Nepal: Supreme Court clears way for partial budget

Nepal`s Supreme Court has allowed the Baburam Bhattarai-led caretaker government to introduce a partial budget.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s Supreme Court has allowed the Baburam Bhattarai-led caretaker government to introduce a partial budget through an ordinance, advising the Maoist-led alliance to forge consensus among squabbling political parties to bring out a full-fledged version of the budget.

Responding to a writ that demanded the court to stop the caretaker government from presenting a full annual budget, the Supreme Court yesterday said any stay order was not needed for the time being.

The apex court, however, said that the best way for the government to bring out a full budget would be through wider political consensus.

"The court`s refusal to issue a stay order as demanded by the petitioners means the government can now bring out the budget," Joint Spokesperson of the Supreme Court Hemanta Rawal said.

A division bench of Justices Damodar Sharma and Ram Kumar Shah suggested the government follow the process provisioned in Article 96 of the Interim Constitution.

The Article allows the government, under different difficult circumstances, to bring out a budget in line with the provisions in the Finance Act of the current fiscal year.

Last Thursday, Advocate Rajesh Silwal had moved the court against the government`s bid to introduce a full budget without political consensus.
The petitioner had argued that introduction of the budget without political consensus would allow the government to unduly influence voters at a time when election has already been announced.

Meanwhile, Nepali Congress, country`s main opposition party today said the caretaker government has no authority to introduce a full-fledged budget through an ordinance and it will oppose any such move by the Maoist-led alliance.

Prime Minister Bhattairai had dissolved the Constituent Assembly after it failed to write the new Constitution within the May 27 deadline and announced fresh elections to be held on November 22 this year, a move strongly opposed by the opposition parties.


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