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DTE-CSE Roundtable on Interim Budget

UPA woos women and tribal voters

Finance minister lists Forest Rights Act as one of its key achievements while MGNREGA doesn't find mention.

Small farmers have little to cheer about

Companies will benefit most from steep hike in farm credit

Curative care gets more than preventive care

Prevention is the only way to reduce the cost of healthcare in India

Mr Chidambaram, show some courage to win votes

Excise cut for all types of vehicles, especially fuel-guzzling SUVs, undermines earlier UPA decisions in public interest

The budget process comprises four distinct phases from the formulation stage to presentation
  1. Budget formulation: the preparation of estimates of expenditure and receipts for the ensuing financial year;
  2. budget enactment: approval of the proposed Budget by the Legislature through the enactment of Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill;
  3. budget execution: enforcement of the provisions in the Finance Act and Appropriation Act by the government—collection of receipts and making disbursements for various services as approved by the Legislature; and
  4. legislative review of budget implementation: audits of government’s financial operations on behalf of the Legislature.
A look at how the focus of the Union Budget has shifted over the years from the initial period when the fallout of the partition determined budgetary provisions
1948-1949: The first budget of India covered just 7-1/2 months, from August 15, 1947, to March 31, 1948. The main highlight of the first budget was the decision to pass the budget. Partition and the consequent destabilisation were the core factors that determined the budget provisions. The three major expenses in the budget were on food grain production, defence services and civil expenditure. Food production was low, and therefore, self-sufficiency in food grains was accorded highest priority. The targeted budget revenue was Rs 171 cr (approx). Of this, Rs 15.9 crore was expected from the posts and telegraph department. The expected revenue expenditure was Rs 197 cr (approx), of which defence was allocated Rs 92.74 crore. The increase in expenditure was on account of expenses allocated for stabilisation, refugee relief and rehabilitation.
Scroll through past DTE articles on budget implications
Please increase intro when you put map on landing page banner: This election will determine if social spending of Rs 12 lakh crore and rights-based pieces of legislation are enough to win votes, especially of the unprecedented number of young voters who will exercise their franchise the first time.

Down To Earth reporters traversed across the country to put together these reports
The National Development Council (NDC) is meeting on December 27 to approve the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). The Plan draft recommends “immediate” steps to counter the economic slow down. It has made plan goals conditional to these steps. But delay has marred the Plan’s rolling out. According to Planning Commission sources, it is only in the budget of 2014 that the Plan will be reflected. However, government has the freedom to take economic revival steps that are outside the domain of the Commission.
Live #Budget2014 Twitter feed
    • Against expectations, Finance Minister Chidambaram proposed many sops, though limited

    • 140 million people lifted out of poverty in UPA's 10 years

    • Loading, unloading, packaging and storing of rice exempted from service charges

    • Deviating from convention, Finance Minister Chidambaram proposes indirect tax measures

    • Deregulation of diesel price is one of UPA government's major achievements, says Chidambaram

    • Excise rate reduced for small cars and SUVs

    • A research funding organisation has been proposed. This will follow competitive screening process to choose projects

    • Rs 1,200 crore additional funds for the Northeast this year

    • ICDS restructuring will be rolled out in 200 more districts to cover the whole country

    • Chidambaram interrupted; chaos over Telangana as expected

    • Rs 1.15 lakh crore for food subsidies

    • Rs 7 lakh crore bank loans to famers; coming year it is expected to be Rs 8 lakh crore

    • Flagship programmes will get prominence: Rs 4,300 crore for tribal affairs ministry; Rs 7,000 crore for panchayat institutions; Rs 82,800 crore for ministry of rural development

    • Forest Rights Act mentioned as UPA's big achievement

    • Youth, tribal people and women corner maximum benefits in interim budget

    • Ministry of drinking water and sanitation allocated Rs 15,260 crore

    • 10,080 MW power will be generated from seven nuclear plants in 12th Plan period 

    • Ministry of drinking water and sanitation allocated Rs 15,260 crore

    • More than 570 million Aadhar cards issued. More than 5.4 million transactions made under 27 identified schemesunder Direct Benefit Transfer 

    • Many space programmes and satellite missions planned in future

    • 'Nirbhaya' fund is non-lapsable pool. This year again 1,000 crore allocated, same as last year

    • Forest Rights Act mentioned as UPA's big achievement

    • National agroforestry policy budget allocation is Rs 444.59 crore

    • Deregulation of diesel price is one of our big achievements, says Chidambaram

    • Environment, inter-generational equity are the two new terms the FM used to describe UPA's last decade of works

    • Six times more spending on rural roads during 2005-2014

    • 100 million jobs from manufacturing in past one decade

    • Five times more spending on health. 10 years ago we spent Rs 7,248 crore on health; now the amount is Rs 36,322 crore

    • FM says investment projects got stuck due to 'logjam'. An obvious reference to environmental clearances

    • Food inflation is also largest in three years, 3.1% agricultural growth during 2005-2013

    • Agriculture: 263 million tonnes of foodgrain production. This is a new record, adds Chidambaram

    • Fiscal deficit at 4.96% of GDP during 2013-2014. Does this indicate reduced social spending?

    • Inequality is a challenge for all emerging economies, India is no exception, says finance minister

    • Despite global economy slowdown, we are growing, says Chidambaram

    • P Chidambaram begins presentationance Minister

    • P Chidambaram will shortly present the vote-on-account

    • In an election year, a government usually presents an interim budget for three to four months, which is also known as the vote-on-account. It leaves it to the next government to take important fiscal decisions

    • Given the economic slowdown, government may not declare major economic sops for tax payers

    • But with elections round the corner, the finance minister will present an assessment of its economic success of the past one decade

    • He will showcase the UPA's nearly Rs 12,00,000 crore social spending in the past decade. Expect creative data crunching to show big rise in socio-economic conditions of people, particularly the poor

    • The Finance Minister may increase allocation for health

    • Rural employment programme will get more funds; recently,tribal families have been promised 50 more days of work in a year under MGNREGA

    • Food subsidies will expectedly go up because of the rolling out of the National Right To Food Security law

    • Oil, fertiliser and food subsidies may be capped to two per cent of GDP

    • There are speculations about offer of a financial compensation package to Seemandhara after carving out of Telengana state from Andhra Pradesh

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