Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Government has brought expenditure details, not budget: Dr Mahat

Economists and opposition leaders have said that the special budget brought by the Dr Baburam Bhattarai-led caretaker government is not a ‘budget’ as it lacks essential elements of a budget.
It is just an interim public expenditure arrangement, said Dr Ram Sharan Mahat commenting on the ordinance budget brought by caretaker government’s finance minister Barshaman Pun.
"The budget should have at least six elements — government's policy and programme, Financial Bill, Budget Allocation Bill, Appropriation Bill and Internal Debt Bill — but what Pun brought yesterday is just a continuation of revenue mobilisation and expenditure details," he said, adding that a budget without any programme and policy is useless.
Pun presented an interim public expenditure arrangement of Rs 351.93 billion to President Dr Ram Baran Yadav yesterday, and the President approved it so as to not let people suffer.
Dr Mahat also praised the President and said, "Because of the pressure from the President, the government did not dare present a full-fledged budget."
"The government has put itself in a spot by bringing the 'so-called' budget without forging consensus with opposition parties," he said, adding that the opposition, therefore, will not support it.
Likewise, CPN-UML leader Yubraj Gyanwali, said that his party will not help the government implement the budget. "We don't have faith in the government, so CPN-UML will not help it implement the budget," he said.
He blamed the government for forcing the President to approve the budget. "We believe that there was some unwanted pressure," he said, adding that opposition parties will remove the government from the streets. "We will not hold talks with the government hereafter," he said.
However, UCPN-Maoist leader Agni Sapkota, said that the budget was a necessity of the time. "If the budget was not brought yesterday, there would be a great financial crisis," he said, "It could have led the country towards a failed state." He warned opposition parties, saying that UCPN-Maoist is also ready to fight from the streets.
"In a democracy, every party has the right to protest and we will not remain silent," he said, "Dr Bhattarai's government will be in power until opposition parties forge consensus regarding the government and election of the Constituent Assembly," he said. The government has set the CA election date for April-May next year.

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