Sitharaman Highlights Strategic Evolution of Union Budget

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined the Modi government's transformation of the Union Budget over the past decade into a strategic blueprint focused on equitable distribution. Emphasizing transparency and fiscal prudence, she credited reforms like the Treasury Single Account and Single Nodal Agency for significant savings and improved efficiency.

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 27-05-2024 15:19 IST | Created: 27-05-2024 15:19 IST
Sitharaman Highlights Strategic Evolution of Union Budget
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the Modi government has reshaped the Union budget in the last 10 years from a mere record of expenditure to a strategic blueprint for equitable distribution, and stressed that the pace of reforms will continue to make India a developed nation.

Sitharaman said the government will continue to maximise the value and impact of hard-earned taxpayer money, ensuring it is put to the best possible use for the benefit of all.

The minister said the Modi government has prioritised transparency in its budgeting practices and numbers. Countries with transparent budgets are often viewed favourably by international bodies such as the IMF and the World Bank. This can lead to improved global trust.

''This starkly contrasts the @INCIndia-led UPA government's repetitive practice of hiding the deficits through off-budget borrowings and issuance of 'Oil Bonds', which somewhat covertly shifted the fiscal burden to future generations. Under UPA, standard fiscal practices were routinely changed to make Budget numbers look favourable,'' Sitharaman said in a post on X.

She said the last decade has witnessed a substantial improvement in the sanctity and credibility of the Union Budget, leaving past constraints and archaic practices behind.

''Our government has reshaped the budget from a mere record of expenditures into a strategic blueprint for equitable development. We make judicious & efficient use of every rupee collected from our taxpayers and give them a transparent picture of public finances,'' Sitharaman said.

The minister said the government has taken various reforms to strengthen and bring transparency to the budgetary process and practices.

Since FY 2017-18, the budget presentation has been shifted to 1st February instead of the last working day in February. It effectively advanced the expenditure cycle by two months, she said.

Sitharaman further said reform in government expenditure by bringing in Treasury Single Account (TSA) for the 'just-in-time' release of funds to autonomous bodies has lowered the borrowing costs for the Centre. ''TSA has resulted in savings of more than Rs 15,000 crores to date,'' she said.

Sitharaman said the Union government administers 108 Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) through state and UT governments, with a budget of approximately Rs 5.01 lakh crore for FY 2024-25 and Rs. 4.76 lakh crore for FY 2023-24.

Previously, it was challenging to ascertain the timeliness and amount of funds released to the implementing agencies under a CSS and to determine whether the funds were from the Centre or the state.

However, with the implementation of Single Nodal Agency (SNA), under which each state has to identify and designate a Single Nodal Agency (SNA) for every CSS, there have been savings of about Rs 10,592 crore from 2021-22 to date.

Sitharaman said the Union budgets under the Modi government are characterised by fiscal prudence, transparency, and inclusiveness, ensuring investments in social development and infrastructure.

The Modi government, the minister said, is committed to harnessing cutting-edge technology, enhancing transparency, and pursuing ongoing reforms to lay a strong foundation for a Viksit Bharat.

''We will continue to maximise the value and impact of hard-earned taxpayer money, ensuring it is put to the best possible use for the benefit of all,'' she said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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