New Delhi, January 3: Modi Government for the first time ever in Indian history will commence a Parliament session on 31st January 2017 and will end up on 9th February in order to present the union budget. The main objective of presenting budget earlier is that the government wants early allocation of funds for various schemes from 1 April, the beginning of the financial year.
The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on Tuesday recommended holding of the Budget Session from 31 January when the government is likely to table the Economy Survey followed by the Union Budget on 1 February. The CCPA headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh met in New Delhi and made these recommendations to President Pranab Mukherjee. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also attended the meeting.
Interestingly, the 92-year-old practice of presenting a separate Rail Budget is going to end from this fiscal, with the Finance Ministry accepting Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s proposal to merge it with the General Budget. Whereas, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also indicated that railway travel may become pricier for passengers come the next financial year. Jaitley is also set to hold pre-budget consultation with states on January 4, after the meeting of the GST Council gets over.
The Budget Session is normally convened in the last week of February but this year the government is looking set to convene the longest session of Parliament in the last week of January. Though the budget was presented in February, several tax proposals kick-in only from June after Parliament passes the annual finance bill in May. A group of secretaries in the government had recommended advancing the budget to overcome the problem.
Notably, Parliament passes the budget through a two-stage process. A vote on account is passed in March to meet necessary expenses on employees’ salaries and other costs for two to three months.