Union Budget 2020 to be presented on February 1 : Sources

Union Budget 2020 to be presented on February 1 : Sources

The United States is concerned about the implications of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in India, a top American diplomat responsible for monitoring international religious freedom said on December 13.

"One of India's great strengths is its Constitution. As a fellow democracy, we respect India's institutions, but are concerned about the implications of the CAB Bill," Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, said in a tweet.

"We hope the government will abide by its constitutional commitments, including on religious freedom," he said in his tweet, which comes days before next week's 2+2 ministerial between India and the US.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are scheduled to arrive at Washington DC next week for the second 2+2 ministerial with their respective American counterparts -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper -- on December 18.

Meanwhile, at a Congressional briefing organised by the Indian American Muslim Council, Emgage Action and the Hindus for Human Rights, Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch expressed concern on Thursday over the human rights situation in Kashmir and Assam.

Stanton is known for creating the famous "Ten Stages of Genocide" as a presentation to the US Department of State when he worked there in 1996. He also drafted the UN Security Council resolutions that created the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda and the Burundi Commission of Inquiry.

Claiming that Assam was seeing "the construction of a pretext for expulsion [of Muslims]", Stanton said the "ongoing genocide" in both Kashmir and Assam was a "classic case" and followed the pattern of the "Ten Stages of Genocide".

The Union Budget is the most comprehensive report of the government's finance in which revenues from all sources and outlays for all activities are consolidated. The budget also contains estimates of the government's accounts for the fiscal, called Budgeted Estimates.

Earlier, the Budget was presented at the end of February. The Narendra Modi-led government scrapped this colonial-era tradition. It also did away with a separate announcement of a Railway Budget. Ending a nearly century-old practice of having a separate budget for the Railways, the government merged it with the general budget starting 2016.

The rationale for presenting the Budget in February is to plan the allocation of funds to ministries from the start of the financial year beginning April. It also gives government departments more leeway to spend as well as allow companies the time to adapt to business and taxation plans.