Parliament Budget Session 2024: The final session of Parliament before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is set to kick off from Wednesday. President Droupadi Murmu will inaugurate the session by addressing a joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in the newly constructed Parliament building. The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, is scheduled to present the interim budget on Thursday (February 1) during this significant budget session.
The interim budget typically takes care of the fiscal needs of the intervening period until a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls. The budget session is likely to conclude on February 9.
What is interim Budget?
An interim budget serves as a provisional financial statement issued by the government, typically presented in an election year. Differing from a complete annual budget, the interim budget is designed to address a shorter timeframe, bridging the gap until a new government is established post-elections.
This budget provides a snapshot of the government’s revenue and spending for a portion of the fiscal year, enabling it to manage its financial obligations until the new administration introduces a comprehensive budget.
Ahead of the upcoming session, the government convened an all-party meeting and struck a conciliatory stance with the Opposition. It also communicated its appeal to the presiding officers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the reinstatement of suspended MPs from the winter session. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi emphasised the cooperative environment and stated that the suspension of all 11 Rajya Sabha MPs has been lifted. Meanwhile, the government told floor leaders of various parties that it was ready to discuss every issue in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament.
Opposition set to raise THESE issues
Congress leader K Suresh said the party would raise the issue of unemployment, high inflation, agrarian distress, and the situation in ethnic violence-hit Manipur during the session. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the finance minister should include the pending dues to West Bengal on account of various central schemes in the Interim Budget.
What to expect from the President’s address?
During President Murmu’s address, a wide range of topics, spanning political, cultural, and economic aspects, is expected to be covered. The focus will be on showcasing the government’s accomplishments during the 10-year tenure under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meanwhile, political observers will be particularly interested in the announcements by Sitharaman preceding the polls.
Despite Parliament approving only an interim budget for the remaining government tenure, the minister might put forth various proposals targeting different voter demographics. The aim would be to underscore the government’s plans in the event of reelection and appeal to diverse voting blocs.