Congress attacks NDA on 'full-fledged' budget

Congress attacks NDA on 'full-fledged' budget

Congress on Thursday took on the Narendra Modi-led government for its plans to present a "full-fledged" budget in the upcoming Parliament Session, saying it will be "flagrant violation" of parliamentary conventions, procedures and traditions.

It asked the government to present only a vote on account while warning that it would oppose presentation of a full-fledged budget both inside and outside Parliament.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the NDA government "does not have the electoral mandate and legitimacy" to present six full budgets in five years. "We would like to draw your attention today to an extremely grave issue that has serious constitutional ramifications. The NDA-BJP govt is planning to present a full-fledged union budget by flagrantly violating parliamentary conventions, procedures and traditions followed over the past seven decades," he told reporters.

"Since they assumed office in May 2014, they have presented the budget for 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19," he said.

Tewari's comments came against the backdrop of reports that the government will announce some measures in the budget that will have an impact on voters.

He said the next fiscal commences on 1 April 2019 while the tenure of this government ends on 26 May 2019."A government which is going to be in office for a mere 46 days from April 1, how does it have the legitimacy and mandate to present the budget for 365 days?" he asked.

He said whenever a union budget is presented, the Centre also presents a vote on account to cater for the contingency between presentation and passage of the budget. "Knowing fully well that BJP government is on their way out, we strongly demand that the BJP govt follow constitutional propriety and only present Vote on Account on 1st Feb 2019," he said.

Separately, Congress' Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma tweeted, "for a budget for 12 months, the govt must have the tenure left. Tenure of 3 months and a budget for 1 year is bizarre & unprecedented. Not to forget that the budget is followed by the Finance bill that must be adopted in 75 days."

"The intent is questionable. After having made false promises and failed to deliver, this is a desperate attempt to make grandiose announcements and hoodwink the people in utter disregard of the constitution and Parliamentary practices," he added.