Finance Minister Shri Kailash Gahlot accused the Central Government of wilful obstruction in preventing the Delhi Government from presenting its budget, on Tuesday. Shri Kailash Gahlot, addressed the ongoing budget session at the Delhi Vidhan Sabha today and called for an investigation into the delays caused by the Central Government. Shri Kailash Gahlot stated, “It is for the first time in the history of the entire country that an elected government is being prevented from presenting the budget.” He went on to detail the events of the previous day, informing the House that the Central Government obstructed the presentation of the budget despite the fact that the budget and important documents were submitted to the MHA on the 10th of March, and the LG was informed of the presentation date. Exposing the unconstitutional act, Shri Kailash Gahlot demanded an investigation into the delays caused by the Central Government.

Shri Kailash Gahlot said, “Yesterday, the central government obstructed the presentation of the budget. Everyone knew that the budget was to be presented on the 21st of March. It was mentioned in the House’s List of Business. The LG also knew of the date. On the 10th, under the requirement of law, the budget and sundry important documents were submitted to the MHA.” Yesterday, around 2 pm, the Finance Minister learnt that the MHA had raised certain queries. Immediately, he spoke to the Chief Secretary and the Principal Finance Secretary. “From 2 to 6 pm, I spoke to the CS twice and with the PS (Finance), over 3-4 times. We asked the MHA to send their queries as soon as possible so that we may resolve the issues. We immediately got to work on the letter and file sent over by the MHA. We responded to their queries and sent our reply back by 9 pm, after discussions with the Chief Minister. We received another reply from the MHA around 10.30 pm,” he said.

“If even an elected government is obstructed from presenting the budget, then in my opinion, there is no greater illegal and unconstitutional act,” Shri Kailash Gahlot said while lamenting the situation.

Accusing the central government of wilful obstruction, Shri Kailash Gahlot called for an investigation into the delays caused by the Central Government through the Chief Secretary, stating, “We had sent the budget for approval on 10th March. One thing I don’t understand, that the letter of the MHA is written and signed off on 17th March at 5 PM. From 17th March to 20th March 2 PM, the fact that the Finance Minister is not aware of such a letter, should be investigated properly.”

He further said that if a letter related to something so important, something like the budget, came in from the MHA at 5.30pm 17th March, then the Chief Secretary was under a legal obligation to bring it to the notice of the Finance Minister and the Government. “This time period in between should not have been wasted,” he remarked.

The Finance Minister further asked, “If we are not even allowed to present the budget, then why have the people elected this government? Why does this cabinet exist? Why does this CM exist? Why do the ministers exist? The 2 crore population of Delhi elected a government, it elected a CM to work. If we are to be stopped from working like this in every thing, if the central government prevents the functioning of the Delhi Government like this, then in my opinion, there’s no point of an elected government. If the Cabinet has approved the budget and sent it to the LG, if the legal procedure was followed, then on what grounds was an objection raised?”

He added that this is nothing but an attempt to stall the working of this government, to antagonise the people of Delhi. Explaining the impact of the move he said that if this budget is not presented, then salaries are stalled. “There can be no bigger unconstitutional move than this. Therefore, there should be a proper investigation of these facts,” he concluded.

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