Ahead of the Union Budget FY 2021-22 to be presented on February 1, the finance ministry will kick start pre-budget meetings from October 16, a circular by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) said. This will be the third budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.

The budget will have to address critical issues pertaining to growth contraction and subdued revenue collection triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All financial advisers should ensure that the necessary details related to these meetings contained in the Appendices I to VII are entered in RE module of the UBIS (Union Budget Information System),” the circular said.

“The Budget Estimates for 2021-22 will be provisionally finalised after Secretary (Expenditure) completes discussions with the Secretaries and Financial Advisers. Pre-Budget Meetings shall begin from 16th October, 2020 and shall continue till the first week of November, 2020,” the circular added.

The circular further said that the ceilings for all categories of expenditure, including Central Sector and centrally sponsored schemes will be discussed.

Accordingly, the RE 2020-21 and BE 2021-22 for all categories of expenditure, and select schemes or projects, may be indicated separately for revenue and capital expenditure, it said.

For the Budget Estimates of 2021-22, it said “the allocations will be finalized for the Establishment and Other Central government expenditures as well as the Finance Commission related transfers which will be based on the accepted recommendations of the 15th FC (Finance Commission).”

“It is proposed to discuss the totality of the requirements of funds for various programmes and schemes, along with receipts of the Departments (viz. interest receipts, dividends, loan repayments, departmental receipts, receipts of Departmental Commercial Undertakings, etc.) during the pre-budget meetings chaired by Secretary (Expenditure),” said the circular.

The circular mandates that all the ministries or departments Ato submit details of all the autonomous bodies or implementing agencies for which a dedicated corpus fund has been created, clearly indicating the purpose, whether in ‘Public Account’, accumulated balances as on March 31, 2020, annual expenditure for the last three years, and allocations made during the current financial year.

“The reasons for their continuance and requirement of grant-in-aid support should be explained and why the same should not be wound up,” it said.

The Budget 2021-22 is likely to be presented on February 1.