Leader of the House and Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament yesterday, the decision of the Government to present a Vote on Account instead of an Appropriation Bill was not done succumbing to influence or pressure from the IMF or any other organisation.
It is not appropriate for the present Parliament to pass the Budget for 2010 as there would soon be a General Election, he said.
A new Parliament, a new Cabinet of Ministers will be appointed after the upcoming election and that new Parliament must be given the opportunity to pass a new Budget, he said.
The Government was ready to present a budget for 2010 and dates were also fixed. But, economic experts and political parties have stressed the Government that presenting a Budget for next year was not practical and suitable.
Therefore, we have decided to present a Vote on Account instead of Budget , he said.
When the PA Government came to power in 1994, it presented a Vote on Account as there wasn t sufficient time.
Thereafter in 1999 for 2000, a Vote on Account was presented in view of the Presidential election.
The Government which came to power in October 2000 too had presented a Vote on Account instead of a budget.
The UNP Government that came to power in 2001 also presented a Vote on Account in February 2002.
Therefore, the new Government elected to power must be given the opportunity to prepare a budget on the basis of its development programs.
Thus, the Government has decided to present a Vote on Account, he said.