Budget 2020 exercise has been kick-started by the Finance Ministry from October 14. Pre-Budget/RE (Revised Estimate) budget meetings have been held.
Union Budget 2020-21: With less than two months to go for the Union Budget 2020 in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Ministry’s budget-making team is facing a shortage of two key officials. This will be FM Sitharaman’s second Union Budget and is likely to be presented on February 1. The two key officials are full-time Expenditure Secretary and the position of joint secretary (Budget). Both officials play pivotal roles in the entire Budget-making process and the posts have been vacant for around three months. This comes even as the Modi government has started preparations for the Union Budget 2020, a PTI report said.
The post of Expenditure Secretary has remained vacant following the appointment of GC Murmu as the first lieutenant governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. On October 29, Murmu had relinquished the post of Expenditure Secretary. 1985-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre Atanu Chakraborty has been given the additional charge of the Department of Expenditure. Chakraborty is also the Secretary of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry, the report said.
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The Budget 2020 exercise has been kick-started by the Finance Ministry from October 14. Pre-Budget/RE (Revised Estimate) budget meetings have been held. The meetings with different departments and ministries concluded in November. Notably, it is only when the Expenditure Secretary holds discussions with financial advisers and other secretaries, that the Budget Estimates are finalised provisionally, the report said.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman has already emphasized that reforms to boost the country’s economy would continue to be in focus. She has also hinted at a possible change in personal income tax rates in Budget 2020. The Reserve Bank of India in its latest monetary policy downgraded the GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 to 5 per cent. Earlier, the central bank’s growth projection was 6.1 per cent.
The central government has been looking into direct tax code (DTC) report pertaining to the Personal Income Tax. The Centre is also mulling rationalising the personal income tax rate to boost consumption. In September, the central government had reduced the corporate tax to boost economic growth.