In a departure from its usual schedule, the government is likely to present the general budget this year on March 16. The fortnight-long delay is being attributed to the Assembly polls in five states.
Government sources said today that the budget session, which normally starts around February 20, may begin on March 9 or 12. The Railway Budget will be presented on March 14.
Since the election code of conduct will be in place because of the Assembly polls and the fact that the Presidents address contains policy statement of the government, the view was that the budget session should be delayed, said a minister. The election process for the five states ends on March 4.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has already indicated that the presentation of the Union budget would be delayed this time. Mukherjee today presided over a meeting of the Cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs which decided to recommend to the President that the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha be prorogued.