Bihar finance minister to start pre-budget consultation from today
Just prior to the presentation of the state budget for coming fiscal year 2019-20 next month, the state government will start the pre-budget consultations with various stakeholders from January 17 to assess the sectors to be given priority in fund allocation , set revenue targets and fine tune the annual financial document.
Being an election year, the state government has curtailed the period of the budget session, which will start from February 11 to February 20 with only seven sittings to take place .
The state budget for fiscal year 2019-20 would be presented during the session but the government would move a vote on account to get sanction of funds from April to July. In the next session , the total budget would be passed by the legislature after discussions on appropriation bill.
State finance officials said the budget for the next fiscal year could be around Rs 1.95 lakh crore, a 15 % jump in size from the state budget of this current fiscal year standing at Rs 1.77 lakh crore. “ Every year , there is a rise of 10-15 % in fund allocation for expenditure under committed expenditure and annual scheme expenditure. It could be the same trend in the next budget,” said a senior finance officer, wishing not to be quoted. The state budget size has increased 7 times from Rs 23885 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 1.60 lakh crore in 2017-18.
Meanwhile, sources said the pre-budget consultation will start with representatives of urban and rural local bodies meeting with deputy chief minister cum finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday.
On Janury 21st, Modi will meet representatives of industry and commerce while on January 23rd representatives of agriculture and allied sector would meet the finance minister. In the last meeting on January 27, the finance minister would representatives from various women rights bodies and health organisations to take views on gender budget and tone up the health sector in Bihar.