Desirability and Feasibility of Changing the Financial Year

Desirability and Feasibility of Changing the Financial Year
Last Date Oct 01,2016 00:00 AM IST (GMT +5.30 Hrs)
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The Government of India has appointed a Committee chaired by Dr. Shankar Acharya, former chief economic adviser, to examine the desirability and feasibility of having a ‘new ...

The Government of India has appointed a Committee chaired by Dr. Shankar Acharya, former chief economic adviser, to examine the desirability and feasibility of having a ‘new financial year’. Other distinguished members of the Committee are Shri K M Chandrasekhar, former Cabinet Secretary, Shri PV Rajaraman, former Principal Finance Secretary, Tamil Nadu and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Senior Fellow Centre for Policy Research.

Presently, the financial year followed by governments in India runs from 1st April to the following 31st March.

This issue was last examined by the L K Jha Committee in 1985, whose recommendation to move to a financial year of January 1- December 31 (for Central and State Governments) was then not accepted by the then Government.

There are many arguments for and against the change in financial year which revolve around issues of budget and cash management by government, seasonality of government revenues and expenditure, impact of Monsoon on budget forecasting, working season, timelines involved in the legislative cycle of passage of Budget by the Parliament, international comparability of fiscal statistics, aligning government’s financial year with year for tax assessment and corporate accounting purposes. Some arguments are less on the intrinsic merit or demerit of the change but rather on the timing of the change when the change coincides with other developments impacting businesses.

This Discussion Forum seeks to invite inputs from everyone interested in this issue.

We welcome your comments, suggestions, information and documents on the Committee’s Terms of Reference and issues related to it. Please provide these latest by 30th September, 2016.

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Balraj Sagar 3 years 2 months ago

There is no justification in continuing the legacy of British era. The financial year may better synchronize with the calendar year from January to December. The most important is to release funds in the beginning of the year to be spent gradually and in phased manner as the implementation of various schemes and works progress. There should be continuous monitoring too.