Government braces up for tough Budget session, 44 items on agenda

New Delhi, Feb 22: The government is bracing up for Budget session beginning on Monday where it will face a tough challenge to get bills replacing six ordinances passed. The government's agenda includes 44 items of financial, legislative and non-legislative business.

The session will begin with President Pranab Mukherjee's address to members of both Houses of Parliament.
Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu has convened a meeting on Sunday of leaders of all parties of both Houses to discuss financial, legislative and other business.

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Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has also called a meeting on Sunday evening of leaders of parties in the house to ensure its smooth functioning.

The government faces an uphill task in getting the bills aimed at replacing ordinances passed as opposition parties have conveyed their firm stand against some of them including the land acquisition ordinance.
Though the government has held back channel discussions on contentious bills with leaders of opposition parties, there is no sign of a breakthrough so far.

An official release said that the financial business (11 items) include presentation of and discussion on general and railway budget, voting on demands for grants, supplementary demands for grants for 2014-15 and excess demands, if any, for 2013-14. The Rail Budget will be presented on February 26, Economic Survey on February 27 and general Budget on February 28.

The legislative agenda comprises introduction, consideration and passing of seven new bills by both the Houses including the Finance Bill, 2015 and bills replacing the six ordinances.

While 10 new bills are slated to be introduced, the government's agenda includes passing of three bills pending in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha. Those pending in the Lok Sabha are: The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 relating to introduction of Goods and Service Tax, The Lokpal and Lokayuktas and other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2014. After being passed by the Lok Sabha, these bills will be taken up by the Rajya Sabha.

Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha include four bills already passed by Lok Sabha - The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014, The Public Premises Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2014, The Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014, The Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2014, and the Payments and Settlement Systems(Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Other pending bills are: The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill,2013 and The Constitution (Scheduled Casts) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

The new Bills pertain to on the National Cooperative Development Corporation, the Warehousing Corporation, Andhra Pradesh reorganisation, arbitration and conciliation, repeal of appropriation acts, registration of births and deaths, whistle blowers protection, Indian Institutes of Management, National Academic Depository and Identification of Scheduled Castes.

The non-legislative business for the session includes discussion on the motion of thanks to the President's address.

The first part of the session will continue till March 20. The second part will commence after a month-long recess from April 20 and conclude May 8.

There will be 20 working days during the first half of budget session and 13 in the second half.

During the intervening recess, standing committees will take up detailed examination of the demands for grants of different ministries.

Gandhian Anna Hazare is also scheduled to hold a protest against the land acquisition ordinance from Monday at Jantar Mantar. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is expected to join protest as the party is against the ordinance.

Janata Dal United leader KC Tyagi said "morale of opposition will be high" following defeat of Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi elections.


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