New Delhi: Striking down previous reports that the Narendra Modi government is likely to present a full-fledged Budget instead of a vote-on-account, Finance Ministry has clarified that the Budget to be presented on February 1 will be called Interim Budget.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in a press conference in the National Capital has clarified that this Budget will be called Interim Budget 2019-20.
Generally the tradition in an election year is to present an interim budget or vote on account. The full budget is presented by the new government after the elections. As per practice, a vote-on-account or approval for essential government spending for a limited period is taken in an election year and a full-fledged budget is presented by the new government.
Also, as per the convention, the government does not introduce any new service, nor does it bring Finance Bill or present the Economic Survey in an Interim Budget.
Goyal will present the Budget on February 1 as he was last week given the additional charge of finance ministry after Arun Jaitley left for US for medical treatment earlier this month.
Ministers of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan and Shiv Pratap Shukla had last Monday held the annual pre-budget ritual, Halwa Ceremony, to mark the beginning of printing of Budget documents in the North Block, the seat of Ministry of Finance.
The Narendra Modi-led government has scrapped the colonial-era tradition of presenting the budget at the end of February. With the preponement of Budget, ministries are now allocated their budgeted funds from the start of the financial year beginning April.
This gives government departments more leeway to spend as well as allow companies time to adapt to business and taxation plans.
Previously, when the budget was presented at the end of February, the three-stage Parliament approval process used to get completed sometime in mid-May, weeks ahead of the onset of monsoon rains. This meant government departments would start spending on projects only from August-end or September after the monsoon season ended.