Economy

The government has begun work on reshaping the role of financial advisers across ministries

The government has begun work on reshaping the role of financial advisers across ministries
The government has begun work on reshaping the role of financial advisers across ministries

The goal is to increase efficiencies in various ministries and agencies in order to improve decision-making on “schemes, programmes, policies, and fund utilisation.”

The finance ministry has begun a revamping of the role of financial advisers—the interface between various ministries and the expenditure department—in order to foster faster and more efficient decision making while keeping a close eye on the purse strings.

According to two people in the know, the plan is to increase efficiencies in specific ministries and agencies in order to improve decision making on “schemes, projects, policies, and fund utilisation.”

The plan to modernise the decades-old role of financial advisers is part of the government’s Vision 2047 initiative, which aims to make the country one of the top three economies in the world by the country’s 100th year of independence.

The goal is to find a solution to the inherent tensions between individual departments implementing schemes and the expenditure department, which controls the government’s purse strings, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified.

“Efficiency and productivity will be the drivers for Vision 2047, and better financial control over policy and scheme execution must be implemented,” added the second official, who did not want to be identified.

Given that individual ministers’ performance is frequently measured by the outcomes of schemes, while the expenditure department manages the Centre’s fiscal position, the role of financial advisers has become sensitive and critical in day-to-day decision making in the central government.

As was the case during the pandemic, the expenditure department was forced to cut non-priority administrative spending and reject proposals to create new positions. The overhaul could result in financial advisers having a greater influence in the expenditure roadmaps of ministries, as well as possibly additional authority to enable improved internal governance.
Given the size of the Central budget—39 trillion in FY23—the decision is substantial. 7.5 trillion of this is earmarked for capital spending alone, with the goal of providing an immediate boost to the economy.
The parliamentary standing committee on finance, chaired by BJP leader Jayant Sinha, underlined the necessity of employing this resource “productively, efficiently, and adequately” in its report to the House in March.
The decision also demonstrates the government’s commitment to improve the efficiency with which funds are used.
When there are supplemental demands for grants, the Centre frequently faces the issue of savings under multiple schemes, which appears to imply bottlenecks in planning or spending at various levels.
According to Mint, the finance ministry has formed an internal working group under the department of spending to solicit input from other ministries and departments on how to improve the job of the financial adviser.
Views on driving efficiency, enabling faster decision making and implementation of projects, policies, and schemes, including faster circulation of files both inter-department and within departments, have been solicited.
At press time, no response had been received to questions made to the finance ministry on Saturday.
The authored article is written by Darshana Joshi and shared with Prittle Prattle News  exclusively.
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