Appropriation is the process of setting aside the money for a particular purpose or expenditure. As per Article 114 of the constitution of India, no amount can be withdrawn from the consolidated fund of India without authorisation from the parliament of India or legislature of the states. Due to this, the parliament as well as state assemblies need to pass appropriation bills as a part of budget exercise to be able to withdraw money from consolidated fund of union or state to spend it on various public expenditure programmes and to run day to day affairs of government.
- The Appropriation Bill is passed by the Parliament/state legislature and then it is presented to the President / Governor after budgetary estimates are approved every year. It becomes an act after the assent by the President/governor to the bill.
- This bill is required to be passed for votable as well as non-votable expenditures and also any vote on account.
- Once the Appropriation Bill has been passed, no amendments in its amounts can be proposed in either Parliament or legislature.
- Once the bill gets President’s assent, it becomes Appropriation Act. The Appropriation Act authorities the government to withdraw funds from Consolidated Fund of India.
Appropriation amount proposes to present the total amount of funds sanctioned by the Parliament/State legislature in their budget. Any inconsistencies that arise between the amounts appropriated for a particular head of expenditure and what was the actually spent at the end of the financial year is reported by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to the Union and State Legislatures. Any expenditure in excess of what was approved requires scrutiny by the Parliament/State Legislature. Expenditure of Government such as expenditure incurred on the Judiciary, public debt repayments etc is called Charged Appropriation because they are not voted by the Legislature and such expenditure is ‘Charged on the Consolidated Fund of India under Article 112 (3) of the Indian Constitution. Appropriation bill is only presented in the parliament after the presentation of estimated expenditure specified under Article 113 of the Indian Constitution.