Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday chaired the 9th Pre-Budget Consultation meeting with leading representatives from Water and Sanitation sectors in Delhi in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2020-21.
Along with the Finance Minister, the meeting was attended by Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs; Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, DEA; Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Revenue Secretary; Shri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, DIPAM; Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking water and Sanitation; Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary Ministry Rural Development; Shri VK Paul, Member, NITI Aayog; Shri Pramod Chandra Mody, Chairman, CBDT; Dr KV Subramanian, CEA, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.
The meeting chaired by the Union Finance Minister discussed the challenges faced in providing quality of water, sanitation, solid waste management and drainage in India. Experts present in the meeting highlighted the disparities in accessing sanitation and quality of water and the steps to remove these disparities.
According to a press release by the Government of India dated December 23, areas of maintenance of septic tank, decentralisation of waste management system, focus on waste conservation, a bottom’s up approach for effective implementation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, demand side management for water allocation, community water management programme in urban areas, focus on behaviour change communication, region-specific differentiated best practices/model; collectivisation of sanitation workers, and eco-friendly sewage treatment, were some of the issues discussed in the meeting.
The Ministry had earlier announced that Pre-Budget meetings would be held starting from October 14 earlier this year in order to prepared the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21. It has also been reported that the General Budget 2020-21 is most likely to be presented by the Ministry on February 21.
Sources have also reported that the budget is expected to focus on revenue and a revised estimate for earnings, expenditure and fiscal deficit. Earlier, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that corporate tax restructuring would result in revenue foregone of Rs 1.45 lakh crore as it is bound to impact the overall revenue collection.