Meeting the Fiscal Challenges

As a continuation of the Distinguished Guest Lecture Series on December 8, 2012 Mr. Sumit Bose IAS, Secretary to Govt.of India (Revenue), delivered a lecture on “Meeting the Fiscal Challenges” at the IMI- Kolkata auditorium. Dignitaries from public and private sector undertakings were present in the occasion. Mr. Sunil Mitra, Former Secretary to the Govt. of India (Revenue), introduced the speaker to the august gathering.

Mr. Bose began his talk with a portrayal of the current global economic crisis and consequent slowdown. He further elaborated on the position of Indian economy in this critical time and the challenges the country is facing in consolidating the fiscal front. Delving deep into the revenue and the expenditure sides of government budget he expounded the various reforms measures that Government of India with the recommendations of 13th Planning Commission and Kelker Committee Report is ushering in to bring the fiscal deficit within a permissible limit. The highlights of his lecture were:

The fiscal challenge in a developing economy like India arises from a global economic downturn.

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) framework has been constituted to effectively control State and Centre expenditure.

Kelkar Committee’s recommendation for tax reforms is expected to increase revenue collection substantially.

The introduction of the Adhaar or Unique Identification Numbers for the ration-card holders, grant-in-aid schools, scholarship holders, pensioners etc. has a great potential to remove duplication and save upon wastage.

Devolution of funds from Centre to the State and to the local bodies has been streamlined and incentivized in the form of performance grants.

Mr. Bose emphasized on the importance of technology in improving the efficiency of government services both at centre and state levels.

The lecture session was followed by an engrossing question and answer session.