Sunday, 28 February 2010

Ways to Wealth: Indian Budget 2006 (POEM)

(Key Word: Economy)

"Ways to Wealth: Indian Budget 2006" is review by an ordinary person, who is not an economist. Hence it is convinient to write in poetry form! I republish this on the occasion of the day of presentation of national budget of India. It will be interesting to compare theories with reality. (See previous post.) 

The Times of India on February 12, 2010 the following report: 

Rs 1 lakh crore budget funds go unspent each year

NEW DELHI: While the government is grappling with a huge fiscal deficit and hence large borrowings to fund key social sector schemes,

staggering sums of up to Rs 1 lakh crore in a year out of the money allocated to various ministries remained unspent between 2005-06 and 2007-08.

Unspent provisions of Rs 100 crore each or more alone totalled Rs 59,000 crore in these years, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General. The CAG has so far reviewed accounts till 2007-08. The Union account for 2008-09 is still being readied.

What’s worse, the CAG has pointed out that there is uncertainty even about whether all the amounts shown as spent in government accounts have actually been spent. In 2007-08, for instance, more than Rs 51,000 crore was allocated under various flagship schemes in which the money is directly transferred to the bank accounts of NGOs, autonomous bodies and district authorities.

Whether these amounts have actually been spent by the organizations or are lying idle in their accounts is a moot point, the CAG has noted,
observing that since these fall outside the purview of government accounts and hence the Centre’s checks, this is an alarming situation.

The unspent grants are a shocking indicator of the government’s poor budgeting mechanism and the failure of its monitoring tools put in place ostensibly to keep a tab on the progress of some of the key flagship schemes.

It will be interesting to see the Union budget 2010-11 in the light of this report. And follow it though the year how does it perform? We are 110 crore people but no right persons to implement the provisions of the budget, before it proves to be white elephant?. What an irony? 

© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

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