With Lok Sabha elections due in May-June, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said on Thursday that the government has decided to hold an extended winter session of Parliament from February 5 to 21.
According to a media report, the government will get a vote-on-account on February 17.
In an election year, Budget may be presented twice?first to secure vote-on-account for a few months and later in full. According to the convention, the government will get a vote-on-account passed and the new government which is voted in will present a proper budget.
Normally, the Union Budget is presented on February 28 and gets approved by Parliament after lengthy discussions with the entire process extending into May.
On the other hand, the vote-on-account is an interim Budget which is required since no money can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the government’s expenditure without Parliament’s approval. Parliament’s sanction is referred to as vote-on-account. All taxes such as income tax, customs, central excise etc and all loan raised by the government are credited to Consolidated Fund of India.
The annual budget includes both the manner in which the money is to be spent and how it is to be raised.
However, the vote-on-account does not make any changes in the prevailing tax rates and is restricted completely to the expenditure side of the government’s budget.
A vote-on-account allows the government to seek Parliament?s approval for government expenditure for a part of the year.
Vote-on-account technically refers to a sanction of Parliament for withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the government?s expenses.
Since Parliament will not be able to vote on the entire Budget before the beginning of the new fiscal i.e. April?on account of general elections?the government would seek a vote-on-account.
The government normally seeks a vote-on-account, when it is unable to pass a full Budget in Parliament before March 31 or when the term of the government ends close to March 31.
The Government obtains the vote of Parliament for its expenditure on various items for a part of the year.
A vote of account deals with only expenditure, while a budget deal with both expenditure and receipts. Usually, a Vote-on-account is taken for a period of two months. But during election year or when it is anticipated that the main Demands and Appropriation Bill will take longer time than two months, the vote-on-account may be for a period exceeding two months.