The budget session of Lok Sabha, spread over two parts, adjourned sine die on Thursday. Though the first part was productive, the second part was near washout with 15 sittings just fulfilling the constitutional obligation of passing the budget.

While the first part, begun on January 31, saw an address by the President followed by the laying of the Economic Survey and then the presentation of the Union Budget for FY24. This part ended with a passage giving thanks to the President and passage of the general budget (Part A of Union Budget).

The time log from uncorrected debates shows that the Lok Sabha sat for just a little over four hours of work. Eight Bills, including the Finance Bill and the Appropriation Bill, were passed in the din. The situation in Rajya Sabha was not different.

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Another critical exercise was the voting on 102 Demands for Grants and the passage of the Appropriation Bill. All 102 demands for grants were guillotined on March 23. Similarly, the Appropriation Bill, required to empower the government to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund of India, was passed in the din and all cut motions were negated.

Unlike Demands for Grants, amendments cannot be guillotined and need to be taken up clause by clause, followed by voting (either through voice or through division). As the House was not in order, division was not possible, and so all the amendments were passed by a voice vote. The Finance Bill was passed without any debate and only a brief speech by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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No negotiations, to ensure the smooth functioning of the House, were held between the Treasury benches and the Opposition. While the ruling majority demanded an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks made in the UK on Indian democracy, the Opposition wanted a Joint Parliamentary Committee to be formed to probe the Adani-Hindenburg issue.

The session also witnessed the disqualification of Gandhi as an MP after he was convicted in a defamation case.