HP seeks ECís permission to spend sanctioned budget funds

With the Assembly polls over, the Himachal government has asked the Election Commission (EC) to relax restrictions under the model code and allow various state departments to spend their sanctioned budgets.

Expenditure on developmental works had come to a halt due imposition of model code of conduct in Himachal Pradesh since October 3 last month.

In a letter to the EC, Chief Secretary S Roy pointed out that working season was very limited due to the onset of winter and development works would be hit if sanctioned budget of various departments was not allowed to be spent.

"Polling had already been held in the state on November 4 and the purpose of imposing the code of conduct has already been achieved and as such, departments should be allowed to spend the sanctioned budget," he added.

The model code of conduct will remain in force till December 24 and very little time will be left for spending the budget, as the progress of work is very slow in mid and higher hills during the peak winters. The government had only spent the budget of first two quarters on 2012-13 and can incur maximum expenditure till mid December, failing which a substantial amount of unspent budget will lapse.

The code of conduct will remain in force for 73 days ó the longest period in the electoral history of the state.

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