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Indian Finance

Volume 92: debated on Tuesday 2 April 1901

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether consideration has been given to the suggestion by the Royal Commission on Indian Expenditure, expressed in paragraph 69 of its unanimous Report, in support of proposals previously made, that the Indian financial year might end on 31st December, in order that the Indian accounts may be laid before Parliament at an earlier date than is now practicable, and that discussion of Indian finance earlier in each session may be made possible; and what decision has been reached; and at what date it is expected that the current Financial Statement and Accounts placed before the Supreme Legislative Council at Calcutta on 20th March will be presented to Parliament.

(1) A suggestion that the Indian financial year should be altered so as to end on the 31st of December was made some time ago; but a Select Committee of this House, in their Report of 1873, condemned it as undesirable. I have communicated to the Government of India the similar suggestion of the Royal Commission, but I do not anticipate that it will be found practicable to adopt it. (2) Special instructions have been given for the early transmission of a sufficient number of copies of the Indian Financial Statement to meet the demand of Members, and I hope that they may arrive early in May.