Government mandate only for interim budget: Ahluwalia

February 16th, 2009 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Reacting to criticisms over lack of measures in the interim budget presented Monday, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said in an election year, an incumbent government had the mandate only to present a vote on account.

“I think this is a failure to understand the limitations of an interim budget,” Ahluwalia said, soon after industry and average citizens complained that the interim budget tabled in parliament by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had no specific measures on tax rates or to help cushion the impact of global slowdown.

“We needed the vote of account to continue the expenditure. Its a future necessity,” Ahluwalia said about the exercise that was to primarily seek parliament’s approval to continue funding the government beyond the end of this fiscal, till a regular budget is presented by the next government.

“Traditionally, interim budgets are a way of prolonging spending,” he said, alluding to the fact that with national elections due soon the regular budget would be presented by the next government.

“The finance minister (Mukherjee, who has additional charge of finance) has said the new government will have to continue with fiscal measures. He has also said that what is provided in the interim budget is not enough.”

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