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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (PTI)
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (PTI)

Budget 2021: Finance ministry kick-starts budgetary exercise today

  • This will be the third Budget of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and eighth of the Narendra Modi government
  • The upcoming Budget will be crucial for the country as it will have to deal with impact of pandemic

The finance ministry on Friday kick-started the process to prepare the annual Budget for 2021-22. This will be the third Budget of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and eighth of the Narendra Modi government.

The upcoming Budget will be crucial for the country as it will have to deal with impact of pandemic which has affected all segments of the economy, including revenue collection, disinvestment, expenditure, exports and food prices.

As per the finance ministry schedule, the exercise to finalise the Revised Estimate (RE) for 2020-21 and Budget Estimate (BE) for 2021-22 began on Friday. Officials of the Department of Financial Services, ministries of MSMEs, housing, steel and power were among those who participated in the first meeting, as per the schedule. The pre-Budget meetings will continue till first week of November.

"This year, however, keeping in view the COVID-19 situation and the need to maintain social distancing, the number of participants for the pre-budget meetings may be restricted to a maximum of 5 officers (for each meeting) from a Ministry/Department, not below the rank of Director/DS," the Budget Division of the finance ministry had said in a notice.

Budget 2021-22 is likely to be presented on February 1.

The Narendra Modi-led government scrapped the tradition of presenting the Budget at the end of February. 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.

Indian economy is projected to contract by a massive 10.3% this year, according to an IMF forecast. Even the Reserve Bank of India expects the economy to shrink by 9.5% in the current financial year.

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