Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday informed Parliament that the government was considering changing financial year
to January-December from April-March.
The present financial year
(April 1 to March 31) was adopted by the Government of India in 1867 principally to align the Indian financial year
with that of the British government.
Prior to 1867, the financial year
in India used to commence on May 1 of the current year to April 30 of the following calendar year. Moily said the government could announce changing the financial year
in Budget in February and accordingly the next Budget presentation date could be adjusted. There are reports that government may advance the Budget presentation to November from February.
“The issue of changing financial year
was examined by many committees since pre-Independence days. It is not a new thinking. “I am also for it, but don’t hurry up. Take states’ opinion. Only three states, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have given opinion and that too unofficially,” said Moily, the senior Congress leader.
Among others, the panel had looked into budgetary reforms including merger of Railway Budget with the General Budget.
The former Union minister and chairman of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission said that the change in financial year
should be done because “April-March is not rooted in Indian culture and ethos. It is absolutely British”.
Moily said several committees have gone into the issue, however, the Administrative Reforms Commission headed by him refrained from getting into it because earlier suggestions for change in fiscal year were never accepted by the government.