Model code did not bar full Budget presentation

Poll-bound West Bengal will see the placing of a Vote-on-Account Budget in the State Legislative Assembly on March 21.

Stating this, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta told reporters here on Wednesday: “As has been done in the past ahead of Assembly elections, this time too only a Vote-on-Account Budget will be placed in the House.”

He said neither would there be any new announcements nor would there be any fresh tax proposals in the Budget. “A month ago I had asked my department officers to prepare papers for a Vote-on-Account Budget.”

Dr. Dasgupta's statements assume significance in view of conjectures in this respect following the announcement of a six-phase election schedule for the State Assembly elections. There was a view that the model code did not bar the government from placing a full Budget in the wake of impending elections so long as it was sought to be passed in the House.

The Model Code of Conduct laid down by the Election Commission guides how political parties and candidates must conduct themselves during the election process.