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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Chairs Pre-Budget Consultation with State Finance Ministers

New Delhi: Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, chaired the pre-budget consultations with Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories (with Legislature) in New Delhi today. The meeting marks a critical step in the formulation of the Union Budget for FY 2024-25, aiming to incorporate diverse perspectives and address state-specific needs.

Attendees included Union Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, Chief Ministers of Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim, Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Telangana, as well as State Finance Ministers and other key officials from both state and union governments.

The Finance Secretary welcomed the participants, setting the stage for a collaborative discussion. Many ministers praised the Government of India’s ‘Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment’ and offered suggestions for its enhancement. These contributions are expected to shape the upcoming Union Budget, reflecting regional priorities and concerns.

In her address, Sitharaman emphasized the Union Government’s continued support to states through timely tax devolution, Finance Commission grants, and the disbursement of GST compensation arrears. She highlighted the importance of the ‘Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment,’ noting that while most of the loans under this scheme are untied, some are conditional upon states undertaking citizen-centric reforms and sector-specific capital projects. She urged states to take full advantage of these loans by meeting the necessary criteria.

“The support through timely tax devolution and GST compensation arrears is aimed at providing a stimulus to growth across the states,” the Finance Minister stated, underlining the Union Government’s commitment to fostering economic development nationwide.

The participants shared valuable suggestions for the Union Budget 2024-25, alongside specific requests pertinent to their respective states. These inputs covered a range of issues, from infrastructure development and social welfare to financial management and policy reforms.

Sitharaman expressed her gratitude to all delegates for their insights and assured them that their suggestions would receive careful consideration during the budget preparation process. “We value your inputs, and they will be duly considered as we work towards a budget that addresses the needs and aspirations of all regions,” she said.

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