Addressing floor leaders of parties in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha here today, ahead of Budget Session of Parliament beginning tomorrow, PM Narendra Modi noted that in order to preserve and enrich the institution of Democracy in India, it is imperative that both the Houses of the Parliament run without disruption and constructive discussion takes place on issues of national importance.
Modi urged leaders of all the political parties to rise above party lines to cooperate with the Government and hoped that the experience of the last Winter session is not repeated. The Prime Minister also noted that knowledge is not limited to the treasury benches and it rather emanates from all the members of both Houses and hence, the session should be used constructively and differences be resolved by consensus.
Responding to observations of different leaders on advancing of the Budget Session 2017 and presenting the Budget before start of polling in five poll bound States, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that this decision was a well thought of step and was discussed in detail in the Cabinet. Further, he informed that the decision to this effect was taken by the Cabinet over six months back and is based on sound financial principles that would lead to efficient utilization of finances under different Centre and State Government schemes. Jaitley also assured all the parties that the Government will observe discipline and will abide by Election Commission guidelines regarding level playing field for all parties in poll bound States.
A host of issues were brought up by the leaders of parties during the meeting including withdrawal of high value currency notes, advancing of Budget presentation, increasing the number of sitting days of the Parliament and holding another meeting of leaders of all parties before the start of second part of the Budget Session 2017.There was a consensus across party lines on ensuring smooth functioning of the Parliament without disruptions and deadlocks to be resolved through constructive discussions in both the Houses.
Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ananth Kumar, later briefing media persons said that all parties, especially the opposition, were in favour of a productive Budget session. He informed that the Government’slegislative agenda for the 31 sittings of the Budget Session includes 40 Bills consisting of 1 Bill relating to Supplementary Demands for General Budget.