Centre Passes Expenditure Ordinance for Uttarakhand

On March 18, the State Budget could not be passed in the Assembly. The Appropriation Bill was not passed.

Published: 02nd April 2016 03:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2016 03:36 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI:  With President Pranab Mukherjee signing an ordinance to authorise expenditure in Uttarakhand, the state will be able to withdraw money for its budgetary use.

The Uttarakhand Appropriation (Vote on Account) Ordinance, 2016 was promulgated by the President on Thurdsay, according to an official notification issued on Friday.

The ordinance is to provide for the withdrawal of certain sums from and out of the Consolidated Fund of the state of Uttarakhand for the services of a part of the financial year 2016-17, it said.

The ordinance allows withdrawal of about Rs.13,642.43 crore to meet expenditure of certain services for the ongoing fiscal in the state, which was put under President’s rule on Sunday.

The decision to issue the ordinance was taken on Wednesday at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on an official visit abroad.

On March 18, the State Budget could not be passed in the Assembly. The Appropriation Bill was not passed. In the absence of any lawful passage of the Bill, no withdrawal can be done as far as the Uttarakhand government is concerned from the Consolidated Fund of the state, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said after the Cabinet meeting.

The Congress, which was leading the government before a rebellion of some of its MLAs triggered a crisis, dismissed the ordinance as “unconstitutional”. The party has said that it would move the courts against the ordinance as it contends the Assembly had passed the Appropriation Bill on March 18 and the Speaker had declared it so.

“Can there be two budgets? One passed by the state Assembly and the other promulgated through an ordinance by the central government?... How can the central govt be the arbiter of proceedings in a Vidhan Sabha? The Centre’s move is unconstitutional,” party spokesman Manish Tewari said.

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