New Delhi: Parliament’s budget session will have just eight sittings after presentation of the “interim budget” on Friday and yet the Government has listed an impossible task of passing as many as 46 Bills even while stating that the session will mainly be devoted to the financial business and discussion motion of thanks on the President’s address.
The government reeled out the list of the Bills, including three to replace the ordinances on abolition of Muslim Talaq, companies law and Indian Medical Council, at an all-party meeting of the floor leaders attended by PM Modi.
While he asked the opposition parties’ leaders to cooperate in making the last session of his government fruitful as “we must deliver to the expectations of the people,” the Opposition had its own long list of issues it would like to discuss in this short session. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told a Press conference that the consensus was on ensuring smooth functioning of Parliament without disruptions and deadlocks.
He said Parliament must pass three Ordinances, including one on Talaq abolition, in this session, lest they lapse. Though the minister tried to remove all doubts by stating that acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will present only an “interim budget,” the opposition parties shared their misgivings on attempts to have a full-fledged budget with some big-ticket announcements, citing the business agenda given to them.
They said “interim budget” is supposed to be for only four months up to July until the new government takes the reigns after the elections, but the finance business agenda circulated by the government says “Discussion and Voting on Demands for Grants on Account for 2019-20 and introduction, consideration and passing of the related Appropriation Bill.”
Congress leader Anand Sharma said the Modi government has already presented five budgets and a party elected for five years cannot come out with the sixth budget usurping the right of the new government. He said the Opposition will fight back any attempt by the government to push for the budget for full 2019-20 year and not for four months in the next financial year.