Thiruvananthapuram: Advanced research and training in budget planning will benefit around 2.4 lakh local self-government bodies which are in dire need of better budgetary management for financial viability and sustainability, Vice-President M Hamid Ansari said Sunday.
Budget is not merely a statement of financial receipts and expenditure of the government, but a significant political statement of government policy and its priorities for the economy, Hamid Ansari said.
The importance of research and analysis in the technical and political aspects of budget planning can be gauged from the fact that besides the Centre and state governments, there are around 2.4 lakh local self-government bodies which need better budgetary management, he said.
"They will be important beneficiaries of advanced research and training in this area," Ansari said inaugurating the Centre For Budget Studies, named after Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani, set up by the Cochin University of Science and Technology, here.
Stating that setting up a centre for budget studies is timely and relevant, Ansari said the facility will fill an existing gap in the scientific and technical understanding of budget accounting and analysis, especially at a time when fiscal imbalances in government finances are being globally blamed for most of the ills of national economies.
On the importance of budget making, he said given the finite nature of financial resources, "budget making is an exercise in achieving a fine balance between competing objectives and priorities of the government, within the budgetary constraint".
Congratulating the University for naming the Centre after K M Mani, also the leader of Kerala Congress (M), Ansari said Mani has created history of sorts by presenting ten budgets in his capacity as Finance Minister of Kerala.
On the occasion, Mani said he was honoured that Cochin University established the Centre in his name. He said in his budgets, he had always kept the aspirations and interest of the common man in mind while presenting them.
Union Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, and Leader of Opposition V S Achuthanandan were among those spoke on the occasion.