Union Budget likely on February 29

The government aims to sustain high growth and is likely to incorporate a 3-year road map.

Updated - September 23, 2016 12:30 am IST

Published - January 15, 2016 12:24 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The NDA Government will present Budget 2016-17 in Parliament on February 29, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Thursday.

The Government aims to sustain high growth and may incorporate a two-three year roadmap for economic policies, he said.

“We are working hard on Budget that will be presented on February 29 and that will establish a roadmap for two or three years,” Mr. Sinha said at the India-Korea Business Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Separately, an official source indicated that the budget session could begin from February 23. The date of the presentation of the Budget and the reconvening of the Parliament for budget session will be announced after the approval of the Union cabinet, he said.

As per the Budget Manual of the Finance Ministry, the Union Budget is presented each year on the last working day of February by the Union Finance Minister to the Parliament. This year being a leap year, it is planned to be presented on February 29. In the last leap year, the then Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had presented the Budget on March 16, 2012, days after the Uttar Pradesh state assembly election results were announced.

Although the Indian Constitution does not mention the term ‘Budget’, it provides that the President shall in respect of every financial year cause to be laid before both the Houses of Parliament, the House of People (Lok Sabha) and the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government for that year. This statement known as the ‘Annual Financial Statement’ is the main fiscal or budgetary document of the Government.

The Budget process predates independence. Budget was first introduced on 7th April, 1860, two years after the transfer of Indian administration from East-India Company to British Crown. James Wilson the first Indian Finance Member delivered the budget speech expounding the Indian financial policy as an integral whole for the first time. Liaquat Ali Khan, Member of the interim Government presented the budget of 1947-48.

The NDA Government’s Budget team this year comprises Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State Jayant Sinha, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya Jaitley and Chief Economic Advisor, Arvind Subramanian. The official team is led by Finance Secretary Ratan Watal, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia and Disinvestment Secretary, Neeraj Gupta.

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