January 30, 2017
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday said the leaders of the opposition parties, excluding the Trinamool Congress (TMC), demanded a discussion on demonetisation in the Budget session of the Parliament.
Shortly after concluding the all-party meet, Mahajan said 19 hours have been allocated for discussions in the Parliament where the first day of the House will be addressed by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Mahajan said discussions on the President's address will take place followed by debate on the budget allocation.
"The session will last for 19 hours. In that, there will be discussion on the President's speech and afterwards discussions will be on budget. The House will also consider separate proposals from the members to discuss demonetisation," Mahajan told reporters here.
Considering the short time allocated for discussion, Mahajan said the members were willing to expand the timings to 25 hours.
The Speaker informed that the TMC leaders skipped the meet citing Saraswati Pooja.
"TMC leaders did speak to me. They told me they won't be able to come due to Saraswati Pooja," she said.
Two all party meets were held today to pave way for a smooth and productive Budget session of Parliament starting on Tuesday.
One called by the government and the second called by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested the members to uphold democracy and ensure smooth functioning of Parliament despite differences over certain issues during election time.
During the meeting, some parties questioned the government's decision to advance the budget just ahead of elections in five states.
But the government was clear about its stand saying the nation's budget has nothing to do with state elections.
With the Budget session of Parliament scheduled to start from January 31, a day before the Union Budget is to be presented, President Pranab Mukherjee will address both Houses of Parliament at 11 am in the Central Hall of Parliament House.
The pre-budget economic survey is also expected to be tabled on the same day.
This will be the first time when the General and Railway Budget will be presented simultaneously.
[Daily News and Analysis]