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Vote-on-Account likely to be made a 'full-fledged Budget'

BJP leaders are of the view that the Vote on Account should be like any full-fledged budget.

Updated: Jan 28, 2019, 07.41 PM IST
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How interim should be Interim Budget 2019?
How interim should be Interim Budget 2019?
BJP leaders are of the view that the Vote on Account should be like any full-fledged budget and the government should not hold itself back in announcing sops for farmers, the rural sector and the middle class.

Party sources claimed the Vote on Account nomenclature used for a budget presented before the Lok Sabha election is misplaced and it should include all announcements that are made in the regular budget. While declaring any tax concessions would be difficult, relief for those sections that are on the radar of the BJP in the next general elections should be announced.

“Any budget means a full-fledged budget. The budget to be presented on Feb 1 is expected to be similar to a regular budget,” a senior BJP leader said.

BJP is trying to win back its core vote base of traders and upper caste while continuing to woo the Dalits, OBCs and the tribals.

Sensing this, main opposition Congress has cautioned the government against deviating from the norm of a Vote on Account sticking only to provisions for the next three months. BJP leaders maintain previous Congress governments have themselves breached this convention and have no right to preach them.

Though the party has reportedly given suggestions for announcing sops for farmers, its contours will be decided by the Narendra Modi government. BJP is not in favour of any loan waiver despite political pressure in the wake of a similar move by Congress in the recent Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that contributed to its victory.

But relief for farmers through other sops are likely to be announced. BJP has been facing the wrath of farmers as they have not got the right price for their farm produce. The increase in MSP to one and a half times the cost of production announced in the last budget has not been implemented effectively. BJP has performed badly in the rural constituencies in the recent Assembly elections.

The Vote on Account is only for three months before the new government presents a full-fledged budget in July. Though some governments have used the Vote on Account to make big ticket announcements, it has not always worked for the ruling party in retaining power.
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