Bengaluru: For the first time, differences between the top leaders of the coalition partners have come to the fore on the tabling of a new full-fledged Budget for 2018-19.
Co-ordination Committee Chairman and former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah yesterday said that there was no need for a fresh Budget and a supplementary Budget would do. Rejecting the suggestion outright, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy asserted that a fresh one was needed to demonstrate the direction of the new government.
Kumaraswamy reminded Siddharamaiah, “Prior to elections, you (Siddharamaiah) stated that you may have to present a new budget even if your own party comes to power. I clearly remember what you had stated.” Strongly pushing for a new Budget, Kumaraswamy said he would meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi to sort out the issue soon.
The former Chief Minister said before he laid down his office, his government had presented a full budget on Feb. 16, 2018 and sought a vote on account for three months. The coalition government would continue the programmes of the previous Congress government as well as the new proposals mentioned in his last Budget for 2018-19, he said. Kumaraswamy could add new programmes in the supplementary budget, he said.
Siddharamaiah said, “Article 205 of the Constitution provides for Supplementary Budget. As a Finance Minister, if you want to add any new programme, you can do it through Supplementary Budget and provide funds for such programmes. If a full-fledged Budget is presented again, what is the need for having a provision for Supplementary Budget?”
Reacting to Siddharamaiah’s suggestion, Kumaraswamy said, “Whenever a new government comes to power, it needs to demonstrate what its goals are. We cannot limit ourselves to presenting Supplementary Budget because there are many challenges before the government.”
“The next session will be convened in the first week of next month, during which we plan to present the Budget. The Congress and the JD(S) made several promises incorporating new programmes. A Supplementary Budget would not suffice to incorporate them all,” the CM said.