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A fiscal framework for missions

November 1, 2015

Abstract: The inability of the National Mission on Protein Supplements program set up in 2011-12 to meet its objective of preventing price increases as illustrated by a surge in tur dal prices in 2015 provides a valuable lesson on general budgeting principles needed to make such government missions successful. Three critical components of budgeting are identified, as enumerated below:

  • The prospects of success of a mission will unquestionably be enhanced by good design. Funding must precede design of mission.
  • Institutional alignment. Institutional alignment of all participating agencies is a must. Since it is too much to expect all such agencies to make fully aligned budgetary provisions, it is necessary to have a dedicated lead agency for the mission, which would be given the overall financial allocation and responsibility. It then ensures that funds are made available to all the participating agencies.
  • Time consistency. To ensure time consistency, the mission budget must be designed over the life-cycle that is specified in the design.

Pragmatic prescriptions to implement these three components have been suggested.

Keywords: fiscal policy; incomes policy; price policy; welfare; well-being; poverty; food inflation

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