Govt starts legwork for Budget session

The Modi government on Tuesday began finalising the legislative agenda for the upcoming Budget session of Parliament when it is keen to amend two electoral laws to grant voting rights to people who became citizens after the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

Besides getting Parliamentary approval for the Union Budget and the Railway Budget, also on the government’s agenda would be ratifying the promulgation of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs held meeting with secretaries of various ministries to understand their legislative priorities for the Budget session beginning February 23.

Since the Congress has moved the Supreme Court challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, the Centre is expected to wait for the outcome and not rush to get Parliament nod for the same.

According to the Constitutional provisions, the government has to get the approval of Parliament for the imposition of President’s Rule within two months. The Centre has time till March 26 to pass resolutions in both the Houses of Parliament ratifying President’s Rule. The Centre in mulling over moving amendments to the Representation of People Act, 1950 and the Delimitation Act of 2002 and get it passed on war footing by early March. 

This would allow the Election Commission complete the procedures to grant voting rights to people who became Indian nationals after exchange of enclaves by India and Bangladesh following the implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement.

A joint visit by an Indo–Bangla delegation had found that that the people residing in Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and Bangladesh enclaves in India did not want to leave their land and would rather remain in the country where they had lived all their lives. The timely amendments would facilitate their voting in the West Bengal Assembly elections expected to be held in April-May.

As many as 16 Bills are pending before Parliament, including the GST Bill, the Real Estate Regulator Bill, the Factories (Amendment) Bill and the Anti-Hijacking Bill.
DH News Service

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