The Budget session of Parliament is likely to held from January 31 to February 13 and the Interim Budget is expected to be presented on February 1, government sources said. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh deliberated on the dates for the Budget session and the final decision will be announced after the Rajya Sabha is adjourned sine die and the committee recommends prorogation of the Winter Session, sources said.
What is the Interim Budget?
The Interim Budget is presented by the incumbent government in the election year during the joint sitting of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha in Parliament. Although, in the full-fledged Union Budget, the central government presents an overview of revenue and expenditure for a financial year (April 1- March 31).
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made it clear that this year the government will table an interim Budget. According to the sources, the Minister will neither present a full Budget or a vote-on-account.
How does the Interim Budget differ from a Regular Budget?
There is a major difference between an Interim and Regular Budget. In an Interim Budget, the vote-on-account seeks Parliament’s nod for incurring expenditure for part of a fiscal year. On the other hand, in the case of the Regular Budget, the estimates are presented for the entire year. But one should keep this mind that the new or the incoming government can change the estimates completely when the final Budget is presented.
How the Interim Budget can help the government
The Interim Budget is an opportunity for the government to list the number of policies and achievements to woo the voters before the polls. To recall, in 2009, former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee talked about the Lok Sabha polls and again reminded the voters of ‘helping hand’.
In 1995-96 interim Budget, the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh gave in-depth details of the work done by PV Narasimha Rao government and also made allegorical reference to the ‘friendly hand’.
P. Chidambaram in 2014, when he was the finance minister concluded his budget speech by exuding confidence that voters would keep their faith in “a hand”.
Now, it would be interesting to see how FM Jaitley concludes his sixth Union Budget speech.
(With agency inputs)