The Center for Economic Fragility & Governance of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham organized a Symposium on Union Budget 2016-’17 on March 9, 2016, at the Acharya Hall, Amrita School of Engineering, Amritapuri Campus.
Dean of the Faculty, Dr. V. S. Somanath, inaugurated the seminar by lighting the lamp. In his opening remarks, the Dean informed the audience that Union Budget 2016-’17 was received well by the market and the corporate sector. He made some interesting observations about the budget in terms of citizens’ participation during the preparation of the budget. The Symposium Coordinator, Prof. K. G. Sofi Dinesh, then invited the expert speakers to make their presentations.
Dr. Govinda Rao, Member 14th National Finance Commission, Government of India (Former Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi and Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore) analysed the budget as a public finance expert with special reference to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations and General Sales Tax.
Dr. M. Narayana, Technical Advisor, Kerala State Planning Board and former Director of Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, Trivandrum, discussed the implications of the budget for the state of Kerala with particular reference to public revenues and plan and non-plan expenditures. Dr. Shyam Nath, Director, Center for Economic Fragility & Governance, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, took a different route to examine the budget proposals, keeping the growth scenario and expenditure management in the forefront. He underlined the importance of capacity decentralisation at the level of gram panchayats while fiscal decentralisation is becoming more visible.
The floor discussion was coordinated by Dr. Yeti Nisha Madhoo inviting the members of the audience, particularly the students to participate. Dr. Madhoo was of the opinion that opening the door for external players was not a good strategy. Rather the emphasis should be placed on empowering the farmers and rural youth.