Bhubaneswar: The State Government has initiated the process for preparation of Annual Budget for the financial year 2024-25, which is likely to be presented before the Assembly sometime in February, 2024.
Principal Secretary Finance, Vishal Kumar Dev has issued a circular for the Departments to prepare their budget proposals expeditiously and in accordance with the prevailing economic condition. All the Departments have been asked to submit their proposals by 15 December, 2023.
Shri Dev asked the Departments to give emphasis on the priorities of the State Government, Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 and its associated targets.
“Focus of the Government is to eradicate poverty, combat inequality, women empowerment, create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth with decent work for all,” he said.
The State is making immense investment in healthcare, education, skill development, drinking water facilities, irrigation, rural connectivity, sanitation, sports infrastructure and urban civic amenities. The industrial diversification and promotion of Small and Medium Industries has remained a focus area of the State, the Principal Secretary stated.
He further said empowerment and financial inclusion of women has always been the focused area of the Government.
Shri Dev made it clear that the preparation of budget for FY 2024-25 will be based on the principles adopted for Annual Budget, 2023-24 which inter-alia include advanced budget calendar, macro-fiscal forecasting and advanced indication of Departmental ceilings (both for Administrative and Programme expenditure). The Departments have to prioritize the expenditure within the broad ceiling.
The Departments will be given sufficient time to have thorough scrutiny and prioritization of the Budget proposals within the ceiling communicated.
The Principal Secretary advised the Departments to identify sectoral priorities in line with State priorities and SDGs wherever relevant.
“Allocation under State Sector Schemes should not be made for schemes not appraised by EFC/SFC as the case may be. Allocation for Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Central Sector Schemes should be proposed taking into account the likely level of Central Assistance to be received for the schemes for the budget year within the overall ceiling communicated for the sectors,” he said.
The State Government is now maintaining separate Budget lines for Central and State Share under each Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) as per the revised guidelines of Government of India.
In the meanwhile, the Centre has selected Odisha for piloting of alternative fund flow mechanism of SNA-SPARSH to ensure real time system of quick transfers through integration of PFMS, State IFMS and e-Kuber platform of RBI. Therefore, the Departments have been advised to prepare their budget in accordance with the new project.
As per the tentative schedule set for preparation of the Budget, all Departments will have to submit their estimates by December 15 while Pre-budget consultation meetings will be conducted from December 16 to 31.
Revision of estimates after pre-budget consultation and Union Budget, 2024-25 will be done on February 3. Approval of Annual Budget, 2024-25 by the Council of Ministers will be taken between February 4 and 6, 2024. Finance Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha is likely to present the Budget in the second week of February.