Search
+

    Constitutional gridlock may come in way of Andhra Pradesh tapping state coffers

    Synopsis

    Legal experts ET spoke to said the state government cannot draw and spend money from the exchequer since both legislative houses — assembly and council — were adjourned sine die without adopting the Appropriation Bill that authorises expenditure of government funds.

    The assembly, where the YSR Congress has 151 of the 175 members, had adopted the state budget and sent the Appropriation Bill to the upper house. The 58-member council is dominated by the TDP with 28 members and it could not take up any Bills following the scuffles.
    HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh may face a constitutional gridlock, hampering its ability to draw funds from the state coffers to pay salaries and finance welfare programmes.

    Legal experts ET spoke to said the state government cannot draw and spend money from the exchequer since both legislative houses — assembly and council — were adjourned sine die without adopting the Appropriation Bill that authorises expenditure of government funds.

    But lawmakers of the ruling YSR Congress said the stalemate could last at the most only for a few days. An official at the chief minister’s office said the Bill would be deemed to have been passed by both houses if the council did not return it within 14 days of the assembly clearing it. Other immediate remedies include the central government providing a wavier on the rule and the governor extending an ordinance that had authorised its spending since March but will expire on June 30.

    Last Wednesday, the legislative council witnessed scuffles between members of the ruling YSR Congress and the opposition Telugu Desam Party, forcing the chair to adjourn the house without adopting many critical Bills including the Appropriation Bill, which authorises expenditure of government funds.

    The assembly, where the YSR Congress has 151 of the 175 members, had adopted the state budget and sent the Appropriation Bill to the upper house. The 58-member council is dominated by the TDP with 28 members and it could not take up any Bills following the scuffles.

    The YSR Congress has nine members in the council, while disciplinary action is pending against half a dozen TDP members who had shifted loyalties towards the treasury benches over the past 12 months. The Andhra government had in March passed an ordinance for a vote-on-account budget for the April-June period with an outlay of ?70,000 crore. On Tuesday, the state assembly adopted the full budget with an outlay of ?2.24 lakh crore.

    The ordinance issued during the lockdown expires on June 30 and the state government should have obtained the nod of the council for the Appropriation Bill to enable it to draw funds from the exchequer from July 1, legal experts pointed out.

    Jandhyala Ravi Shankar, a constitutional lawyer who had served both the houses in the undivided Andhra Pradesh for a decade as an adviser, said the Appropriation Bill must be transmitted from the assembly to the council in a bicameral legislature.

    “The Appropriation Bill was passed by the assembly but did not reach the council as it was not tabled. Technically, the Bill is in transit,” he said. To enable the government pay salaries and fund welfare schemes, TDP national president Chandrababu Naidu is learnt to have written to the government to hold an emergency session of the council to adopt the Appropriation Bill.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

    Also Read

    1 Comment on this Story

    Suresh Kamath52 days ago
    Interesting Case of such Gridlock of Bill in AP and hope these Resolve the ISSUE sooner and help ease the tapping of the Coffers to help benefit the PEOPLE of the STATE against COVID and other facilities NEEDED for them
    The Economic Times