The government has received a go-ahead from the Supreme Court to present the Union Budget on February 1. On Monday, the SC which was slated to hear a plea to push the Budget presentation date to after the Assembly Elections in the five states, dismissed the plea and said that the financial statement should be presented on February 1.
This year, the government decided to advance the Union Budget presentation to February 1, doing away with a decades-old practice of presenting it on the last working day of February. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that this would allow for the Finance Bill to be passed early and make funds available on time.
The Opposition parties had sought postponement of the Budget on the grounds that the ruling government could announce sops for the states in line for elections and sway the votes.
While dismissing the petition, filed by Manohar Lal Sharma, the Supreme Court said, “There is no illustration to support that the presentation of the Union Budget would influence voters’ mind in state elections.”