Political turmoil leaves Uttarakhand staring at financial crisis
Government employees in Uttarakhand feared for their salary in April as the governor has yet to clear the finance bill apparently passed by the Congress-led administration before central rule was imposed on Sunday.Uttarakhand crisis Updated: Mar 29, 2016 15:24 IST
Government employees in Uttarakhand feared for their salary in April as the governor has yet to clear the finance bill apparently passed by the Congress-led administration before central rule was imposed on Sunday.
Former chief minister Harish Rawat’s government tabled a Rs 40,000-crore budget for the 2016-17 fiscal on March 11 but a week later, nine Congress rebels joined the BJP in the House and demanded division of votes on the finance bill.
In the chaos, then Speaker Govind Kunjwal said the bill was passed through voice vote despite opposition from the BJP and Congress dissidents.
The crisis deepened after Kunjwal suspended the nine rebels under the anti-defection law and the Centre hit back by imposing President’s rule on the state.
But the oscillating turmoil left the finance bill in limbo. The bill is pending with the state law department, a senior official said.
Finance department officials might adopt an alternative plan as the bill could not be moved to Raj Bhawan for the governor’s clearance even 10 days after it was passed by the assembly.
A couple of top officials rushed to New Delhi on Monday for advice. Experts said the President can clear a finance bill that could later be rectified by Parliament.
“Now that the state is under central rule, the state has the option of knocking on the President’s door to prevent a financial crisis,” former chief secretary Indu Kumar Pande said.
Additional finance secretary Sridhar Babu Addanki allayed fears of an immediate crisis, saying financial exigencies were in place and working. “Officials are working on finding a solution. Let me assure that financial work will not be hampered,” he said.
His statement might lessen the anxiety of government employees over their March salary, due in April. But it couldn’t be confirmed if the wages will come on time.