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State laying stress on value for money in ensuing annual Budget




 As senior officials burn midnight oil to prepare the annual Budget and present it in the State Assembly on February 28, the Finance Department is adopting a Value for Money (VfM) approach this time.

VfM is about maximising the impact of each Rupee spent to improve the lives of the poor in State.

According to sources in the Government, the process for Budget preparation has also moved from input-based budgeting to budgeting linked to outputs and the outcomes.

The decision to fund a programme requires a judgement of whether the expected development results justify the costs, pointed out a senior official in the Department.

While discussing about the priorities of the Principal Secretaries and Senior Secretaries of various Departments, Principal Secretary Finance Tuhin Kanta Pandey has adopted VfM approach, said the senior officer.

Further, as the Union Budget has already been presented on February 1, clear picture is in place about the allocations for the Centrally Sponsored Schemes(CSS).

Accordingly the State Government will firm up its contribution in the annual Budget to be presented by Minister Finance Pradip Amat in the Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) on 27 February, the official added.

According to him, there was joint deliberation by Departments of Planning & Convergence (DoPC) and  Finance on preparation of annual Budget by the Principal Secretaries and Senior Secretaries of the Departments.

Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi is overseeing the preparation of Annual Budget while Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan and Principal Secretary Finance Tuhin Kanta Pandey are engaged in detailed deliberations.

For the first time everybody felt that a professional approach has been adopted by the State Government and involvement of high officials in shaping the Budget was taken into consideration, said the official adding the Finance Secretary has good experience during his stint with the Planning Commission and Cabinet Secretariat.

He categorically advised the Secretaries to be in touch with the senior officials in their respective Ministries in the Union Government, so that they could get a clear picture on sectoral allocations in the Union Budget for their Departments, the official added.

Accordingly the Departments will firm up their program for expenditure and enable the State Government to fine tune the Budget as per the available Central funds resources of the State Government.

The allocation of resources will be linked with Output and Outcome, said sources.

Officials claimed that increasing attention is being given towards ensuring utilization of public resources efficiently and effectively to deliver results.

One of the setbacks for the State Government has been the decision of the Union Government to stop special funding to the KBK Zone, which was receiving over Rs.360 crore annually.

NITI Aayog has categorically said that there will be no special assistance for KBK Zones, which is the poorest of the poor areas in the country.

The Union Budget for 2017-18 has not made any provisions for KBK and this will result in slowing down of development process in the most backward zone, apprehend officials.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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