The budget will have to address critical issues pertaining to growth contraction and subdued revenue collection triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pre-Budget/RE (Revised Estimate) meetings will begin on the October 16, 2020,” according to the Budget Circular (2021-22) of the Budget Division of the Department of Economic Affairs.
“All financial advisers should ensure that the necessary details related to these meetings contained in the Appendices I to VII are entered in RE module of the UBIS (Union Budget Information System),” the circular added.
The Budget Estimates (BE) for 2021-22 will be provisionally finalised after the expenditure secretary completes discussions with other secretaries and financial advisers.
Pre-Budget meetings will begin from October 16 and continue till the first week of November, it said.
Ceilings for all categories of expenditure, including the central sector and centrally sponsored schemes will be discussed, it said.
Accordingly, the RE 2020-21 and BE 2021-22 for all categories of expenditure, and select schemes/projects, may be indicated separately for revenue and capital expenditure, it said.
For the Budget Estimates of 2021-22, it said “the allocations will be finalized for the Establishment and Other Central government expenditures as well as the Finance Commission related transfers which will be based on the accepted recommendations of the 15th FC (Finance Commission).”
For the Central Sector (CS) schemes and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), tentative ceilings would be discussed during the pre-Budget meetings, it added.
The Budget 2021-22 is likely to be presented on February 1.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government scrapped a colonial-era tradition of presenting the Budget at the end of February. The then finance minister Arun Jaitley had for the first time presented the annual accounts on February 1, 2017.
With the preponement of the Budget, ministries are now allocated their budgeted funds from the start of the financial year beginning April. This gives government departments more leeway to spend as well as allow 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 some time in mid-May, weeks ahead of onset of monsoon rains.
This meant government departments would start spending on projects only from August-end or September, after the monsoon season ended.