Postpone budget till March 8 when state elections are over: Oppn to Election Commission

05 January 2017, 12:55 PM
Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad interacts with journalists outside the Election Commission premises. (ANI/Twitter)
Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad interacts with journalists outside the Election Commission premises. (ANI/Twitter)

Opposition parties including Trinamool Congress (TMC), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Janata Dal United (JDU) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) urged the election commission to ask government to postpone the Union budget till the assembly elections in five states are over.

On Wednesday, Election Commission had announced the poll dates for five states, starting on February 3.

The Union budget for the fiscal 2016-17 will be presented on February 1.

The EC also added the modal code of conduct has come into effect with immediate effect on Wednesday.  

According to reports, Congress along with 16 other opposition parties wrote a letter to Election Commission requesting to put hold on budget presentation on February 1. 

After the EC announced the election dates, there were debates that presentation of Budget will be in violation of the model code of conduct and oppositions fear that government may announce sops to woo voters. 

However, finance minister Arun Jaitley made it clear that the government is not going to extend the budget date.

''With a view to start spending on welfare and other schemes right from Day 1 of the fiscal year, the government has shed long-standing tradition of presenting the Budget on the last day of February. Starting expenditure early is one of the objectives behind advancing the Budget as following previous year patterns led to spending beginning after monsoon months. '' 

"The actual expenditure must start from April rather than half the year being lost and starting after the monsoons. That is the whole object of this exercise and we stand by that exercise," he added. 

Read More:  Arun Jaitley defends budget presentation before polls, asks what opponents are afraid of?

First Published: Thursday, January 05, 2017 08:14 AM
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