Bring More Transparency and Accountability In the Financial Control Regulations
| IOP Desk - 21 Jan 2020

Expectations From Budget 2020

Accounts of Every Project of Above 100 Cr Should be Mandatorily Made Available for Public Scrutiny

The Govt should consider making a statute that for every Project of above 100 Crore, the Receipt and Payment will be mandatorily available in public and they can give their views on the same. By this one single step the corruption at higher levels will be checked. Bringing more transparency and accountability in the Govt functioning in the financial control will enhance people’s confidence, opines CA Jugraj Singh & CS Shruti Mittal

By CA Jugraj Singh Bedi & CS Shruti Mittal 

New Delhi, January 22, 2020: Printing process for Union General Budget 2020-21 has commenced with the Halwa Ceremony, which was presided over by the Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman at North Block to mark the beginning of printing of Budget 2020 documents.

The newspapers of 21st January 2020 were splashed with the photographs of the Finance Minister and her secretaries making “Halwa” during the start of Budget preparation. It is said that for the next ten days the people who are involved in Budget preparation will not leave the North Block Premises and will remain disconnected from the world till the time FM presents the budget in the Parliament.

Now the question is why so much of secrecy? The obvious answer would be to keep confidential the information that is available in the budget. But then, the next question would be who will get benefited from the budget and from whom the Government wants to keep this information confidential.

To know this we have to look past when this budget preparation for India was started. Our budget follows the UK budget in many ways, including, for many years, timing, which used to be 5.30 PM some years back.

The Indirect Tax rates like GST are taken care of by GST Council and hardly anything related to GST is announced in the budget. The Income Tax rates and policies are well defined for the next two to three years. And in no way, the budget is going to help any specific Industry. That’s why in the past years the Sensex has not fluctuated the way it used to be before Modi Govt.

Till recently every major policy decision, related to Income generation or Expenditure by the Government was articulated in Budget Speech. When I qualified, some 20 years back as Chartered Accountant, I remember the Chartered Accountants, Industrialists, and Stock Market Brokers being glued to the TV or Live speech of Budget to understand the policy of the Government towards their specific Industry Specialization. For example, the excise rates, the Import duty, Various Income Tax benefits and Duty Drawback schemes and rates were allowed to Industries was decided and announced during the Budget Speech.

The Budget speech would actually kill or give a boon to some specific industry. This made the Government guard and keep secrecy over budget preparation. Now, with the second term of the Modi Government, this is not the situation.

The indirect tax rates like GST are taken care of by GST Council and hardly anything related to GST is announced in the budget. The Income-tax rates and policies are well defined for the next two to three years. In Income tax, people are only grappling with whether the Slab for individuals will be enhanced or not. But in no way, the budget is going to help any specific Industry. This is the reason that in past years the Sensex has not fluctuated the way it used to be before the Modi Government.

So, what policy decision should be expected in this budget? My only request and expectation would be to bring more transparency and accountability in Government functioning through financial control through policy change in Budget 2020.

I would request this Government to bring a statute that for every Project where the expenditure is more than 100 Crore, the Receipt and Payment for that project be mandatorily available in public domain and the CAG should actually invite the public to give their views on the same.

By this one single step, the corruption at higher levels will be checked and the money which is saved by the Government can used for the sustainable development of poor and needy people. The Union Budget 2020 will be presented on the 1st day of February 2020 and people expect less Tax Regime and More Business Friendly Regulations from the Government.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Indian Observer Post and Indian Observer Post does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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INDIAN OBSERVER POST (IOP) is a Class, Creative, and Constructive News platform which publishes ONLY exclusive and Special News / Views / Interviews / Research Articles / Analysis / Columns / Features and Opinions on the national and international issues, politics, security, energy, innovation, infrastructure, rural, health, education, women, and entertainment. Email – editor@indianobserverpost.com


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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih Email - SMS- 9910150119)


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