Akhilesh fears UP will lose out on schemes, urges Modi to delay budget

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The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister wrote a letter to Modi, urging him to postpone the union budget.

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging his government to present the Union Budget after the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

According to reports, the chief minister in the letter said that his state might lose out on schemes as the Election Commission (EC) has forbidden the Centre to announce steps for the poll bound states as it may sway the opinion of voters.

Read: BJP will put SP’s schemes in Budget to gain votes in UP: Akhilesh Yadav

The Centre had swept aside objections raised by opposition parties and is all set to present the Union Budget 2017-18 on February 1 but will refrain from making any announcements pertaining to poll-bound states, as per the EC order.

The government had defended its move to advance Budget presentation by a month saying it had made clear its intention on this way back in September 2016 so as to help begin the investment cycle right from the first day of the new fiscal, April 1.

Opposition parties including Congress and TMC had approached the Election Commission against presentation of the Budget just before the first of the five states — Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur – go to polls.

According to the scheme drawn, the first part of the Budget Session of Parliament will start on January 31 with President Pranab Mukherjee’s address and tabling of the Economic Survey, which sets the scene for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s fourth annual budget. The Budget will be presented the next day.

The Cabinet had in September last year decided to scrap nearly century-long practice of having a separate railway budget and instead merged it with the general budget.

It had also decided to scrap a distinction between plan and non-plan expenditures.

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