Prez signs U’khand budget Ordinance; Cong move HC

RSTV Bureau
Dehradun: Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat addressing a presser at Dehradun, March 29, 2016. Photo - PTI

Dehradun: Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat addressing a presser at Dehradun, March 29, 2016.
Photo – PTI

President has signed an ordinance authorising expenditure for Uttarakhand which has been placed under a Central rule. The BJP-led central government had already prorogued the Budget session of Parliament to enable the government to promulgate the ordinance approving of financial businesses of the state of Uttarakhand from Consolidated Fund.

The ordinance allows withdrawal of about Rs 13,642.43 crore to meet expenditure on certain services for the ongoing fiscal in the state, which was put under President’s rule on March 27.

Considering the extra ordinary legislative situation the state of Uttarakhand President Pranab Mukherjee signed an ordinance to authorise expenditure from today in Uttarakhand which is under central rule.

On the hand, Congress party moved the Uttarakhand High Court challenging a central ordinance authorising expenditure in the state, which is under President’s rule, as the party has contended that the Assembly had duly passed the Appropriation Bill on March 18.

A writ petition challenging promulgation of the ordinance was mentioned by senior leader and former Union minister Kapil Sibal before the division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice KM Joseph and Justice VK Bisht.

Earlier on Friday, a notification issued from Rashtrapati Bhawan read that “President is satisfied that circumstances exist which rendered it necessary for him to take immediate action for the purpose of timely compliance of financial businesses of the state of Uttarakhand”.

The Uttarakhand Appropriation (Vote on Account) Ordinance, 2016 was promulgated by the President on 31 March the last day of the Financial Year. The decision to issue the ordinance was taken on Wednesday at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on an official visit abroad.

“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,” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after the Cabinet meeting.

The passage of Appropriation Bill happens to be the heart of the issue with BJP and nine Congress rebel MLAs alleging that Harish Rawat government failed to pass the bill lawfully. Whereas, the Congress party has been claiming that the money bill was passed with a voice vote.