Budget session to be stormy

Budget session to be stormy

Opposition up in arms against fuel price hike

Added to this is the demand from the Opposition to table the Liberhan Commission report and the alleged slapping incident involving a Congress MP.

All these issues are likely to be used by the Opposition to launch an attack on the government on the opening day –– Thursday –– of the budget session. The day will also see economic survey being tabled in Parliament.

The Opposition, which will be bolstered by the presence of Lalu Prasad’s RJD Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP(though they have said they will support the government), will strongly oppose the oil price hike.

Interestingly, the hike comes just days before the presentation of the Union budget on July 6. The non-UPA parties will question the timing of the oil price hike.

The Left parties, the SP and the RJD will vociferously demand tabling of the Liberhan report on the demolition of the Babri Masjid as they want to know its contents. The indication from the ruling coalition is that it is in no hurry to table the report.

The BJP, on its part, will question the timing of the submission of the report just two days before the beginning of the session.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh parried questions on the issue of the government tabling the report. He did not reply to queries by reporters on the issue after he emerged from an all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

The speaker, however, gave an indication that the report may not be tabled immediately. “The Government will prepare the Action Taken Report (ATR) on the Liberhan Commission report and it will take some time. Then it will be tabled,” she said.

The month-long session has been called to transact the railway and general budgets, the process of which should be completed before July 31, when the vote-on-account passed before the elections expires.

The government, the prime minister said, was looking forward to the budget session with “great expectation” and expressed hope that the House will function smoothly.
Singh said he believed that all political parties want Parliament to function “effectively and smoothly” and on behalf of the government, he extended the “fullest cooperation” in the smooth functioning of Parliament.

“Parliament is the forum where debate can take place.It will be our sincere desire that the Parliament functions smoothly,” he said.

Parliament will be in session from Thursday till August 7 during which railway and general budgets will be presented.

In the finance-centric session, the railway budget will be presented in the Lok Sabha on July 3 and the general budget on July 6.

Unlike the previous budget sessions, there will be no break during the session this time as Parliamentary standing committees have not been constituted. Normally, session will take a break to enable these committees to study the budget proposals.

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