New Delhi: It’s pretty much official that the Centre is not going to modify the fiscal year to January-December. However, there is a strong possibility that Narendra Modi government might advance the Budget presentation date by a fortnight.
It is worthwhile mentioning in this regard that India at this point of time follows the traditional April-March financial year but for quite sometime, the government was considering changing it to January-December.
On July 21, Finance minister Arun Jaitley when asked in a Parliament said in a written reply in a very certain term, “the matter of changing financial year is under consideration of the government”.
Quoting the government sources we can say with full conviction, “For now (2018-19), changing the financial year appears unlikely”, adding that switching this year would mean the budget would have to be presented by end of October or early November, which is unrealistic.
Another important thing to note of is with two major economic reforms in name of demonetisation and rolling out of the Goods and Services Tax Bill, the country is already going through a transition, any change of this level will just add on to the confusion.
However, if there happen to be a modification in the financial year, the government will get rid of the 150-year-old British tradition like it did while presenting the Union Budget. Point to be noted here is that this year finance minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Budget on February 1 instead on February 28.
Talking about experts, they are of the opinion that modifying the financial year as it is not linked with international practices as well, and had affected data collection and dissemination from the perspective of national accounts. NITI Aayog also in the past has favoured the arguement.
A parliamentary panel had also earlier suggested that shifting the current financial year to January – December is important.