Adani, BBC to heat up budget session

New Delhi: Amid raging controversies over the Adani Group’s Hindenburg expose, alleged Chinese incursions and the blocking of a controversial BBC documentary, the budget session of Parliament, beginning on Tuesday, is likely to be stormy.

Apart from these issues, the opposition has decided to corner the government on the issues of unemployment and price rise and demand a nationwide caste-based economic census.

The budget session will begin with the first address by President Draupadi Murmu to the joint sitting of both the Houses in the Central Hall of the present Parliament. Speculation about holding the session in the new Parliament building was dismissed by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who took to social media to say that the budget session would begin in the existing Parliament.

Sources said that the work of giving final touches to the new building would be completed in the next fortnight. After this, a decision can be taken to hold the session in the new building.

The government will present the Economic Survey on January 31 and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24 on February 1, 2023. The first phase of the budget session will run till February 13 and the second phase from March 13 to April 6. There will be 27 sittings during the budget session.

The priority of the government will be to get the approval of the motion of thanks to the President’s address and the Finance Bill.

After the all-party meeting, the government said it was ready to discuss every issue under the rules during the budget session and sought the opposition’s support for the smooth conduct of the proceedings.

Deputy Leader of the House Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal, Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan were present at the meeting held in the Parliament House complex.

Joshi said the government has always been positive to discuss every topic but maintained that it should be conducted under the rules and with the permission of the Speaker.

Most of the top leaders of the opposition parties were present, including DMK leader, TR, Balu, TMC leaders, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, TRS leaders K Keshav Rao and Nama Nageswara Rao. However, Congress leaders were not present in the meeting as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and leader of the party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury were stuck in Srinagar due to the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” that ended on Monday. ,

While the Congress is engaging other opposition parties like the Shiv Sena to discuss the larger issue relating to China and the Adani group, ‘Trinamool Congress and the Left parties have expressed their intention to corner the government on issues related to inflation, unemployment, economy , Centre-State Relations, etc. The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction has decided to ask for a SEBI probe into alleged stock manipulation by the Adani group and “overexposure” of LIC and SBI funds to shares of group companies. ,

The TMC has insisted on raising the issue of censorship in the backdrop of a controversial BBC documentary on Centre-State relations during the session.

Parties like BRS and DMK will raise the issue of functioning of governors in their ruled states.

YSR Congress and RJD are also set to demand caste-based economic census across the country. The ruling party in Andhra Pradesh has joined the likes of the JD(U) and the RJD, both of which have demanded a caste census. YSR said his party also demanded passage of the Women’s Quota Bill to ensure reservation for them in Parliament. Parties including BRS, TMC and BJD also supported the demand.

The government plans to introduce around 36 bills during the session – including four related to the budgetary exercise. As per the information received from the Bulletin of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, there were nine Government Bills pending at the end of the 10th session of the 17th Lok Sabha, while 26 Bills were pending in the Rajya Sabha at the end of the Winter Session. ,

Apart from the SEBI probe into the Adani group, Shiv Sena deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Priyanka Chaturvedi raised the issue of “reducing the governor’s wider role to doing politics” and said it was a concern raised by several parties.

“Sebi probe into allegations of price fixing and high risk stocks of SBI and LIC should be concluded and discussed. Kashmiri Pandits have been protesting for days and the Indian government is turning a blind eye, this needs to be discussed in the House, and the 26 patrolling points on the LAC should be banned,” he said after the meeting. Several opposition parties raised the issue of Adani and the conduct of governors in some of the states ruled by him at the all-party meeting as the government insisted it was ready to discuss every matter permitted by the rules and sought their cooperation.