Lok Sabha passes finance bill without discussion, Congress and DMK demand financial package to deal with coronavirus

A decision to approve the Finance Bill without discussion was taken at the all-party meeting convened by the Speaker.

Press Trust of India March 23, 2020 18:30:14 IST
Lok Sabha passes finance bill without discussion, Congress and DMK demand financial package to deal with coronavirus

New Delhi: Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die after the passage of the Finance Bill on Monday, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The government introduced two bills even as some Opposition members, including those from the Congress, wanted to know when the government would announce a financial package for sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak, saying it was an "extraordinary situation".

Lok Sabha passes finance bill without discussion Congress and DMK demand financial package to deal with <span class=coronavirus " width="380" height="285" />

File Image of the Lok Sabha

The Budget Session was divided into two phases. The first phase began on 31 January and ended on 11 February. The second phase, which commenced on 2 March, was to conclude on 3 April.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, various states have announced partial or complete lockdown and also there is increased focus on social distancing to curb the spread of the deadly virus which has infected over 400 people in the country.

Before adjourning the proceedings sine die, Speaker Om Birla emphasised the need for social distancing and work on efforts to tackle the pandemic.

The Finance Bill, 2020, was passed without any discussion. The Bill gives effect to the financial proposals of the central government for fiscal 2020-21.

A decision to approve the Finance Bill without discussion was taken at the all-party meeting convened by the Speaker.

Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wanted to know about a financial package from the government for various sectors that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. "It is an extraordinary situation," he said. Some Congress members clapped their hands for a few seconds when Chowdhury was speaking about the financial package.

DMK leader TR Baalu said there is an excruciatingly painful situation in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak and sought a financial package.

Earlier, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said that considering the extraordinary situation, it was decided at the all-party meeting that the Finance Bill would be passed without any discussion.

Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy introduced two bills in the House — the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill and the National Forensic Sciences University Bill. Congress members protested against the introduction of the bills, saying they have not been given copies of the bills.

As soon as the proceedings began at 2 pm, the House paid tributes to the 17 security personnel who were killed in an encounter with Naxalites in Chhattisgarh on Saturday.

The House also commemorated the Martyrdom Day of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who were hanged on this day in 1931. As a mark of respect, members observed a moment of silence.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, some members were wearing face masks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath
Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, among others, were present in the House. Members from Trinamool Congress, NCP and YSR Congress, among others, were not present in the House in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

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