Fiscal Reforms in Odisha on right, progressive path with sensible approach: IMF

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Bhubaneswar: “Fiscal reforms in Odisha is at cutting edge and on the right path with sensible approaches”, opined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Team led by Anne Marie Gulde, Dy Director Asia-Pacific Department.

They said this in a high-level meeting on Public Finance Management ( PFM) system held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy in Lok Seva Bhawan conference hall recently wherein Principal Secretary Finance Ashok Kumar Meena presented the updates for discussion.

Looking into the progress already made in this direction Ms Gulde said, “Odisha has shown great interest and progress in improving PFM. It is one of the most active States in India. We are impressed by the level of political will, technical preparedness, administrative commitment and the degree of progress that have already been made. We will continue our joint effort with Odisha in coming two years for full achievement of the targets”.

The fiscal reform issues relating to implementation of strategic fiscal planning, strategic budget making, preparation of fiscal strategy paper, Odisha Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, fiscal risk management, cash management, commitment management and control ( CMC) system, common treasury management and e-procurement etc were deliberated in the meeting.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Director South-Asia Training and Technical Assistance Center said, “Odisha is first Indian State to have introduced strategic budget making and commitment control system”. He added the success of Odisha could be showcased as a model for emulation by other Indian States.

Principal Secretary Finance Ashok Meena said that under this new system the finance department would communicate the advance tentative ceiling and the departments would prepare the detail budget as per their priority keeping in view need of the people and commitment of the State. The Chief Secretary directed the departments to reap full potential of the new system and maximise outcomes of the budget utilisation.

The fiscal indicators of Odisha were reviewed in the meeting. Principal Secretary Sri Meena appraised that State Budget size increased from Rs. 18,516.52 cr in 2001-02 to Rs. 1.39,000 cr in 2019-20 thereby recording a growth of more than 18 times. Odisha is now a revenue surplus State. Overcoming the revenue deficit situation of 5.48% of GSDP in 2001-02, the State has reached revenue surplus of 2.17% in 2018-19. The debt stock has decreased from 46.48% of GSDP in 2001-02 to 19.7% of GSDP in 2019-20. The fiscal deficit has been reduced from 7.68% to 3.49% during the period. The capital outlay for infrastructural sector has increased from 1.72% of GSDP in the year 2001-02 to 4.53% in the year 2019-20.

It was decided in the meeting that Odisha would continue to work with IMF’s South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Center ( SATTAC), New Delhi in the areas of further improving fiscal management and resource augmentation in the State. It may be pertinent here to mention that SATTAC provides world class capacity development facility to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Apart from capacity enhancement, the center provides technical assistance support to few States including Odisha.

Principal Secretary Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Sri Sourav Garg, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Ashok Meena, Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Sri Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary Water Resources Sri Surendra Kumar, Joint Secretary Finance Sri Satyapriya Ratha along with three members of IMF Team participated in the deliberations.

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