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NDA boycotts Finance Bill

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 20:10

New Delhi: BJP-led NDA on Tuesday boycotted the
debate on Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha following differences
with the government over the timing of taking up a discussion
over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s statement on
cash-for-votes scam.

The main Opposition staged a walkout as soon as the Bill
was moved by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as it wanted
the discussion on the Prime Minister`s statement to be taken
up before the legislative business.
But the government insisted on taking up the Finance Bill
first, saying it had been scheduled earlier.

"We agreed to short duration debate after the Finance Bill
is passed. We have no problem to discussion under Rule 192
(which does not entail voting). But please allow the Finance
Bill to be passed first," Finance Minister and Leader of the
House Pranab Mukherjee said addressing the Opposition which
was demanding the debate on the PM`s statement first.
"The Finance Bill has its own sanctity," Mukherjee said,
appealing for cooperation from the Opposition.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the Opposition
also wants passage of the Finance Bill but it should be taken
up only after two-and-a-half hour debate on PM`s statement.

"It is a question of two-and-a-half hours...You allow
debate, then we can have both... It is just a matter of
earlier and later," she said.

Swaraj said if the debate is allowed on the PM`s
statement, "We are ready to sit here till 12 pm (to pass the
Finance Bill)."

Countering Swaraj, Mukherjee said a precedent like this
should not be created.

"You have given the notice for a Short Duration discussion
today. Allow 24 hours. The discussion can take place
tomorrow... The Finance Bill has been decided long ago. We
should stick to the schedule," he said.

P C Chacko, who was in the Chair, also ruled that the
Finance Bill should be taken up first and Mukherjee started
moving the Bill.

Unhappy over this, Swaraj led a walkout, asking the
government to pass the Finance Bill without the main
Opposition if it was so adamant.


First Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 20:10

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