Former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha on Monday urged the Centre to present an interim budget on February 1, PTI reported.
The former Union finance miniser said it would be “entirely improper and unconstitutional” of the BJP-led governnment to present a full Budget ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Budget Session is scheduled to begin on January 31.
Sinha’s statement comes days after a warning from the Congress that it will stage protests if the government presents a full budget instead of a vote on account, which is a convention followed by outgoing administrations. Congress leader Manish Tewari had said last week that such a step would be a “blatant violation of Constitutional propriety” as the government’s term will end just 56 days into the 2019-’20 financial year.
Sinha accused the BJP of “dressing up” economic figures despite the country facing an “unprecedented agrarian distress”, unemployment and a non-performing asset problem. He told reporters in New Delhi that the Narendra Modi-led government will soon claim that a “river of milk” flows through the country and that the people have never been happier.
The former finance minister said there was no precedent of outgoing governments presenting full budgets. He also advised the Centre against tabling the economy survey, which is generally presented a day before the Budget, and the Finance Bill.
Sinha said he had presented two interim budgets during his time in the government. The Centre would likely to claim that the presentation of a full budget was not a violation of Constitutionm, he added. The former minister cited Article 116, which contains provisions for an interim budget for outgoing administrations, and highlighted the importance of the convention.
Sinha praised Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s induction into the Congress and said her presence would strengthen the Opposition party.