While calling for evaluation reports of various CSS and CS schemes from ministries and departments by January 15, 2021, the ministry said, “depending on the resource constraints, fiscal space and evolving priorities of GoI, even schemes with positive evaluation reports may in some cases have to be discontinued.”
Further, schemes that show positive outcomes and justify the need for continuation from FY22 onward may be continued with modifications depending on resource constraints, the memorandum said.
The appraisal of these schemes would be scheduled for February-March next year, however, no such scheme would be continued beyond the end of the current fiscal if the appraisal for continuation of the scheme has not been completed by March 31, 2021, it said.
“For those CSS/CS schemes, where the evaluation has not been done, appropriate budget cuts would be made in FY 2021-22,” the ministry said.
The total project outlay for the schemes should be done for the five year period of FY22-FY26 and should ‘ordinarily’ be not more than 5.5 times the actual total expenditure in FY20, it said.
Government schemes were made co-terminus with Finance Commission (FC) cycles to align them with the resource cycle of the central and state governments. The 14th FC’s award period ended in FY20, but the 15th FC’s final report was still awaited at the time.
This prompted the finance ministry in January, to approve an interim extension to all ongoing schemes till the end of the current fiscal or till the recommendations of the 15th FC came into effect.
These instructions would not apply to infrastructure projects under the ministries of road transport and highways, railways, shipping and power, which would have a separate review process, the ministry said.
While goods and services tax (GST) collections have improved lately, crossing the Rs 1 lakh crore mark for both October and November, data available till October showed a year-on-year shortfall of Rs 2.26 lakh crore in total receipts for the Centre.
Experts and institutions have projected India’s fiscal deficit at about 8% of gross domestic product in the current year compared to the budget estimate of 3.5%, highlighting the strain on the government’s finances.