Budget 2022

Budget Session: Legislative business may skirt crypto, PSB privatisation Bills

Shishir Sinha | Updated on: Jan 30, 2022

NEW DELHI, 01/02/2021: Security personnel keep vigil out side the Ministry of Finance at North Block in New Delhi on Monday during Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leave for Parliament House to present the General Budget for 2021-2022. February 1, 2021. Photo: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR / The Hindu | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

First part of session to end on Feb 11, second part to begin on March 14

With State polls in full swing, government managers plan to complete the entire legislative business during second half of the Budget session except the presentation of Union Budget. The session is starting on Monday.

Meanwhile, legislative business for the Budget session is yet to be published, but government sources reaffirmed that two key bills – one on regulating crypto and second one for privatisation of public sector banks – are unlikely to be brought up. First part of the Budget Session will take place between January 31 and February 11; and the second part is slated to start on March 14 and end on April 8.

“Members of Parliament (MPs) in five poll-bound States are expected to be in their constituencies, so it will be not be practical to issue whips or formal-informal instructions for presence in the houses. This is key to implementation of legislative business,” a government source told BusinessLine.

Polling in five States is to take place between February 10 and March 7 and counting will take place on March 10. It may be recalled that during 2021, first part of the Budget session took five bills for introduction, consideration and passage.

The agenda

As on date, agenda for first part for 2022 Budget session includes, Presidential address to joint session, tabling of Economic Survey, presentation of theUnion Budget, discussion on Presidential speech, reply by the Prime Minister on Presidential speech discussion, general discussion on Budget and reply by the Finance Minister. Sources said PM will reply on February 7 in Lok Sabha and on February 8 in Rajya Sabha.

According to the Budgetary process, during the general discussion, the House is at liberty to discuss the Finance Bill as a whole or any question of principles involved therein but no motion can be moved. A general survey of administration is in order. The scope of discussion is confined to an examination of the general scheme and structure of the Budget, whether the items of expenditure ought to be increased or decreased, the policy of taxation as expressed in the Budget and in the Finance Minister’s speech. The FM has the general right of reply at the end of the discussion. It is expected to take place on February 10 and 11.

Legislative and Financial Business

Second part of the session will have detailed discussion and voting on the demands for grant followed by passage of the Finance Bill. Also, there will be discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants (SDG) followed by passage. All these are expected to be completed by March 31.

Though, sources did not give much detail about new bills to be introduced in the Budget Session, but they indicated that the wait for a Bill to regulate cryptocurrency or for privatisation of banking bills is expected to be longer. “As on date, there is no consensus on structure of crypto regulation. At the same time, considering political sensitivity, privatisation of public sector banks is a very difficult to take up,” source, other than quoted above, said.

The government listed the Bill to be regulated twice – Budget session and Monsoon session — but could not be brought up. Similarly, intention to bring a Bill for privatisation of two public sector banks was proposed in the last Budget, but the government is yet to firm up plans for this.

Published on January 30, 2022
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