Free Press Journal

Govt moves Uttarakhand budget bill in LS


New Delhi: Amid opposition resistance, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today moved in the Lok Sabha the Uttarakhand budget for discussion, saying its passage was a constitutional requirement as “there was a serious doubt and cloud” whether the budget was approved by the state assembly on March 18.

The development came even as Uttarakhand is set to have a vote of confidence tomorrow to determine whether Congress leader Harish Rawat has enough numbers to retain power in the state that is currently under the President’s Rule.

Moving the Appropriation Bill in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said its passage will not have any bearing on the Vote of Confidence which will take place in the assembly tomorrow. The Vote of Confidence in the state assembly can either restore the existing government, establish a new government or result in continuation of the President’s rule, he said. Jaitley said the state government, current or a new one, would be free to come out with its own budget as the Appropriation Bill seeks funds for only four months of the current fiscal.

Responding to objections over moving the bill, Jaitley said the state Governor had not given its approval to the budget and in absence of the approval, it could not be deemed to have been passed by the House on March 18.

Under the order of the Supreme Court, the President Rule will be suspended for two hours tomorrow in Uttarakhand to allow Harish Rawat government to seek vote of confidence in the state assembly.