Union Budget
2023-24: All That Goes In Preparing The Budget

Union Budget 2023-24
on Feb 1

Like every year, this year's Union Budget will be presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on February 1, 2023

Union Budget: Annual
fiscal statement

The Union Budget document is the annual financial statement, which covers the estimated earnings from revenues and estimated expenditures of the government during a particular financial year

Preparation of Union
Budget

The whole process of compiling the Union Budget starts almost five-six months before it is presented in the Parliament 

Union Budget Circular

The budget-making process starts when the Budget Circular is issued and sent to different ministries. This is usually done in September, and the circular is signed by Joint Secretary (Budget division) in the Finance Ministry 

Union Budget:
Expenditure

After receiving the circular, the ministries start their process of estimating the expenditure for the current fiscal. The process begins with various ministries providing initial estimates of plan and non-plan expenditures 

Union Budget: Discussion
with Planning Commission

The ministries discuss their planned expenditures with the Planning Commission, like expenditures on electricity generation, infrastructure, education, and others

Union Budget: Planning Commission's Role

Similarly, non-plan expenditures are also listed.  Then, the expenditure secretary consolidates them and after further discussions, budget estimates are set

Union Budget: Revenue
estimates

After expenditure, an assessment is done of expected revenues. The revenue from income tax, corporate tax, Goods and Service Tax, customs duties, and various cesses, are taken into account

Union Budget: Process

Besides, targeted amounts from the divestment of public sector equity, repayments of loans, dividends from RBI, state-owned financial institutions, and state-owned companies in various sectors, are also taken into account.  These estimates are sent to the revenue secretary

Union Budget:
Reassessment of data

All the data from different ministries, states and departments are scrutinised by the top officials of the government, and finalised after rounds of discussion. Upon approval, the data is then sent to the finance ministry

Union Budget: Deficit
estimates

The finance ministry then analyses the estimates of revenue and expenditure and compares the deficit. The Finance Minister then consults the Chief Economic Advisor, and decides on the optimum level of borrowings to meet this deficit

Union Budget: Trimming
the deficit

After the targets for the fiscal deficits and the overall budget deficit is decided, any remaining shortage is filled through a revision in tax rates 

Union Budget: Revenue
allocation

Once the draft roadmap is ready, the Finance Ministry allocates revenues to various departments for their future expenditures

Union Budget: Pre-Budget consultations

After compiling data and taking note of the RE and BE, the Finance Minister starts talking and discussing with various stakeholders, industry bodies, labour bodies, economists, representatives from sectors to look into recommendations and advice

Union Budget: Final round

The National Statistical Office brings out the advanced estimates for GDP for the current fiscal, and these modifications are then weaved into the final Union Budget document

Union Budget:
Halwa session

After the final tweaks and revision of the budget document, the process of printing the Budget document starts.  The process starts with a traditional halwa ceremony, which is attended by the Finance Minister and other top officials

Union Budget: Printing

The printing press is situated underground, below the North Block, where the printers and some of the key officials are locked up for a few weeks, till the final document is printed

Union Budget: Who writes
the Budget document?

There are two parts to the speech. The Part A of the speech, which focuses on the state of the economy, new government schemes, and initiatives, is written primarily by the Economic Affairs Secretary

Union Budget Speech:
Part B

The Part B of the Budget speech, which contains the personal finance and taxation announcements, is written by the Revenue Secretary. Sometimes, even the Chief Economic Advisor writes down a couple of inputs for the speech

Union Budget: Cabinet
approval

Following the printing, a copy of the Union Budget is sent to Cabinet for approval. Once cleared, the Finance Minister on the Budget day presents it to the President, then proceeds to Lok Sabha, where the FM starts the Union Budget speech at 11 am

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