The Budget Session will commence from 29 January, 2018, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said on Friday, the last day of the ongoing Winter Session. The minister also told the media that the Budget Session will be split into parts, the first part starting from 29 January and ending on 5 February. After this, the Parliament will meet again after a break of 23 days on 5 March. The session will end on 6 April.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present India's first Budget post the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 1 February 2018. This will also be the current government's last full Budget.
Moreover, the Budget Session will also see a debate on the controversial Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Bill 2017 (or the triple talaq bill as it is commonly known), which could not be passed in the Upper House in Winter Session.
Both the Congress and BJP had issued a whip to their Rajya Sabha MPs to remain present in the House, in case the bill which was listed for today be taken up. However, the slugfest between the Opposition and Treasury Benches, the House was adjourned sine die, without any consensus being reached on the bill.
While the government wants that the bill be passed as it is adopted in the Lok Sabha — where the BJP enjoys a brute majority — the Opposition stuck to its demand that the bill be referred to a Select Committee. The debate is now pushed likely to be pushed over to the first half of the Budget Session.
The bill in its current form seeks to make the instant triple talaq or talaaq-e-biddat a criminal offence and proposes up to three years in jail as punishment for a Muslim man who divorces his wife by saying "talaq" thrice. The Opposition parties, however, want further scrutiny of the bill and have an objection to the criminality clause. They insist on provisions for giving financial aid to Muslim women as they argue that a man who has been sentenced to jail won't be able to provide for the woman.
The government lacks strength in the Upper House to pass the bill, but so far it has stayed adamant that any concerns on the bill can be raised on the floor of the house, and there is no need to send it to the Select Committee.
President Ramnath Kovind will address the joint sitting of the two Houses on 29 January and the Economic Survey will be tabled on the same day, Kumar told reporters.
The Recommendation of the session dates was made by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs which met at the Parliament House on Friday after the adjournment of both Houses sine die.
Updated Date: Jan 14, 2018 22:55 PM