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Jagan Govt’s Budget phobia: Why Ordinance on Budget again?

In any state of India, a democratically elected government is bound by constitutional duties which it ought to fulfill, irrespective of the circumstances prevailing in the state. But, for the Government of Andhra Pradesh since Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy became its Chief Minister in 2019, these constitutional duties seem to have long been forgotten. 
 
For the second consecutive year, the Jagan-led government has opted for Budget Ordinance. What this means is that there will be no Budget session again in the legislative assembly. Last year too, a vote-on-account budget was followed due to the unforeseen circumstances created by the Coronavirus pandemic. In such an emergency, all the departmental expenses and the COVID-related funds were drawn by the Government through an Ordinance which got the nod of the Governor. 
 
This year too, the same Ordinance route is being followed. According to the government, this vote-on-account budget shall be effective for three months. But, what seems disputable is the fact that the government is stating election season as the reason for not holding the Budget session. 
 
Ideally, given that presentation of the Budget is a constitutional duty of any government, the ruling government has to present it even if the session goes on for as short as 4 or 5 days. In such situations, the government can keep the discussion in the next session. But, Jagan and his cabinet believes that it creates it own rules and hence, is neither bothered nor is following these duties as a responsible government. 
 
This lack of accountability is irking not only the bureaucrats but also citizens. The Budget is one such task of the government to state the expenditure of the government on various aspects, projects, works and departments and present the transparent picture of state’s finance to its people. But, going by the Jagan government’s ways, it is clear that the government is not interested in this task. 
 
Therefore, it is raising questions on whether there is a huge money misappropriation happening internally within the government due to which the Jagan government is unable to present the clear state of finances in Andhra Pradesh. Many insiders state that funds are being drawn in the name of welfare schemes but are not reaching the beneficiaries and are in fact being diverted for other purposes by a few YSRCP leaders.
 
After much ruckus, the state government has stated that it will hold the discussion in April first week.However, many are questioning even the Governor’s role as to how he can accept the ordinance because there is neither an emergency in the state or any impossible/unnatural situation currently. “Why is the Governor a rubber stamp? Why isn’t he pushing the Chief Minister to fulfil a constitutional duty and present the Budget? Is there a fear that they will be exposed for their corruption?,” asked a political analyst. 
 
On the other hand, the YSRCP government’s reasons for local body polls and municipal elections as a hurdle to present the Budget seems invalid because the Telangana Government had a similar situation, yet held a short 10-day budget session recently. Therefore, this lackadaisical attitude of Jaganmohan Reddy and his council of ministers clearly reflects the lack of accountability of a democratically elected government which neither cares for the people nor believes in constitutional duties. 

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