Budget 2018: Highlights of India’s Various Union Budget Documents

Budget 2018 – Mentioned below are the highlights of various Budget documents presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister other than his Budget Speech.

Budget 2018: Highlights of India's Various Union Budget Documents

Common to all finance ministers is the briefcase that they carry to the Parliament and pose with on the day of the union budget. In fact the word budget is derived from the French word ‘bougette’, which means a small bag. The practise is actually a colonial tradition which was started by William Ewart Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Great Britain in 1860 when he first carried a red briefcase or a budget box. British Chancellors hand over the same red box to their successors, a practise which is not followed in India. It is understood that the said briefcase contains the budget speech. But do you know what other budget documents are presented to Parliament on the day of the Budget? Mentioned below are the highlights of various Budget documents presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister other than his Budget Speech.

Annual Financial Statement (AFS): Annual Financial Statement is the primary budget document. It is mandated under the Article 112 of the Constitution of India. The document contains estimated receipts and expenditures for the upcoming financial year, revised estimates for the financial year gone by and actual figures for the financial year prior to it. The receipts and disbursements are divided in to three parts namely Consolidated Fund, Contingency Fund and Public Account for Government Accounts. The Consolidated Fund of India (CFI) owns its existence because of the Article 266 of the Constitution. All revenues of the government, loans taken, receipts received from recoveries of loans together form the Consolidated Fund of India. The Contingency Fund owns its existence to Article 267 of the Constitution. The said fund is used to cover any unforeseen and urgent expenditure of the Government. Finally funds help by the Government in trust such as Provident Funds, Small Savings and more are kept as Public Account. The Annual Financial Statement as mandated under Constitution comprises of Revenue Budget and Capital Budget. For meaningful analysis by Parliament and people the Annual Financial Statement is in accordance with the accounting format laid down by Comptroller and Auditor General of India under Article 150 of the Constitution.

B. Demand for Grants (DG): Demand for Grants (DG) document outlays estimated expenditure which includes revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, grants to State and Union Territories and grants to different ministries. The document is mandated by Article 113 of the Constitution and is voted upon in the Lok Sabha. Mostly one Demand for Grant is presented per Department or Ministry but in case of big ministries and nature of expenditure more than one Demand may also be presented.

C. Appropriation Bill: As per Article 114(3) of the Constitution of India funds cannot be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund without enactment of such a law by Parliament. Thus after the Demands for Grants are voted by the Lok Sabha to withdraw the expenditure from the Consolidated Fund the Appropriation Bill is placed in parliament separately. Thus the bill gives authority to the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund to meet any expenditure in the upcoming financial year.

D. Finance Bill: Finance Bill is a money bill which is presented in the Lok Sabha. The bill is mandated under Article 110 of the Indian Constitution. Any changes to the existing tax structure or introduction of any new tax or even continuation of current tax structure beyond the time approved by the Parliament are submitted to the Parliament through this Finance Bill.

E. Memorandum Explaining the Provisions in the Finance Bill: The said document explains the provisions relating to the Finance Bill. The provisions may be related to change in income tax slabs or any other aspect related to the Finance Bill.

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