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IAS Mains Indian Polity Notes: Difference Between Full Budget and Vote on Account

Last Updated - January 04, 2017

Budget is one of the important topics in Indian Polity section of the IAS Mains paper. And there is lot of confusion among the students about the difference between Vote on Account and Full Budget. So we will try to explain the concepts between both Full Budget and Vote on Account. In this we will also cover interim Budget.

Our Govt. needs funds for its functioning. Although govt. collects money through taxes from Public. But for the expenditure of the same, it requires approval from the legislature.

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Article 266 of Our Constitution states that it mandatory for the govt. to take parliamentary approval for the drawing money from the funds collected by the Govt. of India. Besides, Article 114 (3) in our constitution states that no money can be withdrawn from the fund without enactment of a law (Appropriation bill).

The Parliamentary Approval requires Time

The full budget is passed after very long discussions. Although the govt. needs approval of expenditure for the next financial year (April 1 – March 31) in the current financial year, So the approval from legislature takes time.

Generally the discussion and voting of demands for the funds and passing of Appropriation Bill generally goes beyond the current financial year.

But Govt. also requires money for its regular functioning

Since Time taken is so long that whole parliament is not able to vote the entire budget before the starting of new financial year, therefore there is requirement to keep enough money at disposal of govt.

A special provision is made for “Vote on Account” by which Govt. obtains the vote of Parliament for a sufficient amount for the expenditure on different items for a part of year.

Vote On Account

Vote on Account is Fund in advance which the enable the govt. to carry on functioning until the voting of demand for grants and passing of the Appropriation Bill & Finance Bill.

This makes the govt. to finance the expenses for some period of year or until a full budget is passed. Usually the Vote on Account is taken only for two months. The amount is equal to one sixth of the estimated expenditure govt. required for the entire year.

Vote on Account is formal thing and is passed by Lok Sabha without any discussion.

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Can Vote on Account be Granted for more than 2 months?

Yes. It may happen during election year or when is it predicted that Demands and Appropriation Bill may take time longer than usual.

Difference between the Full Budget and Vote on Account

Full Budget is considered for both expenditure and revenue of govt. but Vote on Account focuses on the expenditure of the govt.

The vote on account has normal validation period of two months But the full budget is valid for the time period of 12 months (Financial Year).

Vote on Account is passed without any discussion by Lok Sabha. Whereas the budget is passed after the long discussions and Voting on demand for the grants.

What is Interim Budget?

An interim Budget in practical sense is a full budget, but is made by the govt. in its last year of ruling ie. Just before the election. An interim Budget is complete set of accounts which includes expenditure and receipts. Interim Budget may not contain any big policies.

Is it necessary for the govt. to present vote on account instead of Budget in an election year?

During election year, the ruling govt. usually takes vote on account or interim budget instead of full budget. While it is not necessary for the govt. to present a vote on account, but it would be not correct to impose the policies for the govt. that may come in the rule same year.

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