Budget Session begins on Feb 23; Union budget on Feb 29

SansadTV Bureau

Finance Minister Arun Jaitly File Photo- PTI

The Budget Session of Parliament will commence from February 23 and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present his government’s third annual budget on February 29. The dates for the session were finalised after the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh met in Parliament on Thursday morning.

The Railway budget will be presented on February 25 and the Economic Survey for the coming year will take place on the next day, February 26.

“First part of Budget session will end on March 16 where as the second part that starts from April 25 will conclude on May 13.” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu after the CCPA.

In the upcoming session, the government is keen to pass The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill to implement the highly debated Goods and Services Tax regime across the country.

The government claimed that it was making all attempts to have a constructive session, unlike the last Monsoon Session which was drowned in protests.

“We are talking to all parties, formally and informally and our attempt is to make this budget session positive and constructive,” Naqvi said.

Government had also called an all-party meet before convening the CCPA. There, members of the Opposition demanded that the Budget Session of Parliament should not get curtailed despite Assembly polls in five states.

“The Session’s working days should not be curtailed. They should hold a complete recess to enable the Standing Committees to examine the budgetary allocations to various ministries,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters after the meeting.

JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said, “There was consensus among various parties that despite the Assembly elections in a few states, the number of working days of the budget session should not be reduced. But parties left it to the government for deciding the dates of recess.”

“The Election Commission will then decide the dates for elections knowing when Parliament is sitting. The Prime Minister will also know about the sittings and will remain in House and not be abroad,” said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

The process for the Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry will begin in the midst of the session where leaders of parties like BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress, Left parties, AGP, AIADMK, DMK, have high stakes.

(With inputs from PTI)