“Step by step, brick by brick, the edifice of India’s legislature is being destroyed” said the Finance Minister yesterday in a scathing criticism to a recent Supreme Court Judgment wherein it had issued guidelines for disaster /drought management. This remark by Arun Jaitley was reportedly welcomed by both opposition and treasury benches reportedly by thumping on their desks in support.
“We have the National Disaster Response Fund and the State Disaster Response Fund and now we are being asked to create a third fund. The appropriation bill is being passed. Now outside this appropriation bill, we are being told to create this fund. How will I do that? India’s budget-making is being subject to judicial review,” FM Arun Jaitley said in Rajya Sabha.
During the discussion about GST Bill in the Upper house of Parliament, the Congress party had demanded to set up a dispute-resolution authority for resolving disputes under the goods and services tax, which will be headed by a judge. Citing that this was strongly opposed by the states and pointed out that taxation matters are a political decision, Jaitley said “Why do you want to surrender parliamentary and state legislature’s jurisdiction to the courts? Taxation is the last of the powers with the legislature and you are talking about surrendering it.”
Jaitley even remarked:““For heaven’s sake, I beseech you in the interest of Indian democracy not to go on this misadventure… With the manner in which encroachment of legislative and executive authority by India’s judiciary is taking place, probably financial power and budget making is the last power that you have left. Taxation is the only power which states have.”