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Delays in implementing Budget announcements a matter of serious concern: Cabinet secretariat

Delays in implementing Budget announcements a matter of serious concern: Cabinet secretariat

New Delhi: The cabinet secretariat has written to all ministries about long delays in the implementation of many budget announcements which it called a matter of “serious concern”.

ET has seen the letter, addressed to the secretaries and dated December 28.

“Ministries are required to review the matter and take immediate steps. Steps may also be taken to ensure that tangible outcomes are visible within six months from the date of budget announcement,” the letter said, without mentioning those specific budget announcements whose implementation was found to be delayed.

The letter noted that the cabinet secretariat had on February 18 this year entrusted sectoral groups of secretaries with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of budget announcements pertaining to their sectors. The Department of Economic Affairs and a monitoring group, constituted on the directions of the Prime Minister, are also separately reviewing the progress of the initiatives and schemes contained in the budget announcements, it said.

“In spite of the rigorous monitoring, it is observed that the implementation of these announcements by ministries and departments, in many cases, has been inordinately delayed. This is a matter of serious concern,” the letter said, stressing upon immediate review and strict compliance of the latest instructions.

The sectoral groups of secretaries, which prepare the five-year vision documents, were given the monitoring responsibility soon after the presentation of the 2020-21 Union budget. This was done to ensure that various preparatory steps such as formulation of proposals as well as appraisals and approvals by competent authorities are completed by ministries expeditiously so that the “implementation can commence from the beginning of the financial year”. Meetings of the sectoral groups were also held.

Last month, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba had ticked off ministries for long delays in drafting rules for laws enacted by Parliament, saying such delays adversely affected the timely implementation of Acts and “defeat the purpose for which these are legislated”.

In a letter written to all Secretaries in November, he had asked for a thorough review of all legislations enacted since May 2014 in which the rules and regulations were yet to be notified. He also suggested a new detailed standard operating procedure by which rules would be notified within two months of the enactment of a law, and formulation of an action plan.

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