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Pranab Mukherjee releases Budget Manuel
New Delhi, Sept 28 (Agencies):
Published on 28 Sep. 2010 9:43 PM IST
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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that the Union Budget has evolved over the past six decades to reflect the strength of India’s democratic processes in shaping its economy, and has emerged as a crucial tool for public finance management.
Releasing the first Budget Manual of Union Government here, Mukherjee said:” The Budget process of our country predates the Independence and has evolved over the past six decades to reflect the strength of our democratic processes in shaping our economy.” “This manual is an attempt to bring together the entire Budget related activities and procedures. which were hitherto available in a dispersed manner in the form of executive instructions and guidelines,” he added.
Congratulating the Budget Division of the Department of Economic Affairs for taking this initiative, Mukherjee said: “Budget manual is a comprehensive document explaining in detail the procedures and activities connected with the preparation of Budget.
“ It will serve as a guidance document to the officials involved in Budget making in the Finance Ministry as well as in other Ministries/Departments,” he added.
He said that it is also expected to act as a good reference document for interested readers and stakeholders.
“This document is an effort in the direction of fostering greater transparency and better understanding about procedures and systems relating to making of Union Budget,” he added.
He further said that the manual also deals with the Organizational aspects, roles and responsibilities of the Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and the responsibilities of various wings of the Executive in the Budget making process.
“The Union Government’s accounting and classification systems have also been explained apart from the working of the Consolidated Fund of India, the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India,” he added.
He said the purpose of this manual is to provide guidance and a training tool for the officers and staff engaged in the Budget preparation, not only in the Finance Ministry but in other Ministries/Departments as well.

Hostage crisis: Fate of abducted cops uncertain
RAIPUR, SEPT 28 (AGENCIES): The fate of four kidnapped policemen hangs in the balance as the 48-hour deadline issued by the Maoists to the Chhattisgarh government ends in barely four hours.
The families of the abducted policemen have made desperate appeals to the Maoists. The four policemen were kidnapped by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on September 19th. Maoists are demanding the halting of security operations and release of their cadres.
The distraught families of the four policemen kidnapped by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district appealed to the ultras not to kill the hostages even as the 48-hour deadline set by the Naxals for their safe release expires today. The family members are worried about their safety and some of them have left for Andhra Pradesh.
On the other hand, the state government said it will take the help of social activists and local media for the safe release of policemen kidnapped on September 19 from Bhopalpatnam police area of the Naxal-affected district. Principal Secretary (Home) N K Agarwal told a source that all efforts are being taken in this regard.
The personnel were taken captive from an area bordering Andhra Pradesh and police have information that they have been kept in the forest on the border, he said. “Chhattisgarh is in constant touch with the Andhra Pradesh government and has appealed to the social activists and media in the neighbouring state to assist in unconditional release of the policemen,” Agarwal said.
Chief Minister Raman Singh today held a high-level meeting, where he directed the officials to ensure that the policemen are freed unharmed, he said.
Religious leader Swami Agnivesh appealed to the Maoists not to harm four policemen. Speaking to the media he said, “I appeal to Maoists that now they have taken hostage of them as PoWs, no bodily harm should be done to them.” Agnivesh.
Maoist sympathiser Vara Vara Rao and Singh, among others, have appealed to the Maoists to free Assistant Sub-Inspector Sukhruram Bhagat, constables Narendra Bhosale, Subhash Patre and B Toppo.
About the 48-hour deadline set by the ultras, Agarwal said the government is looking into their demands. Earlier, state Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar said the government has become active in its approach to ensure the safe release of policemen. “The Naxals have demanded halting the state government’s Operation Green Hunt against them, releasing imprisoned cadres, curtailing police atrocities and initiating peace talks in exchange of the abducted policemen,” he said.
Kanwar said he has directed the senior police officers to verify the letter of demands received from Naxals since it reached government through local media last night. “They have set a deadline of 48 hours for the state government to comply with their demands,” the minister said.
“The deadline given is not sufficient, as the decision of calling back paramilitary forces from Naxals infested areas and releasing of Naxals from jails cannot be taken in hurry,” Kanwar said, adding the government was thinking over the demands. The deadline ends tomorrow night.
Seven policemen, including an Assistant Sub Inspector, a SPO and three constables, were abducted by Naxals on September 19 from Bhopalpatnam near Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border. The bodies of three of them were discovered two days later with Maoist literature.
According to police, a woman relative of SPO is also in Naxal captivity.

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