Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all ministers in his team to tour at least two parliamentary constituencies in a first-of-its-kind effort to gather suggestions from the ground for the annual budget and feedback about the government.
The move is set to compliment finance minister Arun Jaitley’s preparation for the budget, to be presented in February, as he has also started the groundwork by meeting industry heads, farm sector captains and other stakeholders. Besides, the government has asked people to post their suggestions on http://mygov.nic.in, saying similar ideas were incorporated in the Union and rail budgets of 2015-16.
Over the next month, Modi’s ministers will travel to parliamentary constituencies outside their home state, meet select groups — businessmen, educationists, professionals students and others — for their views and report to the PMO on their return.
Set against the backdrop of the Bihar poll debacle for the NDA and the failure to pass the crucial GST bill in Parliament because of a belligerent Opposition, the move is seen as Modi’s attempt to catch the pulse of the people and inform them about his government’s achievements.
He asked his council of ministers at a meeting on December 17 to travel extensively to get inputs from the people for the 2016-17 budget. Modi’s team of 65 ministers will cover more than 120 parliamentary constituencies. Other constituencies will be covered in the subsequent months and every minister has been asked to spend at least 30 hours in each seat on their itinerary.
Steel minister Narendra Singh Tomar and environment minister Prakash Javadekar will oversee the execution of the strategy.
The Modi government will present its third budget in 2016 after riding to power in 2014 on the back of a promise to provide achche din (good days) to the people.
BJP leaders said the next budget has to be “people-centric” as it would be crucial to the party’s strategy for the 2019 general elections.
The Prime Minister has also asked BJP parliamentarians to tour their parliamentary constituencies before the budget session of Parliament, spending at least one night in each assembly constituency within their Lok Sabha seat.
Besides, the MPs have been specifically told to cover Lok Sabha seats represented by other parties.