The budget session of Parliament likely to start on a bumpy note as the opposition plans to corner the government on a host of issues, including demonetisation and the early presentation of the Union budget.
The session is taking place parallel to the assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh where stakes are high for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after it suffered a string of losses in state polls. The opposition has been against the early presentation of the Union budget on the ground that the government could woo voters with populist announcements.
The Union budget, the first to subsume the railway budget, will be presented on February 1, ending a nearly century-long tradition of tabling separate financial documents for the country’s largest transporter.
The first part of the session, with just eight working days, will end on February 9. Parliament will again meet on March 9, just a day after voting for the assembly elections is complete, to end on April 12.
10:40 AM: President Pranab Mukherjee will address both Houses of Parliament at 11 am in the Central Hall of Parliament House.
10:35 AM: Prime Minister addresses media ahead of Budget session says he hopes all political parties engage in proper debate and ensure smooth conduct of the Parliament. “A new tradition is beginning today…the budget is being presented a month earlier and the railway budget is being clubbed with it” he adds.
10:30 AM: “I hope all political parties understand the importance of Budget Session and participate in meaningful and constructive manner,” says Union minister Venkaiah Naidu. “Government ready to discuss every issue. We have nothing to hide, worry about or fear.”