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LS clears Demands for Grants for 2016-17 for Uttarakhand

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha has passed the Demands for Grants for 2016-17 and Appropriation Bill 2016 for Uttarakhand, which is currently under President’s Rule.

The Bill will authorise the Uttarakhand Government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund to meet its financial commitments in the current fiscal for four months ending July.

Replying to a debate in the House, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the authorisation of appropriation for Uttarakhand is a Constitutional necessity as the Appropriation Bill in the State Assembly was defeated on March 18.

He said 36 members in the 70-member House had voted against the Bill, but despite this, Uttarakhand assembly Speaker termed it as passed and even ignored the members’ demands for division.

He said the Speaker had converted the minority vote into majority. Jaitley said as the Bill could not be passed in the assembly, there was no allocation of funds to meet the State expenditure form 1st April onwards.

Jaitley also justified the imposition of President’s Rule in the State saying that there were enough reasons for it. He said democracy means rule by majority and if majority fails the passage of budget in the assembly, the government cannot continue even for a minute.

After the reply of the Finance Minister, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded the government to defer the Appropiration Bill as the floor test in the state assembly is to be conducted tomorrow. Later the Congress leaders staged a walkout from the House.

Earlier, initiating the discussion on the Budget, Gourav Gogoi of Congress accused the NDA Government of destabilising the Non-BJP-ruled states.

He alleged that the NDA Government in the Centre could not wait for the floor test in the Assembly which was scheduled on 28th of March for political gains and imposed Central rule.

Participating in the debate, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank of the BJP countered the Congress allegation saying that the circumstances warranted imposition of President’s rule and there was no other option. (ANI)

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