KATHMANDU, July 10: With opposition parties including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML standing firm against a full budget, the caretaker government-led by Baburam Bhattarai is preparing to bring a partial budget for the fiscal year 2012/13.
The NC and UML have already conveyed to the government that they would give consent to a budget that represents one-third of the total expenditure for the current fiscal year and gives continuation to the ongoing plans and program as per the provisions stipulated in the Interim Constitution.
“We have said that we will give consent to a partial budget. President has also conveyed the same to the prime minister,” said NC leader Ram Sharan Mahat.
Mahat argued that the government will not be in a position to bring a full budget with new plans and program going against the provisions in the Article 96 (1) of Interim Constitution, the Supreme Court verdict and the Election Code of Conduct.
Talking to Republica, Mahat warned of a new political situation if the government chose to bring a full budget. “It will be foolhardy on the part of the government if it went ahead with a plan to bring a full budget despite the constitutional provisions and Supreme Court´s verdict. A new situation may emerge if the government forcibly brought a full budget,” Mahat said.
As per the Interim Constitution the government can bring a budget only by presenting it at the parliament. But as there is no legislature-parliament, the only option before the government is to bring the budget through ordinance, which has to be approved by the president.
Mahat hinted that a new political situation may emerge in case the government forcibly chose to bring a full budget and the president asked in writing to the government to bring full budget only after forging consensus with all political parties, rejecting the government´s proposal.
CPN-UML Spokesperson Pradip Gyawali said though his party was against the idea of a caretaker government announcing a new budget, it won´t obstruct the process if the government brought one-third budget as per the Article 96 (1) of the Interim Constitution.
“It won´t be good to obstruct the day to day activities of a government. There will be no protest on the part of UML if the government brought one-third budget giving continuity to previous plans and policies,” he said.