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Government moves to Court over Budget Cuts.

The ruling PPP/C Administration today filed an ex-parte action in court to challenge the Budget Cuts. The Government is essentially arguing that under the Constitution the National Assembly has the power to approve the National Budget but not to attach, what is tantamount to, a line item veto to it. Basically, the Government wants the court to declare that the National Assembly has to either approve or disapprove of the whole Budget not parts thereof. The Government is insisting that the reduction in the Budget Allocations shall affect the work of the President and that too would be unconstitutional. The Administration wants an order that would allow the Minister of Finance to draw from the Contingency Fund to continue the work of the Executive.

The Opposition that has a majority in the National Assembly reduced some budget agencies and some departments to one dollar. The Government has vehemently condemned the move to effectively close down some agencies/departments or rein in expenditure. This evening the Attorney General confirmed that the Government took the challenge to the court and indicated that all the parties named, including the leaders of the opposition parties in Parties, will have to appear for an initial hearing on Thursday Morning.

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