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Govt pushes through Budget despite rebellious Opposition
By TOG News Service
Mar 14, 2018

TOG News Service, NEW DELHI, MAR 14, 2018: IN a major relief to the Government, it succeeded in passing the Budget for the fiscal year beginning from April 1, 2018 in the Lok Sabha today. However, such feat was achieved without discussion and by applying the guillotine process, since the Opposition stymied the proceedings of the House for eight days in a row. The Union Minister for Finance, Mr Arun Jaitley, moved the Finance Bill 2018 containing taxation proposals of his fifth and final budget, as well as the appropriation bill that detailed spendings in various departments. Despite the din created by the slogan-shouting opposition, the bills were passed by voice vote.

The appropriation bill was approved after a guillotine was applied, which essentially means that all outstanding demands for grants from various departments are put to vote at once, regardless of whether they are discussed or not. Thereby, with the passage of the Finance Bill and the Appropriation Bill, the budget exercise is complete in the lower house. Now, although the two bills also have to pass through the Rajya Sabha, considering their nature as money bills, they would be deemedd to be approved if the Rajya Sabha does not return them within 14 days. It may be noted that while the Government enjoys a majority in the Lower House of Parliament, it is the Opposition which dominates the Upper House.

The functioning of both houses had been stalled ever since the second half of the Budget session began on March 5, with the opposition parties raising issues ranging from India's biggest bank fraud to division of Cauvery river water and special package to Andhra Pradesh. Consequently, neither House was able to get any substantial work done in the preceding eight days. Earlier this week, the BJP had issued a three-day whip to its members to be present in the House. Meanwhile, the Opposition parties protested against passing of the Budget without a debate, as the session is to continue till April 6, 2018.