For the second year in a row, the Andhra Pradesh government on Sunday brought out the state Budget in the form of an Ordinance that authorised an expenditure of Rs 70,983 crore for a few months of the 2021-22 financial year. Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan promulgated the 'Andhra Pradesh Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Ordinance, 2021,' authorising the government to withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund of the state for a part of the financial year, commencing on April 1.
The Governor also issued the 'Andhra Pradesh Appropriation (No 2) Ordinance, 2021,' authorising a supplementary expenditure of Rs 7,955 crore during the 2020-21 financial year. The government did not conduct the mandatory Legislature session to pass the Budget before March 31, citing elections to the local bodies and the bye-election to the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat as the reasons.
The Chief Ministerâ€™s Office circulated the Budget papers to the ministers online recently and thus the Cabinet approved the Ordinance. This was subsequently communicated to the Governor, upon whose approval the Ordinance was promulgated on Sunday.
Last year, the government skipped the Budget session of the legislature due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and brought out an Ordinance. It conducted the Legislature session in June 2020 and passed the Budget for 2020-21 financial year.
Opposition parties found fault with the government over promulgating an Ordinance for the second year without conducting the Budget session of the legislature. "This is nothing but bankruptcy of the government. It only exposes the gross contempt of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government towards the people, the legislature and the opposition parties. Getting the Budget approved through an Ordinance is an evil tradition set in by the Jagan regime," Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and former Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu lashed out in a statement.
State Congress working president N Thulasi Reddy also said it was unfortunate that the government got the Budget approved in the form of an Ordinance without conducting the legislature session.