The Modi government, which has been rallying for a January-December financial year, is unlikely to switch to the same this year, according to media reports. A senior official in the government said that a January-December financial session would mean the Budget would have to be presented by October-end or early November, which is “unrealistic”. The government is however considering advancing the presentation of Budget by two weeks. The current April to March financial year tradition has been followed for 150 years.
The Modi government has expressed desire to depart from that tradition and switch to the January-December session. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had informed in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha that: “The matter of changing financial year is under consideration of the government”. Government think-tank Niti Aayog had also pushed for a January-December financial year which is a practice followed by various other countries. Moreover, the past one year has seen two big reforms – demonetisation and GST. The economy will take some time to adjust to the effects of these two changes and is likely to suffer some disruptions.