AMID SPECULATION that the NDA government may present a regular budget instead of a vote-on-account, the main opposition Congress on Thursday said it will oppose in Parliament presentation of a full-fledged budget as it would be violative of parliamentary “conventions, procedures and traditions”. It argued that the government does not have the electoral mandate and legitimacy to present a sixth budget.
BJP leaders, however, indicated that a full-fledged budget will be presented on February 1. Questioning the government’s intent, senior leader Anand Sharma said the government after having failed to deliver on the false promises that it had made to the people was making a “desperate attempt to make grandiose announcements and hoodwink the people”.
Addressing a press conference, his party colleague Manish Tewari said, “It would be a flagrant violation of all parliamentary conventions, procedures and traditions… The NDA-BJP government has already presented five full-fledged union budgets… The tenure of this government comes to an end on May 26, 2019… So a government which is going to be in office for a mere 46 days from April 1, 2019… how does it have the legitimacy for presenting a budget for 365 days?”
“For a budget for 12 months, the government must have the tenure left. A tenure of 3 months and a budget for 1 year is bizarre and unprecedented. Not to forget that the budget is followed by Finance bill that must be adopted in 75 days. The intent is questionable. After having made false promises and failed to deliver, this is a desperate attempt to make grandiose announcements and hoodwink the people in utter disregard of constitution and Parliamentary practices,” Sharma said.
Tewari asked the government to follow Constitutional propriety and only present a vote-on-account.
Ruling BJP leaders indicated that what is going to be presented on February 1 will be a full-fledged budget which will have announcements for different sections of the society. BJP sources said there is “nothing called vote-on-account” and “budget is always a full fledged one”. They also indicated that the budget will have “something for every class” of society.