Bhubaneswar: “Fiscal reform in Odisha is at cutting edge and on the right path with sensible approaches”, opined the International Monetary Fund team led by Anne Marie Gulde, deputy director Asia Pacific Department.

The IMF team expressed these views at a high-level meeting on Public Finance Management (PFM) held under the chairmanship of chief secretary, Asit Tripathy, here on Monday.

Looking into the progress made in this 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, and degree of progress that already have 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 & Budget Management Act, fiscal risk management, cash management, commitment management and control (CMC) system , common treasury management and e-procurement were deliberated in the meeting .

Director South Asia Technical and Training Assistant Centre Sukhwinder Singh said, ” Odisha is the first Indian State to introduce strategic budget making and commitment control system”. He added that the success of Odisha could be showcased as a model for emulation by other Indian States.

Odisha finance principal secretary Ashok Meena said that the State’s budget size increased from Rs 18,516.51 crore in 2001-02 to Rs 1.39 lakh crore in 2019-20 thereby recording a growth of 18 times. Stating that Odisha is now a revenue surplus State, he said overcoming the revenue deficit situation of 5.48% of GSDP in 2001-02, the State has reached revenue surplus of 2.17 in 2018-19. The debt stock has decreased from 46.48% of GSDP in 2001-02 to 19.7% of GSDP in 2019-20. The fiscal deficit has been reduced from 7.68% to 3.49% during the period. The capital outlay for infrastructure has increased from 1.72% of GSDP in the year 2001-02 to 4.53% in 2019-20.

Meena said under the 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. The chief secretary directed the department to reap full potential of the new system and maximise outcome of the budget utilisation.

It was decided in the meeting that Odisha would continue to work with IMF’s New Delhi-based South Asia Training Technical Assistant Centre (SATTAC) in areas of further improving fiscal management and resource augmentation in the State. STTAC, in fact, is providing world class capacity development facility to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Apart from capacity enhancement, the Centre provides technical assistance support to few States including Odisha.

Agriculture principal secretary Sourav Garg, Panchyatiraj principal secretary Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, water resources principal secretary Surender Kumar, finance joint secretary Satyapriya Ratha were present.