The Finance Ministry will start its pre-Budget work from October 14 onwards, according to a circular it sent to all Ministries and Departments.
The other Ministries will have to prepare and send their budgets, expenditure trends, and non-tax revenue estimates for 2020-21 by October 9 to the Finance Ministry. Following this, the Finance Ministry will hold separate meetings with all the other Ministries, from October 14 to the first week of November.
“All data shall be submitted on Union Budget Information System (UBIS) portal,” the circular said. “The Statement of Budget Estimates (SBE) and the Demand for Grants (DG), inter alia, shall be generated from the UBIS. Hence, the correctness of the figures must be ensured. The pre-budget/RE meetings will begin on October 14, 2019.”
The meetings of the Ministries and Departments with the Expenditure Secretary will involve discussions on the total funds required for various programmes and schemes, along with receipts of the Departments.
All the Ministries and Departments will also be required to submit details of all the autonomous bodies for which a dedicated corpus fund has been created, indicating the purpose, accumulated balances as on March 31, 2019, annual expenditure for the last three years, and allocations made during the current financial year.
“The reasons for their continuance should be explained and why the same should not be wound up and requirements of the autonomous body met through grant-in-aid,” the circular said. “Financial Advisers may prepare the Budget and expenditure trends and non-tax revenue for 2020-21 and forward the same to Budget Division along with provisional SBEs by October 9, 2019 positively.”
The provisional ceilings for expenditure, finalised in the meetings, will be communicated to the Ministries and Departments over the next few months, and the final ceilings for the various expenditure heads will be decided separately by the Ministry of Finance “latest by January 15, 2020, taking into account the resource assessment of the Government and the available fiscal space”.
“Budget-making is essentially a team exercise,” the circular, signed by the Joint Secretary (Budget) said. “I solicit your active co-operation for the successful completion of this exercise.”