Pre-budget consultation begins

Bhubaneswar: A pre-budget consultation meeting started here today. Former Finance Ministers, budget experts and policy makers have participated in the meeting to discuss various aspects of the annual budget 2018-19.

The 2018-19 annual budget is likely to be the last one ahead of next year's Assembly election by the Naveen Patnaik Government.

The meeting is being chaired by Finance Minister Sahshibhusan Behera. Finance Secretary TK Pandey was also present.

Sources said the State Government has been planning to announce a number of new schemes keeping the middle-class, farmers and women in mind in the upcoming budget. The BJD Government has also been planning to announce initiatives to fulfil promises it had made in the BJD's election manifesto ahead of the 2014 Assembly election.

The upcoming annual budget is expected be presented in the third week of February, after the presentation of the Union Budget.

Earlier, the State Government had sought suggestions and inputs from common men, civil society organisations and different advocacy groups to shape the annual budget 2018-19.

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