Asserting that the budget is not merely a statement of financial receipts and expenditure of the government, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari today said that it is a significant political statement of government policy and its priorities for the economy.
Addressing after inaugurating "K. M. Mani Centre for Budget Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology" in Thiruvananthpuram, Kerala, Ansari said: "The budget reflects either the country's or the state's or the panchayat's economy and shapes the direction in which the government of the day wants to take it as per its policies and priorities."
"It is also a government's plan for raising revenues through taxation, borrowing and incurring expenditure under the relevant heads," he said.
"The government channelizes its financial resources thus raised in the various sectors of the economy and government. Given the finite nature of financial resources, budget making is an exercise in achieving a fine balance between competing objectives and priorities of the government, within the budgetary constraint," he added.
He said that the Constitution of India does not use the term 'budget' but only refers to Annual Financial Statements. As per Articles 112 and 202 the Union Government and State governments are constitutionally mandated to prepare and present 'budgets', which are financial statements of receipts and expenditure, both current and capital.
"The importance of research and analysis in the technical and political aspects of budget making can be gauged from the fact that besides the Union and state governments, there are around 2.4 lakhs local self government bodies, including panchayats and municipalities, which are in dire need of better budgetary management for financial viability and sustainability," he said.
"They would be important beneficiaries of advanced research and training in this area. Especially, at a time, when there aren't many institutions in the country dedicated to the study and research related to budget making and management," he added.
Stating that setting up a centre for budget studies is timely and relevant, Ansari said the facility will fill an existing gap in the scientific and technical understanding of budget accounting and analysis, especially at a time when fiscal imbalances in government finances are being globally blamed for most of the ills of national economies.
The Vice President further hoped that the Centre will initiate a new chapter in the annals of public finances research, with emphasis on sub-national finances, thereby, laying the foundation of a new centre of excellence in budget studies and related policy formulations, for the benefit of n Kerala and the entire country. (ANI)