State opts for vote-on-account in view of ‘contingencies’ before LS polls

The Gujarat government has decided to go for a vote-on-account,instead of a full-fledged assembly budget session,in view of what the government calls ‘some contingencies’ that may arise due to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Written by Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Published:January 22, 2009 1:17 am

The Gujarat government has decided to go for a vote-on-account,instead of a full-fledged assembly budget session,in view of what the government calls ‘some contingencies’ that may arise due to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The 10–day budget session seeking a vote-on-account will commence from February 17.

At its weekly meeting on Wednesday,the state Cabinet decided to recommend the Governor to summon the 10-day Assembly session with his address to the House,government spokesperson and state Health Minister,Jay Narayan Vyas,told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Vyas said the state Cabinet decided to go in for a vote-on-account seeking the approval of the House for four-month expenditure,as the Union Government also chose to go ahead with the same in view of the impending LS polls.

“The state government will present a full-fledged budget for the year 2009-10 in the Assembly after four months of the vote-on-account are over,” he said.

Responding to a query,Vyas said he was not aware of what would be the exact schedule of the upcoming LS elections,but the poll process (to be initiated by the Election Commission of India) would certainly have clashed with the full-fledged Assembly budget session,had it taken place.

Vyas also contended that since the UPA government would also seek a vote-on-account,it would be difficult for the state government to fix the exact amount (in the State budget) it would need to match with the Central grant for the various Centre-sponsored schemes.

Gujarat will be seeking a vote-on-account for the 18th time since its inception in 1960,including on two occasions preceding the Lok Sabha elections.

The government had sought a vote-on-account on February 20,2004 due to the Parliamentary polls in March that year.

Vote-on-account amounts to violation of democratic principles: Cong

AHMEDABAD: Stating that the ‘vote-on-account’ being brought by the state government amounted to “violation of democratic principles,” Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) on Wednesday vowed to oppose it tooth and nail in the state assembly.

Addressing mediapersons,GPCC president Siddharth Patel and Leader of Opposition,Shaktisinh Gohil,said that vote-on-account is brought in when there is some emergency or elections.

But since there is no emergency to justify the move to bring in vote-on-account in place of the full budget,the Congress would oppose it vehemently.

“It is either an attempt to delay the imposition of new taxes in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections or the bureaucrats,who were busy with the Vibrant Gujarat Summit,did not find time to prepare the budget,” said the Congress

leaders,adding that whatever might be the reason,the move will have a negative impact on the state.

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