Budget not to be deferred: Centre to EC

Budget not to be deferred: Centre to EC

 The Centre has conveyed to the Election Commission that the presentation of the Union Budget — scheduled on February 1 — should not be deferred in view of the Assembly polls in five states.

Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha wrote to the EC that presentation of the Union Budget to Parliament was a constitutional requirement and the government had decided to do it well before the poll panel had announced the schedule of the elections in Uttar Pradesh and four other states as well.

The EC had last week sent a communiqué to the Cabinet Secretary asking the view of the government on the demand of the Opposition parties to postpone presentation of the budget in view of the declaration of poll schedules in the states.

Sources said that the poll panel was examining the response of the government and would take a call soon.

The poll panel on January 4 declared the schedule of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. Over 16.80 crore people will cast their votes in the 690 Assembly constituencies in the five states in February and March.

The Model Code of Conduct came into force in all the five states immediately after the announcement of the poll schedule.

The Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and other political parties on January 5 met the EC and urged it to ask the government to defer presentation of the Union Budget.

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