Budget Passed Without Discussion In LS As Protests Continue

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moves Appropriation Bill In Lok Sabha.

The Speaker later adjourned the House for the day soon after the finance bill, appropriation bill and the demands of grants were passed with voice votes.

What is more, while the President of India can assent or withhold his assent to a Bill, or return a Bill for reconsideration, his powers do not extend to the Money Bill. It is not wrong.

Congress spokesperson and chief whip in Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia accused the government of "running away" from discussion on key issues concerning the public.

The government applied what is called "guillotine"-passing by voice votes whether or not a bill have been debated". No discussion took place on the voluminous amendments and they were pushed through by the ruling BJP.

According to PRS Legislative, the spending on the ministries of Railways, Agriculture, Youth Affairs, Road Transport and Highways and Social Justice and Welfare - amounting to 28 per cent of the Budget and impacting every citizen of the country - were to be discussed.

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The Opposition parties said that the House proceedings have been disrupted for the last seven days because of the govt.'s refusal to have a discussion on the Nirav Modi-Punjab National Bank fraud. "We request all the parties to let the Parliament function and discuss constructively", Kumar said.

The AIADMK meanwhile, has demanded a board for the management of the Cauvery river water.

Opposition parties such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress, the CPI (M), the DMK and the NCP wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan arguing that the time was allotted for discussions on the Demand for Grants of six ministries but the schedule of debate was yet to be finalised. After it resumed, the House passed the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill that proposes to grant a party the right to seek damages from the other side in case of a breach of a business contract and to reduce the discretion of courts in such matters. "Keeping in view the urgency of the transaction of the financial business, we can not defer the same any longer", she said.

Clearly, the Speaker was not convinced. The BJP and its allies have a huge majority in the House.

The Lok Sabha was yesterday also scheduled to take up the Finance Bill 2018 and the Appropriation bills. With several hours lost to daily disruptions, the Centre's floor managers are keen to complete pending government business at the earliest. They will remain intact as per the Central government rules.

According to a Mint report, the Upper House saw only 7 percent of its time being used productively while the Lok Sabha on the other hand only saw 3 percent of its time used efficiently.