Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the Finance Bill pertaining to the budget 2017-18 will be passed before March 31. This will enable ministries to plan their spending from April 1 as the funds will be available from the start of the fiscal year.
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The date for presentation of Union Budget has been advanced by one month to February 1 from this year. The government needs to ensure that expenditure on schemes and projects should start from the beginning of the financial year to leverage the early passing of the Budget, Jaitley said while addressing all the financial advisors in the different ministries.
The finance minister released the Revised General Financial Rules (GFRs), 2017. At the same occasion, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said the Revised GFR, 2017 aims to provide a framework within which an organization manages its business in a financially prudent manner without compromising its flexibility to deal with varied situations. Lavasa said the new GFRs 2017 will enable an improved, efficient and effective framework of fiscal management while providing the necessary flexibility to facilitate timely delivery of services.
The GFRs are rules and orders dealing with matters involving public finances. General Financial Rules were issued
for the first time in 1947. These have subsequently been modified and issued as GFRs 1963 and GFRs 2005.
Changes in government budgeting like removal of distinction in non-plan and plan expenditure, merger of railway budget with general budget, neccessiated the need to revise the GFRs.