Ahead of the budget session 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoped for a productive and comprehensive parliamentary session. Addressing reporters outside the Parliament, he said, ‘There should be comprehensive discussion for welfare of society.’ He hoped that all the factions will come together in the parliament for the nation’s common good.
After the washed out winter session owing to protests over demonetization, Modi reached out to the opposition at an all-party meeting, urging them to work for the fruitful functioning of the parliament. The meeting was attended by all major political parties accept Trinamool Congress.
Briefing the reporters about the meeting, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said that PM called it the responsibility of every member of the parliament to ensure the smooth conduct of proceedings. ‘In election time, there can be some differences among us but parliament is Mahapanchayat. It should function’, PM, reportedly, said in the all-party meeting.
Pointing out that for the first time ever, the railway budget has been merged with the annual budget, he said, ‘This is the first time the budget has been advanced by a month. A new beginning is being made.’
‘This is for the first time that the budget is being presented on February 1. You all must be remembering the time when the budget was presented in the evening at 5PM. It was only during this time of Atal ji that the budget was moved to 11 AM’, he added.
Government defied opposition allegations
Opposition parties including Congress have alleged that early presentation of budget will impact the level playing field during upcoming state assembly elections in UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.
However, the government has defied the allegations. Speaking on the matter, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said that Supreme Court and Election Commission have already given their judgement on this.
Speaking to the reporters, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Government should not have advanced the Budget Session.
CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury has termed the early presentation of budget as ‘non-scientific’ as it will not take into consideration the statistical data of third quarter which comes only in mid-February. The leftist leader has also demanded a discussion on demonetization during the first phase of the session.
TMC to miss first two days of parliament
Trinamool Congress has decided to miss the first two days of the budget session. The party has also skipped the all-party meeting that was called by the Government. The party has protested strongly against the demonetization move of the government and has also expressed anger over the arrest of its MPs in various chit fund scams.
The party has also complained that budget day coincides with the important festival of Saraswati Puja.