Budget, Economic Survey go digital

The government plans to print fewer copies of the 2017-18 Economic Survey and the General Budget, in an effort to go green.

The printed copies will be exclusively for the 788 members of Parliament. Unlike previous years, no printed copies will be made available either to the general public or media.

The Economic Survey as well as the Budget will be posted online on the Ministry of Finance website once these documents are tabled in the Lok Sabha on January 31 and February 1, respectively.

Over the last few years, Parliament has significantly reduced the printing of documents, including committee reports and questions and answers. In 2014-15, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance had asked the government to print fewer number of copies of the Economic Survey and the Budget documents.

Last year, the government slashed the print run of the , Budget 2017 India by 60 per cent. It had printed 5,100 copies of the voluminous Budget documents. This was reduced to 2,047 copies for the 2016-17 Budget. Official sources said the government was likely to print less than a thousand Economic Survey and Union Budget copies this year.

Until a couple of years back, accredited journalists were entitled to a copy each of the Economic Survey and the Budget documents. This was reduced to three Budget copies per media house for the 2016-17 Budget. Paid Budget copies were also available for institutions and corporates.

But according to a Finance Ministry advisory issued on Tuesday, “no hard copies” of the Economic Survey and the Budget would be distributed to the media this year.

Sale of Economic Survey and Budget copies at a Lok Sabha sales counter on the Parliament House premises might also be stopped. People can access the Economic Survey and the Budget online.

The only exception will be 788 MPs (543 of the Lok Sabha and 245 of the Rajya Sabha), who will not get more than a copy each against coupons to be issued to them.

The government incurred Rs 3,450 each to print 2,047 copies of the 2016-17 Budget. These, however, were sold at the Lok Sabha counter at a subsidised Rs 1,500. The total cost of printing of Budget documents was Rs 70.62 lakh.

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Budget, Economic Survey go digital

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