Within 15 minutes of the House reconvening after pandemonium and two adjournments earlier on Thursday, the Lok Sabha passed the Demands for Grants and the Appropriation Bill 2023, authorising the government to withdraw ₹102.67-lakh crore from the Consolidated Fund of India for its working as well as the implementation of programmes and schemes for the fiscal beginning April 1.
The Speaker Om Birla applied the guillotine — a procedure that puts to vote — on the entire set of Demands for Grants of various ministries and departments in budget 2023-24 without any discussion.
After the Demands of Grants were voted in one go, the relevant Appropriation Bill was passed almost as soon as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved it for consideration and passage.
Throughout the consideration and passage of the most critical legislative business during the Budget session, there was sloganeering from the Opposition with MPs standing in the Well of the House shouting, “We demand JPC on Adani”.
However, the Finance Bill 2023 — which too had been included by the government in the supplementary list of business for Thursday — was not taken up.
“No Finance Bill today,” declared Speaker Om Birla when the Opposition MPs pointed out it had been listed in the agenda. Indications are that the Finance Bill 2023 will be taken up on Friday. If the Finance Bill 2023 gets passed on Friday, then the Lok Sabha may get adjourned Sine Die on Friday, sources said.
While the sloganeering continued throughout, the Speaker pushed through the guillotine and the passage of the Appropriation Bill.
The Lok Sabha had been adjourned twice before it reconvened in the evening at 6 pm — first within minutes after 11 am, when the House proceedings began, and then at 2 pm, when proceedings were adjourned to 6 pm. Rajya Sabha, which too initially got adjourned till 2 pm, was later adjourned for the day without transacting any meaningful business.
The total amount involved in the Appropriation Bill 2023 passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday stood at ₹144.27-lakh crore — related to 102 line items representing various ministries and departments, of which the sum charged on Consolidated Fund of India stood at ₹102.67-lakh crore.
Sources said that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to move several amendments to Finance Bill 2023 on Friday covering tax proposals around capital gains tax treatment on market linked debentures; TDS rate applicability on online gaming and changes to Tax Collection at Source provisions for certain overseas remittances; and certain tweaks to GST framework like Constitution of GST Appellate Tribunal.
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