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