Goa budget in trouble !

| 01 March 2002 17:29 IST

After dissolving Goa Assembly on the eve of the budget session, the state BJP government is now finding ways to get the financial budget passed in the Parliament.

"Give me a day or two and I will let you know the exact legal position. But I can assure you that we can get it passed in the Parliament", claims chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

While Governor Mohammed Fazal has dissolved the Assembly within 32 months on recommendation of the cabinet under provision of Article 174 (2) B, legal experts in the state have been opining that it has created problems in getting the budget passed.

The Assembly was scheduled to meet from 13 March, primarily to present the budget.

Adv Amrut Kansar, a former MP and a legal expert, feels that the Parliament is empowered to pass the budget only if the House is dissolved and President’s rule is imposed under Article 356 of the constitution. "Dissolution of the Assembly under Article 174 (2) B does not empower the Parliament to pass the state budget", he states.

While flaying this argument, Parrikar claims that there are multiple options available to solve the financial problem of the state in such a situation. "Our constitutional forefathers have predicted all such possibilities and provided enough solutions to it", he adds.

The chief minister however admits that he has no immediate solution to the problem and he has even sought opinion of experts from the union finance ministry on the matter. He is otherwise planning to issue an ordinance and get it ratified from the to-be-elected new Assembly in six months, under Article 206 r/w 210.

Parrikar was earlier speaking about Article 248, using residuary powers, to get the budget passed. But Adv Cleofato Almeida Coutinho, another legal expert, has pointed out that this article can be used only if proclamation is issued under Article 356, by imposing President’s rule.

Adv Coutinho however has suggested an option of using Article 249, wherein Parliament has powers to legislate in respect of a state subject in national interest, provided the Rajya Sabha declares by a resolution supported by two-thirds majority, that Parliament should make a law in this regard.

Goa has been confronted with this issue for the first time since the ruling BJP, even after dissolution of the House, continues in power till fresh elections are held. This is perhaps the reason why the opposition Congress is demanding President’s rule in the state, demanding level-playing field.

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