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Govt can’t present ‘full budget’, it will be unconstitutional, says former finance minister Yashwant Sinha

Yashwant Sinha’s comments come amid reports that the BJP-led government may present a full Budget and not an interim one.

union budget Updated: Jan 28, 2019 16:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Budget,Union Budget,Budget 2019
Yashwant Sinhawas a former finance minister in NDA government.(PTI)

Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has said that the NDA government cannot present an economic survey, bring a finance Bill or introduce new services during in the interim budget and doing so will be unconstitutional.

His comments come amid reports that the BJP-led government may present a full Budget and not an interim one. Traditionally, in an election year, the outgoing government presents an interim budget or so-called vote on account. Although, several governments, including the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2009, haven’t shied away from making policy pronouncements in interim budgets.

“Those who say there is no rule against presenting a full budget, why do we have Article 116 in the constitution then? said Yashwant Sinha, a finance minister in the previous NDA dispensation.

Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance could break with convention and present a full budget instead of an interim one,

The Congress had also targeted the BJP over the reports that the government will present a full budget saying that it would challenge any such move on “the floor of the house”.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had said the government was making a desperate attempt to make “grandiose announcement and hoodwink people”.

“The BJP government’s move to present a regular budget few months before the elections is against all norms, rules and established Parliamentary practices. The term of the government is five years, which ends in May 2019. The government presented five full budgets and can only present a vote on account,” he said.

Sharma, a former Union minister, said for a budget for 12 months, the government must have the same tenure. A tenure of three months and a budget for one year is “bizarre and unprecedented”, he said.

Union minister Piyush Goyal has temporarily been given charge of the finance ministry in view of Arun Jaitley’s indisposition and is likely to present the Union Budget.

This is the second time that Piyush Goyal will be the interim finance minister; the first was in May, last year when Arun Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 16:28 IST