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Vote-on-account this month

BS Bureaus in New Delhi | January 03, 2004 11:27 IST

The government is set to seek a vote-on-account in a special session of Parliament in the third week of January.

Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party said though the decision on an early election would be taken by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after his return from Islamabad, the country was expected to go to polls in the last week of April.

Finance ministry officials have been asked to expedite the preparation of the Budget papers. The ministry is also likely to issue some people-friendly tax notifications before the poll schedule is announced.

Officials said the revenue department had apprised Finance Minister Jaswant Singh of the revised revenue projections for this fiscal and had set tentative figures for the next.

Singh also met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to discuss the broad contours of his speech while presenting the vote-on-account. The finance minister will largely focus on stepping up expenditure on projects that can reap electoral dividends.

Officials said Singh could seek parliamentary approval for expenditure for more than three months. Along with the minister's statement, the vote-on-account is expected to include revenue and expenditure projections.

While the tax department will seek Parliament's approval for levying tax deduction at source and advance tax, which are yearly allocations, there could be some changes in indirect tax rates.

The finance minister has decided to skip the World Economic Forum annual meet in Davos from January 21-25 in view of the vote-on-account. The team will be led by Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley.

What will happen

  • Infrastructure projects will not be affected.
  • 10 per cent govt stake in ONGC and Gail will be sold.
  • Cellular operators will get their compensation. 

What will not

  • Several economic Bills will be terminated.
  • Economic Survey will not be tabled.
  • FDI for banks on hold.
  • Civil aviation policy stuck.
  • Major subsidies will remain.

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