Govt revives plan to change fiscal year to January-December: Report


New Delhi: The government has revived plans to change the fiscal year to January-December from the current April-March, a report by business news channel BTVi, quoting news agency Cogencis, said. Opposition from the states had forced the central government to put the idea on the backburner after first being very enthusiastic about it.

The change is expected to help the government include the monsoon forecast in its Budget projections, as this will align the financial year with the south-west monsoons and thus help in better allocation of resources to the agricultural sector.

India has been following the April-March financial year since 1867, in line with what was followed by the British government.

Aligning the financial year with the calendar year and shift in date of presentation of the Union Budget to the start of February from the end of that month were among the pet themes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the early part of his administration. The Budget has since been presented on the new date, February 1, for the last two years.

The government had first initiated the idea some time in 2016 and had even tasked a committee to look into the merits of effecting such a change. That panel, headed by former chief economic advisor Shankar Acharya, is reported to have been against the idea of changing the financial year.

Implementation of the goods and services tax and the disturbance caused by it might have also forced the government to drop the idea then.

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