Budget as scheduled not a problem: CEC

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New Delhi/Kolkata: The Union Budget for 2012-13 may be presented as usually scheduled on the last day of February next with both Government and Election Commission not forseeing any problem due to Assembly polls in five states which would not have been completed by that date in Goa.

"Ideally, I should not comment on it on what the government does. We did try to… as it is we have a lot of problems… seven to eight considerations like climate, exams, law and order and festivals were taken into account. Except in Goa, we will be completing the elections in all four states by February 28, leaving February 29 for the budget. I have nothing to do with it. Our feeling was that if the budget does not have anything special for Goa, then there is no problem (about presentation of budget)," EC told PTI in New Delhi.

However, he added that it is not as if budget has not been postponed. "There has been a precedent once in the past of budget having been shifted to mid-March. But, if there are no announcements specific for Goa, there is no problem. It is for the government," he said. Quraishi was responding to a question whether presentation of the general budget would be deferred in view of elections whose schedule was announced yesterday.

The Assembly elections for Goa are scheduled to be held on March 3. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said he did not think there was any problem in presenting the Budget for 2012-13 on schedule in the wake of the announcement of Assembly elections in five states.

"The Union Budget is usually presented on the last date of February. Next year being a leap year, the budget is likely to be placed on February 29. The elections to all the state Assemblies, except in Goa, will be over by that date. So, I don`t think there will be any problem," he told PTI in Kolkata. Mukherjee, however, said the date for the presentation of the budget will be fixed after discussions at various levels.

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