Fiscal Reforms In Odisha On Progressive Path: IMF

Bhubaneswar: Fiscal reforms in Odisha are at cutting edge and on the right path with a sensible approach, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Anne Marie Gulde, Deputy Director Asia-Pacific Department opined.

The IMF team held a high-level meeting on Public Finance Management (PFM) at Lok Seva Bhawan here on Monday. Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy presided over the meeting which was attended by Finance Secretary Ashok Meena and other senior officials of the State Government.

Looking into the progress already made in this (PFM) direction, 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 system, common treasury management and e- procurement, were discussed in the meeting.

Director South-Asia Training and Technical Assistance Centre, Sukhwinder Singh said, “Odisha is the 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. 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.

Tripathy 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. Meena appraised that the State Budget size increased from Rs 18,516.52 crore in 2001-02 to Rs 1,39,000 crore 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 per cent of GSDP in 2001-02, the State has reached revenue surplus of 2.17 per cent in 2018-19.

The debt stock has decreased from 46.48 per cent of GSDP in 2001-02 to 19.7 per cent of GSDP in 2019-20. The fiscal deficit has been reduced from 7.68 per cent to 3.49 per cent during the period. The capital outlay for infrastructural sector has increased from 1.72 per cent of GSDP in the year 2001-02 to 4.53 per cent in 2019-20.

It was decided in the meeting that Odisha would continue to work with IMF’s South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SATTAC), New Delhi in the areas of further improving fiscal management and resource augmentation in the State. SATTAC provides capacity development facility to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The centre also provides technical assistance to few States including Odisha.

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