As the Centre battles its rising fiscal deficit, the Expenditure Management Commission is expected to submit its interim report by January to help work out a roadmap for 2015-16.
“As per our mandate, we are supposed to submit an interim report before the Budget 2015-16 and we are likely to do so by January next year,” Bimal Jalan, chairman of the Commission told The Indian Express. The panel was set up in September to recommend ways to improve efficiency of Central expenditure. Its report is expected to be a key input for the 2015-16 Budget as the Centre tries to work out a path of fiscal consolidation.
While declining to share details of the report, Jalan, who is a former RBI governor, said the panel is looking into ways to improve government spending including spending on subsidies. “The Commission would look into minimisation of subsidies, but at the same time maximisation of benefit to the people at the least administrative cost,” he said.
While stressing that the panel is working on better expenditure management and not reforms, Jalan said that it is also reviewing spending on various government schemes.
“A lot of times new schemes are started even though there are already schemes existing on the same subject,” he said, adding that the commission is examining what to do in such a scenario. The commission could also be reviewing the allocation of plan and non-plan schemes.
Concerned by the Centre’s increasing fiscal stress, finance minister Arun Jaitley had in the Union Budget announced plans to set up an expenditure management commission “to look into various aspects of expenditure reforms to be undertaken by the government”. The panel is scheduled to submit its final report before the Union Budget 2016-17.