Union Cabinet recommends ordinance for Uttarakhand expenditure

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 31, 2016 13:47 IST
The Cabinet gave its nod for issuing an ordinance to authorise expenditure beyond April 1 in Uttarakhand. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

The Union Cabinet gave its nod on Wednesday for issuing two Ordinances, including the one to authorise expenditure beyond April 1 in centrally-ruled Uttarakhand.

The other Ordinance seeks to bring in changes in the Enemy Property Act, 1968. The Cabinet recommended re-promulgation of an earlier ordinance issued in January as Parliament could not pass a bill to replace it within the stipulated time.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh in the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is visiting Brussels.

“The Union Cabinet today met and in view of the situation in Uttarakhand has recommended an Ordinance for the consideration of President. On March 18, the Budget could not be passed in the Uttarakhand Assembly. The Appropriation Bill was also not passed.

“In the absence of any legal passage of the bill, no withdrawal can be done as far as Uttarakhand government is concerned from the Consoldiated fund of the state. Since the state is under President Rule and no budget could be passed earlier, today the Cabinet has recommended an Appropriation Ordiance for Uttarakhand, so that valid withdrawal of the government revenue can be done,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

In a rare development, the Budget session of Parliament was prorogued last night to enable the government to promulgate an ordinance with regard to Uttarakhand.

The decision to recommend such a course was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Singh on Tuesday following questions over the status of the Appropriation Bill, which was declared as passed by the speaker in the Uttarakhand Assembly under controversial circumstances.

After the CCPA meeting, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu had met President Pranab Mukherejee to brief him about the decision taken in the CCPA about proroguing the Budget session. The President issued the order late last night.

The Budget session, which began on February 23, has been in recess since March 16 and was to meet again on April 25.

With only two days left for the next financial year to begin, there was no time to pass the state Budget in Parliament. Therefore, the Ordinance route was taken to enable the state to meet its expenditure needs beyond April 1.

Under Article 357(1)(c) of the Constitution, the President can authorise, when the House of the People is not in session, the expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State pending the sanction of such expenditure by Parliament.

For this the House of the People -- the Lok Sabha -- should not be in session.

Once the President prorogues the Houses, a fresh session will have to be called.

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