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First-ever outcome budget next week

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 19, 2005 16:21 IST
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The outcome budget, a document to gauge government's expenditure on various schemes announced in the budget, will be presented in parliament by August 25, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said.

"We will present (outcome budget) most probably on Wednesday or Thursday," Chidambaram said.

He said the Employment Guarantee Bill is coming up for discussion on Monday, that leaves just three days for the outcome budget to be placed in Parliament in this session, he said.

This is the first time that the country would be presented the outcome budget, which would cover only planned outlays this fiscal. Its scope would be extended to non-planned expenditures from next fiscal onwards, Chidambaram had said earlier.

He said the outcome budget could become a part of the regular budgetary process and may be required to be finalised within three months of the presentation of the Union Budget.

The ministries would be called upon to present their preliminary outcome budgets, while proposing their demand for grants to the finance ministry, Chidambaram said.

All ministries had sent details to the finance ministry, which were referred to the Plan panel for evaluation. The planning commission has already completed the evaluation.

"We are not guaranteeing anything, we are telling what the ministries have said they would do with the amount of money," Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission said.

The outcome budget will provide valuable inputs for putting in place a mechanism to measure the development outcome of various central projects.

It is expected to ensure efficient service delivery, transparency and accountability. Accordingly, Finance Ministry can allocate resources based on progress of a project.

The move is also aimed at making departments and ministries more accountable. The government-run projects may also be completed in time resulting in reduction of cost and time over-runs.

While the centre is pioneering the concept, states have also been urged to carry out similar exercises for better utilisation of their expenditure. Chidambaram had earlier stated that the outcome budget would seek to avoid leakage and delays in project completion.

It would also improve infrastructure like power, roads, ports and airports to support faster growth of the economy and noted that public-private participation could help achieving in this regard.

The move assumes significance in the light of UPA's commitment towards infrastructure development as visible from the ambitious Rs 1,74,000 crore (Rs 1740 billion) 'Bharat Nirman' programme for rural infrastructure to be implemented in four years for achieving an inclusive equitable growth.

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