India's Modi urges speeding up of budget preparations

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 01, 2014 1:08 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all government departments to advance budget-related processes by three months to implement projects faster in the next fiscal year, building on his strong electoral mandate to push his reforms agenda.

Modi's election victory in May came largely on the back of his promises to rejuvenate the Indian economy and the 64-year-old leader told top bureaucrats on Saturday that already "good things are starting to happen".

He asked the officials to expedite budget procedures so that in the financial year that begins on April 1 "work could begin as per the provisions of the new budget in real-time", according to a government statement.

India's budget is usually passed by the parliament in February but it takes months for funds to be released.

In his second interaction with government secretaries since coming to power, Modi urged them to work boldly and told them there would be no political interference.

"We are one team. Let us bring openness in governance, come closer and work together," he told them at his residence.

On Sunday, Modi will deliver his second radio address to the nation.

Modi used his maiden radio address last month to urge hundreds of millions of Indians, many of whom have no access to television, to do their part to help get India's economy moving.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Gareth Jones)