Budget 2023–24 proposal crowdsourcing will run through December 10
Even though finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday wrapped up pre-budget consultations held virtually with over 110 representatives from sectors like agriculture, rural development, health, education, water, sanitation, industry, infrastructure, trade unions, and economists, all citizens can still offer their suggestions on the Union Budget 2023–24 through the MyGov platform until December 10.
Even as finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday wrapped up pre-budget consultations held virtually with more than 110 representatives from sectors including agriculture, rural development, health, education, water, sanitation, industry, infrastructure, trade unions, and economists, all citizens can still offer their suggestions on the Union Budget 2023–24 through the MyGov platform until December 10.
The launch of an urban employment guarantee programme, the rationalisation of income tax, green certification for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), programmes to improve domestic supply chains, tax incentives for electric vehicles (EV), portable social benefits for children, and a regulatory authority for water and sanitation were among the key pre-budget recommendations received during the virtual interactions.
The MyGov platform is available to all citizens “without favouring or denying the opportunity to anyone,” as the central government is committed to fostering the spirit of Jan Bhagidari (people’s participation in governance), two officials said, requesting anonymity. Sitharaman heard stakeholders representing various important social and economic sectors between November 21 and 28.
Even the majority of the specialists who spoke with the FM about this issue have turned in their thorough written arguments. Each idea will be taken into account when the government makes its final Budget plans. Because MyGov provides another way to participate in pre-budget discussions, any concern that you will miss the chance to be heard is unfounded, one of them remarked in response to several trade union leaders’ worries that they did not have enough time to express their opinions to Sitharaman.
An attempt to politicise the pre-budget consultations is being made with malice, political motivation, and purposeful intent, according to a second official. On the first half of November 28, representatives from various labour organisations participated in a virtual conference with the finance minister, he continued.
They were there on behalf of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, the National Front of Indian Trade Unions, the Trade Union Coordination Centre, the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for South Asia, the Federation of Association of Small Industries of India, and the Federation of Indian Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.
Organizations with significant ties to the opposing parties chose not to attend, the first official stated, citing a lack of time as a reason. In actuality, participants were free to send the FM written submissions. And if they were unable to do so, they still have time to submit the same using the Prime Minister-supported platform MyGov.
Eight pre-budget sessions featured participation from seven stakeholder groups. Without favouritism or preference for any group, each group was given a consistent 75 minutes, and each speaker was given three minutes to outline the key points of their proposal. Additionally, each participant was asked to submit a thorough written representation after having enough time to discuss important aspects of their own written representations.
According to him, the virtual style of engagement helped participants feel more at ease and saved everyone time, while experts also offered some insightful advice. He noted that when formulating the Union Budget, “any ideas given by them during the virtual contact and through MyGov will be considered.”
The North Block on Monday released an official statement that read, “The Finance Minister thanked the participants for sharing their valuable suggestions and assured that suggestions will be carefully examined while formulating the Budget 2023-24.”
Participants made a number of recommendations for the upcoming budget, according to the report. It listed some of the most important suggestions, including a mechanism for green certification to assist MSMEs, an urban employment guarantee programme to increase job creation in urban areas, a rationalisation of income tax, the creation of innovation clusters, plans to improve domestic supply chains, lower taxes on electric vehicles, the introduction of an EV policy, and actions to promote India as a hub for green technology.