Centre issues ordinance on U’khand expenditure

Centre issues ordinance on U'khand expenditureNEW DELHI: The Centre has issued an ordinance to authorize expenditure from today in Uttarakhand, which is under President’s rule.

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

The ordinance is to provide for 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 Congress has said that it would move court against the ordinance as it contends that the Assembly had duly passed the Appropriation Bill on March 18 and the Speaker has declared it so.

The ordinance was issued as “Parliament is not in Session and 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 notification said.

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 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.

After the meeting, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that on March 18, 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.

Since the state is under President’s Rule and no budget could be passed earlier, the Cabinet had recommended an Appropriation Ordinance for Uttarakhand, so that valid withdrawal of the government revenue can be done, he had said.

In a rare development, the Budget session of Parliament was prorogued on March 29 to enable the government to promulgate the ordinance.

The decision to recommend such a course was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Singh on Tuesday following questions over the status of the Appropriation Bill which was declared as passed by the Speaker in the Uttarakhand Assembly under controversial circumstances. Meanwhile, in Dehradun Finance Secretary Amit Negi said the vote on account has been granted till July 31 this year.–PTI

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