Assembly: Omar takes on FinMin, ‘How have You Issued SROs without Passing Budget First’

Riyaz Ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

“Take one step and if you need me, I will be by your side; my team will be with you,” Omar Abdullah during discussion on Governor's speech on May 27, 2016. (KL Images: Bilal Bahadur)
“Take one step and if you need me, I will be by your side; my team will be with you,” Omar Abdullah during discussion on Governor’s speech on May 27, 2016. (KL Images: Bilal Bahadur)

Speaker Kavinder Gupta on Wednesday ruled that all the SROs issued by the Finance Department in follow up to the budget announcements should be withdrawn. He was responding to intense debate by the opposition that no orders can be issued on basis of the budget proposals unless the house passes the budget, slated for Thursday.

Leader of Opposition and National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah took up the issue as the house resumed for question hour. He accused the government of “violating the house rules and demeaning the chair”.

As soon as the lower house of the state legislature resumed business this morning on day 7th of current 2016-17 J&K Budget Session, Omar Abdullah intervened and asked Finance Minister as “how SROs with regard to budget presented on May 30 were issued on May 31 without being passed by the house?”

“We know you have numbers,” Omar said addressing FinMin Economist Drabu, “but you have violated sanctity of the house. You could have passed budget easily.”

Addressing speaker, the Beerwah lawmaker, Omar said, “why have you invited us here. We could have used this time in our constituencies. You are wasting our time,” he said waving a “file of SROs issued by PDP-BJP government and uploaded on its official website”.

FinMin Dr Drabu prior to his Budget 2016-17 speech. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)
FinMin Dr Drabu prior to his Budget 2016-17 speech on May 30, 2016. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)

Responding to claims, FinMin Drabu said, “we have not done anything wrong. We have only continued the practice of Union Government which issues the SROs only the day when budget is presented (in Parliament).”

To this, independent legislator Er Sheikh Ab Rasheed told FinMin, “what are we doing here? Are we daily wagers? What have we to do with their (Union Government) budget?”

The reply of the FinMin forced Opposition members to stand up from their seats and lash out at Ms Mehbooba led government for “following PM Modi in every matter”.

While all this was happening, Udhampur MLA engaged in verbal dual with BJP J&K Head and Jammu-West MLA, Sat Pal Sharma. “You have violated all rules,” Pawan Gupta told Sharma. Gupta was MoS Finance in Mufti Sayeed led government for 10 months in BJP share. Gupta and BJP parted ways later.

As the ruckus continued, Speaker Kavinder Gupta intervened. “All the SROs be withdrawn till 2016-17 budget is passed by this august house,” he directed J&K’s PDP-BJP Government.’

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