Full or interim budget: Why Modi government won’t go for a vote on account
New Delhi, Jan 7: There has been plenty of talk on whether the final budget by the NDA government would be a full-fledged or an interim one.
The interim budget which is also called as the Vote on Account is the most likely option that the government would take ahead of the elections. Sources tell OneIndia that a full budget is unlikely due to the lack of time. It would be next to impossible for full budget to be passed due to the election timetable.
Adding to this Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu hinted that the government normally just goes for a vote on account, only for a few days. That will also be only a few days. So it will be a continuous session as per the present arrangement, he had also said.
The budget will be presented by Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on February 1. This would be his sixth budget since 2014. When the Modi government came to power in 2014, two budgets were presented that year. P Chidambaram as finance minister in the previous UPA government presented an interim budget in February 2014 due to the elections being around the corner.
When the Modi government came to power in May 2014, Jaitley went to present a full budget in July. The normal practice is that if the budget falls just a few months before the elections then an interim budget is presented, leaving the full budget to the new government.
Jaitley is expected to follow convention and present only an interim budget and allow the new government to present the full budget. The budgetary exercises for the one to be presented in February had begun in October 2018 itself. The finance ministry had even imposed a quarantine from December, which bars the entry of the media into the North Block where the Finance Ministry is housed. The quarantine remains in force until the budget is presented.
An interim budget or a vote on account is a provision by which the government obtains permission from Parliament for a quantum of funds sufficient to incur its expenditures for the part of the year until a full budget is presented.
Polls from April onwards:
The dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be announced by March. The Election Commission of India has already begun the process of collecting details of the dates of festivals and school examinations, following which the poll schedule would be finalised.
While the date for the polls would be announced mid-March, the elections would be held in April and May, sources said. The polling is likely to be conducted in several phases across the country. The EC would ensure that the poll dates do not clash with the festivals in the states as well as the school examination.
A source informed that the first phase of the elections is likely to take place in the second week of April, while the last phase may take place in the second week of May 2019. In 2014, it may be recalled that in 2014, the polls were held in nine phases between April 7 and May 12.