Budget Session of Parliament begins today; price rise likely to generate heat
Last Updated: Monday, July 7, 2014, 08:49
New Delhi: Presentation of the first budget by the Narendra Modi government will be the highlight of the over month-long session of Parliament starting Monday amidst signals that the issue of price rise could generate heat.
Opposition parties have a number of issues to target the government, including the recent controversy over the government rejecting the name of former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium for appointment as a judge of the apex court, the rape case controversy surrounding Union minister Nihalchand and rising incidents of atrocities against women in the country.
A highlight of the proceedings on the opening day is expected to be a statement from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in both Houses of Parliament on the situation of Indians in Iraq.
While presentation of the Railway Budget is scheduled for July 8, the economic survey will be released the next day and Union Budget 2014-2015 will be presented on July 10.
The issue of the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha could see a confrontation between the government and the Congress during the session if the post is denied to the main Opposition party, which has secured just 44 seats in the 543- member House.
Leaders of various parties want the issues of price rise, rail hike and federal structure to be discussed during the session, which concludes on August 14.
The session will have 28 sittings and 168 working hours. Since the Standing Committees for various ministries are yet to be constituted, the demands for grants for various ministries will be passed by both Houses by July 31 after discussion in Parliament instead of the committees.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has maintained that the government is ready for a discussion on any issue and has appealed to the Opposition to "cooperate" to ensure that the decorum and dignity of Parliament is maintained.
Government also intends to bring bills to replace the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, and a bill to replace the Ordinance with respect to the Polavaram project under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.
TRAI (Amendment) Ordinance cleared on May 28 ensured that the government could appoint Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, the AP ordinance was promulgated on May 29, ahead of the official bifurcation of the state on June 2.
Commerce Ministry will be bringing a bill on the National Institute of Design while the government plans to review the various pending bills and bring them before Parliament after talks with the Opposition.
Trinamool Congress and its rival Left parties have already demanded that price rise should be the first issue to be discussed after the presentation of the rail and general budgets.
CPI-M leader P Karunakaran has made a strong pitch for discussing the issue of oil price hike and atrocities against women. The Left parties want the women's reservation bill to be brought in this session itself.
The Left also wants a threadbare discussion on issues concerning farmers.
Lok Sabha proceedings this session will also have a new feature wherein a visual of the members speaking will be shown on a screen to enable all members and even those sitting on the front benches to see those speaking from the rear benches.
First Published: Monday, July 7, 2014, 08:45