SRINAGAR: BJP, a constituent of the ruling PDP-led alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, today joined opposition National Conference and Congress in forcing the government to put on hold the implementation of various proposals made in the budget for 2016-17 since these have not been approved by the Assembly yet.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the budget proposals have been implemented by the government even as the House was still conducting the general discussion on the budget. "We know you have the numbers and you will pass the budget anyway. But some good suggestions could have come from here (assembly)," he said.
Omar said the orders for implementation of the budget proposals were issued by the government the same day Finance Minister Hasseb Drabu presented it in the Assembly.
"It is the contempt of this House. This House cannot be taken for granted," the former Chief Minister said. Urging Speaker Kavinder Gupta to interve in the matter, he said, the opposition leader said, "You do not have to protect the government all the time. You have to protect this House also."
Congress members led by Nawang Rigzin Jora also questioned the rationale of issuing the orders for implementation of the proposals when discussions on the budget had not been completed and the House was yet to approve them.
BJP leader Satpal Sharma also joined the opposition in opposing the move. "I agree with my friends (pointing to opposition benches) that these orders should be withdrawn till budget is approved by the House," he said.
"While this is an established practice at the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir has a special status due to which even laws passed by Parliament are discussed and debated in the state Assembly," Sharma said.
The Speaker also directed the government to put on hold the orders for implementation of budget proposals till the same are passed by the House. Responding to this, the Finance Minister said it was an established practice in the state and the Centre that notifications are issued after budget presentation.
However, he added, "If there is any discomfort on this account, we will put these orders on hold." The issue was raised by NC in the Legislative Council as well.
"The matter has been raised in the Lower House as well that the government has implemented the proposals made in the budget and has also issued orders in this regard. When it has happened, then there is no fun in having the discussions on the budget. What is the aim of these discussions in both the Houses then," said NC member Ali Mohammad Dar.