Vote On Account

Why is it in News?

In the election year, the outgoing government either presents an Interim Budget or seeks ‘Vote on Account’.

What is Vote on Account?

  • The constitution says that no money can be withdrawn by the government from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by law. For that an appropriation bill is passed during the budget process.
  • However, the appropriation bill may take time to pass through the Parliament and become a law. Meanwhile, the government would need permission to spend even a single penny from April 1 when the new financial year starts.
  • Vote on Account is the permission to withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund of India in that period, usually two months (it is generally 1/6th of the total Budget Amount).
  • Vote on Account is a formality and requires no debate.
  • When elections are scheduled a few months into the new financial year, the government seeks vote on account for four months.
  • Essentially, vote on account is the interim permission of the parliament to the government to spend money.
  • So vote on account is just an interim permission to spend money as against a full budget which is an elaborate financial statement of expenditure and receipts including changes in taxes and government policies.

Source: Economic Times