FM puts budget-making process in public domain

The manual, released by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, details various aspects about the Budget, including the constitutional provisions, structure of government accounts and budget preparation.

"Budget is shrouded in mystery. Even in the whole text of constitution, if you try to find out the word budget, you will not get it. Article 112 of the constitution which deals with the Budget uses the phrase Annual Financial Statement," Mukherjee said.

He said the budget-making process is not only secretive, many of the functions and activities related to it are not codified or placed in any single document.
The manual, released today, attempts to do away with this lack of transparency in the process.

However, there has to be some amount of secrecy particularly in respect of indirect taxation, which leads to speculation, the Finance Minister said.
"The manual is expected to serve as a comprehensive reference material not only to the officers involved in the Budget process but other users and interested stakeholders as well," the Finance Minister said.

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