On ‘Making of union budget: process and outcomes’
Dr. Hasmukh Adhia is the Chancellor of Central University of Gujrat. He was the former Finance Secretary and Revenue Secretary for Government of India. We were fortunate to have Dr. Hasmukh with us for our Institute Lecture Series on 15th March 2019.
He started his talk by speaking on how important it is to listen to the Finance Minister’s Budget speech. Budget speech is not just about the latest budget but about the Indian economy, policies of government etc.
He explained that a budget is an estimate of receipts and expenditure of the Union Government of India. And then, talked about various Constitutional Provisions related to the Union and State Budget. He mentioned the constitutional provision under Article 112 which mandates the government of the day to present the financial statements and accounts before the Lower house of Parliament. Dr. Hasmukh explained the types of expenditures – Voted and Charged. Expenditures that fall in the category of Charged expenditures include Salary and expenditure of The President of India, Vice-president of India, speaker of Lok Sabha, and Judicial expenses as well as loans and advances taken by government.
He then explained the types of government funds – Consolidated fund, Public accounts and Contingency Funds, wherein the government maintains it’s inflow and outflow of money. The treasury collects funds and reinvests these funds into different sectors of the economy. The discussion then went towards various types of bills constituting the annual budget. Demands for grants by all the ministries are put in Appropriation Bill. Finance bills however, include, tax proposals. He also talked about what are money bills and the special provisions available under art. 109, 110 and 112 for proposal and passing of these bills.
Dr. Hasmukh gave an introduction to vote on account which is an interim step held prior to releasing the final annual Finance Bill. He also explained in detail about the roles of all the 5 departments under finance ministry in making of the budget.
He then about the structure of Finance Ministry in brief and the entire process of making a budget. He also told the students about a 100 year old tradition of ‘Halva ceremony’ which is token of respect for the staff that works continuously, in secrecy, for making and printing of budget documents.
Since budget documents are lengthy and complicated, media is allowed to make arrangements for quick dissemination of the content. This makes it easy for the general public to understand the budget. Based on his personal experiences, Dr. Hasmukh narrated the sequence of events that take place on the day of the budget. An elaborate press conference is organized at the end of the day, after presenting the budget in the house.
The enriching session was concluded by Dr. Hasmukh Adhia answering the questions from the audience.