Government passes Uttarakhand budget bill in Lok Sabha
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.
Moving the Uttarakhand Finance Bill for discussion and passage, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre was taking the step as it was a “constitutional necessity” and assured the House that the government had moved with “abundant caution” on the issue. Not convinced by the government’s argument, the Congress staged a walkout before the Bill was put to vote.
Defending the move, Jaitley said the Uttarakhand governor had not approved the budget that was declared passed by the assembly Speaker on March 18. An ordinance was issued effective from April 1 as funds were needed for paying salaries and meeting expenses of the state in the new financial year. The ordinance deals only with appropriations for four months and “due to the cloud of March 18” the funds sanctioned under it had to be ratified by Parliament under all circumstances — whether a new government is formed, or the old one is restored, or the state is put under President’s rule.
However, Congress, TMC and BJD expressed concern over the move and also sought to know why the government was passing the Uttarakhand budget on the eve of a floor test in the assembly. BJD’s KS Deo moved a statutory resolution against President’s rule, but it was defeated by a voice vote. Deo emphasised he was supporting the Appropriations Bill but was opposed to the imposition of Article 356.