The finance ministry has invited suggestions from public for Union Budget 2017-18, which will be presented on February 1 next year. People can submit their suggestions by December 15. “Citizen from all walks of life are welcome to be a part of the budget making process. You can submit your suggestions either directly in the comments box or attach a PDF document,” the government said.
The government said suggestions are being invited to promote transparency and to encourage Jan Bhagidari. “Last year we had an overwhelming response with over 40,000 suggestions for Union/Railway budget. Several of the suggestions received on myGov were incorporated in the last year’s budget,” it said.
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Citing suggestions in the current Budget, myGov portal said, these included announcement about Direct Benefit Transfers on fertilisers, creation of separate irrigation fund, Price Stabilisation Fund for pulses and introduction of special agricultural cess.
“We seek your valuable ideas to continue the tradition of the Union Budget incorporating the citizens’ aspirations,” it said.
The Budget for next year will be distinct for three reasons: One, the budget announcement date has been advanced by two months to ensure that the government is able to allocate resources to ministries and departments before the start of the next fiscal. Second, the distinction between Plan and Non-plan expenditure is being dropped.
Third, with the likely passage of GST related bills in the ongoing Winter Session, the finance ministry will be factoring in revenue collections based on the Goods and Service Tax rates that the government will announce for the next year. The Centre plans to roll out GST from April 1, 2017.