budget of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who presented her first full Budget in July 2019.
The Budget for the current fiscal had projected a nominal growth rate of 10.5 per cent, while the fiscal deficit was pegged at 5.9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The interim Budget 2024-25 is likely to be presented on February 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government scrapped a colonial-era tradition of presenting the Budget at February-end.
Former finance minister Arun Jaitley started the practice of presenting the annual Budget on February 1 in the year 2017. With the preponement of the Budget, ministries are now allocated their budgeted funds from the start of the financial year beginning in April.
This gives government departments more leeway to spend as well as allows 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 sometime in mid-May, weeks ahead of the onset of monsoon rains. This meant government departments would start spending on projects only from August-end or September, after the monsoon season ended.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)