The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday went into a virtual financial shutdown, due to non-passage of the Appropriation Bill, as a result of which it could not pay salaries to its staff.
This was the first time that the state government had to remain in shutdown mode as the annual Budget was not passed by the Legislature.
It will not be able to spend any money from the government coffers till a constitutional process is completed and the state governor gives assent to the Appropriation Bill.
"We hope this will be completed by Saturday as the required process is being set in motion," Ajeya Kallam, Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister, said.
While staff salaries have not been paid, the government cannot make any other expenditure till the Appropriation Bill becomes law.
The government, however, paid over Rs 1,442 crore in the form of welfare pensions to over 59 lakh beneficiaries.
"We have withdrawn this money two days ago and distributed it today," Agriculture Minister K Kanna Babu said.
The Appropriation Bill, passed by the Legislative Assembly on June 16, could not get through in the Council because of the tussle between the ruling YSRCP and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), resulting in a deadlock.
The Vote-on-Account Ordinance issued earlier in March elapsed on June 30 but the crucial Appropriation Bill, which paves the way for budgeted expenditure, did not become law.
As per the Constitution, a Money Bill is deemed to have been passed by the Council if it is not returned to the Assembly within 14 days.
"The 14-day period ends tonight, after which the Assembly Speaker will send a relevant file to the Governor for his assent of the Appropriation Bill. We hope this process will be completed in the next couple of days and the stalemate will end by Saturday," Kallam noted.
Blaming the TDP for the current situation, "which is unprecedented in the state history," Agriculture Minister Kanna Babu demanded that Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu tender an apology to the government staff and also the people of the state.
"He (Chandrababu) has blocked the Appropriation Bill for his mean political purposes," Kanna Babu lashed out.