oppn parties Financial Year: Is Jan-Dec Better?

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  • Centre asks states to give shelter and food to migrant workers to stop them from taking to the streets
  • RBI cuts repo rate by 75 bps, the steepest in 10 years
  • Centre writes to states regarding laxity in monitoring people who had arrived from abroad between January and March
  • Kerala reports a spurt in new cases
  • With 124 fresh cases on Friday, the number of reported cases in India stand at 854
  • Five of a family, including a 9-month-old-baby test positive for Covid-19 in Nadia district in West Bengal on Friday
  • The Pakistani army is reportedly forcibly moving all Covid-19 patients to PoK and Gilgit
  • Untimely azaans in J&K mosques spark panic gathering
  • Stocks rise - Sensex up by 1400 points and Nifty goes above the 8600 mark
  • Rahul Gandhi says the economic package is "the first step in the right direction"
  • The government announces wide-ranging measures to help the poor overcome the economic hardship caused by Covid-19
  • G20 leaders to hold a virtual meeting today to explore ways of fighting Covid-19 in a coordinated manner
  • The Delhi government orders testing of all medical staff after the positive test on a Delhi mohalla clinic doctor
  • As a fallout of a Delhi mohalla clinic doctor testing positive for Covid-19, 900 people in the chain quarantined
  • China offers help to India in the fight against Covid-19 and says India will win the battle at an early date
Death toll reaches 27 as Covid-19 cases across India reach 974 on Saturday
oppn parties
Financial Year: Is Jan-Dec Better?

By Ashwini Agarwal
First publised on 2017-04-24 16:14:51

Should India move to a financial year from January to December? The prime minister pitched for it when addressing the NITI Aayog meeting on Sunday. Before that, there were whispers in the corridors of power that the government was thinking along that line ever since the Shankar Acharya committee had recommended the same. Although the advancement of the date of budget presentation to February 1st instead of 28th was explained away as a move to ensure that budgetary expenditure was ready to be undertaken from April 1, many had said that the move was also in order to gradually advance the budget to bring it to November, in preparation for a move to Jan-Dec financial year.

There is nothing wrong in such a move. In fact, since the British had set April-March as India’s financial year only to align it with the practice back home, the time is ripe for India to break with the colonial legacy and bring its financial year in line with what is followed in the rest of the world. With a pitch for Make in India, a host of MNCs and other smaller foreign firms are coming to work in India. It is extremely difficult for them to maintain records for two types of financial years – one in India and another for the mother country.

No change is easy. This change will also create confusion for some time. It will also entail a cost. But once the change is fully implemented, the benefits will be immense. There is a cost in changing names of roads and towns too. But that is being done with abandon in our country. Hence, this change should not be denied just for the cost. There will be benefits if the budget is presented in November as it will mean that the government will have more precise data about monsoons and crops with it. If it is true that the move will be beneficial to the economy, all else does not matter. It will all fall in place over time.